Horetensia lives in a small town to the west of Guatemala’s capital with her husband, Victor. At 68, she has a clear dream for her future.
“I dream of living my elder years with good health, and I dream of not having to work so hard anymore,” Horetensia said. Laughing, she added, “I no longer have the strength to work hard; it’s not that I turned lazy.”
Hortensia has been working hard all her life. She and her husband started their family in Guatemala City more than 40 years ago. He worked as an auto mechanic, and she had a small business selling tortillas. They had 10 children, though two of them passed away in infancy.
When Victor started having strokes, which made him lose the ability to walk for some time, the burden of supporting their large family fell solely on Hortensia.
“It was a difficult period in my life; I had 8 little ones and my husband to take care of,” she said. “I worked very hard, but we had to get used to living with many limitations: few clothes, no shoes, little food and several other sad things. I managed to keep my children in primary school, but I was no longer able to keep all of them in high school.”
They also faced the dilemma of having outgrown their home, so Hortensia and Victor sold their house in the capital to buy a piece of land in the country, where they continue to live. Hortensia also raised three of her grandchildren when one of her daughters abandoned the family. The oldest of the three has a costly medical condition that requires special care. Despite the difficulties of raising her grandchildren in addition to her own children, Hortensia has also found much joy.
“They have also made me proud because one graduated as a teacher, the other is a fireman and [the oldest] graduated with a computer degree from high school. She inspires me because in spite of her physical limitations she fought for her dream and graduated.”
Three of Hortensia’s children still live in the area with their spouses, and she helps take care of the grandkids and with household chores. She attends a women’s group through her church, and together they visit the sick, read the Bible, cook and sing. Hortensia reads the Bible every night before going to bed. Though rich in love and community, she and her husband continue to face challenges.
“Poverty continues to challenge my husband and I; it is hard to meet our needs,” she shared. “My children have grown up and they have their own family to take care of. They cannot help us with much. I am also challenged by my old age and an old body; I can’t work like I used to, I move slow now.”
Being sponsored through Unbound would help ease Hortensia’s financial concerns. Her everyday needs would be met, such as nutrition and access to health care. And while that will certainly help bring her closer to achieving her dreams, monthly benefits aren’t the only reason Hortensia is eager to find a sponsor.
“My greatest wish is to give back and equal the love that I’ll receive from my new sponsor,” Hortensia said. “Receiving monthly benefits is truly meaningful for me, but getting to know my sponsor through photos and letters is something that I really look forward to.”
Editor’s note: Since this blog was published, Hortensia has found a sponsor. Click here to find another person still waiting for a sponsor.