Tag Archives: Guatemala

Oct 10 2012

‘Hugs all around’ one sponsor’s trip to Guatemala

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By Stephanie Angalet, CFCA sponsor

This year I once again had the privilege to travel to Guatemala on one of the CFCA mission awareness trips. This trip was incredibly special because I was able to meet each one of the young ladies I sponsor in Guatemala.

Guatemala is a beautiful country and the people of Guatemala are beautiful people, both inside and out. I never cease to be amazed by the smiles on each person’s face, even though I know some of the difficulties they face each day.
Read more

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Oct 4 2012

CFCA birthday celebrations in Guatemala, Colombia

Did you know that for many of our sponsored children and aging friends, a CFCA birthday celebration may be the first time they’ve ever formally celebrated their birthdays?

These much-anticipated celebrations often include family members and others in the local community.

Here are a few photos of recent CFCA birthday celebrations in Guatemala, Colombia and India. They were too precious not to share with you!

Edgar, CFCA sponsored child in Guatemala, and birthday celebration

Edgar, left, a sponsored children in Guatemala, is really enjoying his cake! A birthday tradition in Guatemala calls for the birthday child to eat the cake without utensils, and when they lean in to take a bite, they are pushed into it.

CFCA sponsored children in Colombia and their birthday celebrations

It’s a special day in Colombia as sponsored children wait for their birthday cake and drinks.

Leydi, sponsored child in Guatemala, and a big birthday cake

Little Leydi from Guatemala is excited to join in the CFCA birthday festivities. She can have her cake and eat it, too.

See more photos

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Sep 10 2012

Welcoming a newborn baby in Guatemala

Luis Cocon, our CFCA communications liaison in Guatemala, and his wife, Mercedes, recently welcomed their third child, Cristel, into the world. Here Luis describes some local customs and traditions that take place after a baby is born.

Cristel, in Guatemala

Welcome, Cristel!

Naming babies in Guatemala is a family thing. We all get involved: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and everyone close enough will usually have a say in the matter.

We are careful in choosing names; we want our children to be proud of their name and we try to avoid those that can be offensive, funny or extravagant.

Our more common sources for names are: names of parents, grandparents or close relatives, from nature, from characteristics expected from the baby’s personality or popular names at the time.

Local customs and traditions

As soon as possible after our baby was born, my wife drank a hot tortilla drink called “atol de tortilla.” We believe this tortilla drink provides good, abundant and rich breast milk. Read more

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Aug 31 2012

Putting bread on the table in Guatemala

They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. For Oscar Manuel, father of two sponsored children in the CFCA Hope for a Family program†in Guatemala, this statement couldn’t be more true.

Oscar was a farmer with little to no income. There was no bakery in Oscar’s community, and through the work of CFCA livelihood programs, Oscar and other parents began making and selling bread around their community.

CFCA provided training and a loan for the group to build an oven and start making bread.

Oscar and others are eager to share their new skills with others.

“With happiness in our hearts,” he says in this video, “we will teach what we have learned.”

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Aug 30 2012

A CFCA Christmas

The children are ready to play and have fun,
While the youth are ready for school to be done.

Santa Claus, aka, Kris Kringle

Santa makes a stop at a CFCA-Guatemala Christmas celebration last year.

Aging friends wait with anticipation
As Santa arrives to a Christmas celebration!

The CFCA Christmas fund brings gifts to all
Be it shoes, or clothes or a shiny new ball.

The day is filled with excitement and joy,
It’s a wonderful day for all girls and boys.

They share with each other, stories and laughter,
And a meal is shared by all soon thereafter.

The CFCA Christmas Fund is good to consider,
Your friend will feel special and honored this winter.

You can donate on the website or by mail,
Or simply call to let your donation prevail!

Related links

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Aug 28 2012

CFCA communications centers: San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala

CFCA has five communications centers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya, India and Colombia.

Although we call them centers, which sound like a big operation, they actually consist of one or a few local staff members. They help us find and feature stories from our sponsored children and aging friends.

We’d like to introduce you to each communications center liaison, continuing with Luis Cocon in Guatemala.

Luis CocÛn, CFCA communications center liaison in Guatemala.

Luis CocÛn, CFCA communications center liaison in Guatemala.

Nothing happens by accident. I believe that God decided to bring CFCA into my life so that I may learn from my people and present their incredible stories to the world.

My name is Luis Cocon, and I am Mayan. I was born in a small community in the central highlands of Guatemala.

My father is a farmer. He has worked most of his life raising vegetables such as broccoli, sweet peas, potatoes and, of course, corn and beans. My mother, like most indigenous women, embroidered fabric to bring additional income to our family. She also took care of me, my younger brother, Kevin, and our home.

Being a Maya indigenous farmer was not easy for my father. He worked long and difficult hours under the weather with no steady income. Above all that, my country suffered 36 years of war from 1960 to 1996; it was fought between the Guatemalan government and various guerrilla groups, mainly supported by Maya indigenous people and poor peasants.

Forced recruitments around our town by the army forced my father to leave the country. I don’t have a clear memory of this because I was only 4 years old, but I can imagine how hard it was for my parents, not knowing if we would ever see each other again. Read more

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Aug 20 2012

Going back to school: Mothers of sponsored children

It’s never too late to learn!

That’s one lesson that mothers of sponsored children taught Diego Felipe Coj Guarchaj, a CFCA staff member in Guatemala who has worked with CFCA for 13 years.

CFCA scholars and mothers go to school in Guatemala

Mothers of sponsored children in Guatemala are going back to school with the help of CFCA scholarships.

It began in 2007, when CFCA staffers started a literacy program in the town of Nahuala for mothers who wanted to learn how to read and write.

CFCA scholars taught the mothers as part of their community service project.

In 2008 more mothers wanted to learn, so the CFCA office in Nahuala contacted Guatemala’s national committee for literacy, a government-run institution that helps people finish their primary education.

In 2011 more than 75 mothers graduated from primary school with that literacy program.

Several of these mothers expressed a desire to continue their education, so the CFCA office encouraged them to apply for CFCA scholarships.

In 2012, Diego said 23 mothers and two fathers are now CFCA scholars. Classes include natural science, social studies, math, computers and writing.

“Twenty-three of the students are in seventh grade, one is in eighth grade, and one mother is in her first year of high school,” Diego said.

(Related link: Read more about the value of education for sponsored children in Guatemala.)

In a country where only 15.6 percent of the female population is educated to at least a secondary level of schooling (think junior high), according to the Human Development Index, the mothers’ achievements show their perseverance despite tremendous challenges. Read more

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