Twelve days ago I met Adelina. Her name was given to me as the contact person when I visited the village of El Rosario. Five ladies who were friends of Adelina had walked 2 ½ hours to talk to missionaries in the neighboring village of Cerro Alto. “Is there a missionary who can help us?” Adelina had not actually made the trip but when the ladies were asked for a phone number of someone to call when and if a missionary could visit, Adelina was the only person they could think of, who had a phone. And so, the day had come and I was that missionary. I spent the day with Adelina who had a baby slung over her back and two young children following closely.
I met Senior Rosales, the principal. He had a table full of files about the kids and their families and described their incredible hardships. I could tell this man cared deeply for his school. He really cares about the children of El Rosario. I visited classrooms of 25-35 students, pre-school through 6th grade. The kids were packed into classrooms, all reciting their lessons in unison. School at El Rosario is from 8am – 12:30pm. Too many kids. Not enough teachers. Not enough time at school to give these kids much of a chance.
So, what would it cost to build a new cocina? An actual structure of concrete block and a tin roof? A friend of mine from Guatemala guessed $2,000 U.S. dollars. That would include a new sink and a new wood stove. $2,000 is equal to 15,500 Quetzals, the currency here. Honestly, it might as well be a 100,000 Quetzals. That’s a HUGE number. But Senior Rosales smiles as he proudly says “It will happen.” One of the things I LOVE about El Rosario is that the village is made up of hard working people who aren’t looking for ‘free’ but rather ‘a little help’.