During the summer, festivals and fairs spring up all over the world offering guests delicious snacks, games, entertainment, and more.
The story is no different in Guatemala, where families of sponsored children come together once a year to create CFCA’s annual Market Day celebration.
The first Market Day was organized in 2011 as a way to support the livelihood initiatives of the families.
Josefina Poz, CFCA-Guatemala staffer, witnessed the camaraderie and support from those in the program and people in the community at that first event, and the same spirit continues today.
“Our idea was to provide an opportunity for CFCA families to advertise their products and sell them,” Josefina said.
“We want this market to strengthen relationships, to build a sense of solidarity within the community, and we want people to have a good time.”
About 200 CFCA sponsored friends and their families came to sell their goods, and about 600 people from town stopped to purchase items for CFCA’s 2013 Market Day.
Families sell everything from snacks and drinks to fruits and vegetables and farm animals.
Everyone looks forward to the day because they can sell items they have grown, raised or created, and they can also purchase items at discounted prices.
Thelma has participated in the Market Day events from the start. Her daughter Darlin, who likes to be called Coca, has been in the sponsorship program for 10 years.
“I love the fraternity and the joyful atmosphere of the market,” Thelma said. “I like that we are helping each other by purchasing and selling items at very good prices.
“I purchased a rooster, and I paid $7.50 for it. It’s great because I would normally pay $9.50 for a rooster like this. These prices help CFCA families and non-CFCA families. It’s a great benefit for the whole town.”
Thelma and her daughter, along with several CFCA scholarship students, decided to make delicious tamales to sell to the public.
“The first year I sold chicken soup, the second year I sold live chickens and this year I am helping my daughter sell tamales,” Thelma said.
“I am grateful with CFCA because they constantly bring along new ideas. They train us, they encourage us and they help us find new ways to provide for our family.”
The most impressive part of the CFCA Market Day is that it is organized and planned by CFCA sponsored friends and their families.
Josefina and other CFCA-Guatemala staffers help the families by sending letters for permits from the local government, but most of the planning and implementation are carried out by the families.
“Families set up their vendor stands, and they take care of the music, the cultural performances, the trash and other details. CFCA staffers just come here to support the action,” Josefina said.
For Thelma and other parents of sponsored children, Market Day is a chance to show what they have accomplished with the encouragement and support they receive as members of CFCA.
“In the beginning I was really shy and not a very good saleswoman,” Thelma laughed.
Through her involvement with CFCA, she shed her shy nature and is now proud of her selling skills.
“At home I have chicks, hens and turkeys. I also grow cilantro, corn and squash. And you are invited to come to my home because I make and sell the best chicken soup in town!”