Modesta, a mother of nine in Guatemala, offers wisdom on raising a large family.
May 12 2017

Learning from the wisdom of mothers

Wise words from a mom of nine

Modesta, a mother of nine in Guatemala, offers wisdom on raising a large family.

Modesta, a mother of nine in Guatemala, offers wisdom on raising a large family.


As moms, we all have moments when we question ourselves and our motherhood. Are we doing it right? Are we doing what’s best for our children?

Let these wise, loving words from a mom in Guatemala encourage you this Mother’s Day.

Modesta is a mother of nine children ranging in age from 14 to 34. She lives in Guatemala, where both she and her husband work to support their large family.

“Children are the joy of this home,” Modesta said. “I would lie if I’d said that it´s easy. It´s not easy. My husband is out most of the time because of work. His pay is not able to cover everything. I must work in the fields harvesting corn.

“I do a little bit of everything,” she says, laughing. “I sell chicken, pigs, ducks, hens, and I sell vegetables.”

Modesta’s life is not short of hard work, which she does joyfully to take care of her children and give them a better life. She knows exactly why she works so hard each day.

“My dream is to see my kids doing well and have them graduate from high school,” she said. “I hope that God can provide more life so that I can continue working for my children.”

Modesta didn’t get a chance to finish school.

“I only finished first grade because I did not have a father and my mother could not send us to school,” she said. “Education is important. With education, they can help the family and they can have a better future for their own family.”

Despite many monetary challenges, Modesta is confident in the love she gives her children.

“Being a good parent is not about buying a car or a motorcycle, it’s about having time for them, ” she said. “It´s about having time to have a conversation, time to love them, time to eat together and time to listen.”

She also teaches her children about the value of hard work and doing their part to help out at home. She offered some advice for parents.

“Teach your kids the value of their work, because if we don´t work we don´t eat,” she said. “Your oldest kids should help with the chores and take care of the younger ones because you can´t do everything on your own. Older ones can sweep, mop, cook, feed the little ones and many other things. Mom is like the ‘administrator’ of the work tasks at home.”

Modesta’s daughter, Yuri, was sponsored for 15 years, which helped to ease the burden on the family.

“Unbound has helped me a lot,” Modesta said. “We get animals to raise, we get food supplies and we get help for school expenses.”

Yuri completed her participation in the Unbound program in February. In her farewell letter to her sponsors, Brian and Kari from Colorado, she wrote:

“I want to thank you for all these years you sponsored me. My family and I do not have anything to pay you for the benefits we received, such as pigs, chickens, groceries, school supplies, shoes and clothes. All of this was a huge help for my personal success as well as for my academic preparation. … I have completed my final semester and am working in my field of nursing.

“Thanks be to God, I am doing great and I help my family financially. But without your help, none of this would be possible.

“My family and I will eternally be grateful to you for the help you gave to us and for having opened the doors of your hearts to us. You are wonderful people.”

As we approach Mother’s Day, we give thanks for loving, dedicated mothers like Modesta, and the many lessons they teach us. And we give thanks for sponsors like Brian and Kari who help families like Modesta’s flourish.

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