School is on break in Guatemala from October 15 – January 15, which leaves El Rosario a little quieter. Most families are harvesting corn, which they will sell, and use throughout the year. Corn is a staple here. If a family has nothing to eat, they can usually find enough work to buy corn, which they boil and then grind into masa to make tortillas. 100lbs of corn will last a family of 4, just about a month. 100lbs of corn costs Q125 which is about $16 US.
The good news is that it would be hard for anyone to starve here. The bad news is that tortillas hardly have the nutrients our bodies need. Malnutrition rears its ugly head at a very young age in El Rosario. As a matter of fact 85% of children in the villages of Guatemala do not graduate from the 6th grade. How does that happen? Lack of proper nutrition definitely plays a part. Vonda and I make it a priority to make a nutritious breakfast for our kids before they head of to school, every day. We KNOW how important it is. Many kids in Guatemala go to school with a tortilla and a cup of coffee. Their little bodies are not developing properly and learning becomes harder every day.
If they can’t learn to read by the 1st or 2nd grade it’s just a matter of time before they become one of the 85%. And the cycle just presses on.
Any missionary will tell you there is always more to do. Just when you think you can’t add one more thing to the list, you do. Right now, our focus is on single moms and young boys. Our hope is to give the boys a fighting chance. Our hope is they grow to be men of God and make a true generational change.
Today, if it’s ok, I just want to share our dreams and ask you to pray about them. These are the things that my wife and I stay up late at night and talk about. These are the things that we pray about.
- The Vencedor Boys Academy – It will give us the opportunity to work with boys every day, not just once a week. It will be a place where they can eat a good meal and learn what it means to be a man of God.
- My wife wants to start a reading program at the public school where she and other local volunteers will read with 1st and 2nd graders. We saw what a difference this made in our own kids lives and want to pay it forward in El Rosario.
- We would like to have a breakfast program; first for the boys of the academy but then for every child who goes to school. Proper nutrition before they begin their day will make all the difference.
- Finally, I have a personal dream to have a library at the Boys Academy for all elementary kids. Books tear down the borders of poverty and open up the whole world.
So many of you have stepped up to support Vencedor Ministries and The Boys Academy. Honestly, it’s humbling.
When disciples followed a rabbi, they followed him closely so that they would never be out of his sight, never be some place where they couldn’t hear him speak. They followed him so closely that his sandals often kicked up dust.
May you be covered in His dust,
George and Vonda