Chichicastenango Guatemala Mission Trip
Organized by: Jennifer Hines
Jennifer Hines via Crowdrise
July 19, 2015
My name is Olivia Hines and I am in the 9th grade, I have attended a Spanish Immersion school since Kindergarten. (My Mom helped set up this site and will be going with me on this mission trip).
Much of my school day is filled speaking and learning the spanish language as well as studying the many spanish cultures around the world. When I was given the opportunity to serve this summer on a missions trip to Guatemala I was very excited. What a wonderful way for me to continue my growth with the spanish language and learn more directly about spanish culture. I will be serving as one of the translators for our group.
In preparation, for the trip I started doing some reading about the area where we are going and the organization, Pray America. What I discovered was quite surprising. I knew I wanted to do more to support our trip and my teams work.
What I have learned: A 30 year civil war that ended in the mid 1990's has left "ChiChi" (Chichicastenango) and the surrounding areas in a state of devastation. Many of the indigenous people, especially the men, were targets of the militia. Those not killed in their fields and homes were taken prisoner and never seen from again. As a result there are approx. 70,000 widows left in the ChiChi area of Guatemala as well as countless children.
Pray America serves both widows and children by hosting teams of volunteers who raise money in order to build homes, install efficient stoves, and water filtration systems. Twice each week approx. 1,200 children and 250 widows are fed nutritionally balanced meals. In 2008, the Orphan Care center was added to educate, feed and heal children in need in ChiChi.
The Shoe Factory built by Pray America provides employment for five local Guatemalan men so that they can provide for their families. Pray America gives away shoes to the local communities where they build homes for widows. Each week a different community is invited to bring their children to be fitted for new shoes made by the Shoe Factory Cobblers. And each week approximately fifty pairs of shoes are given away to children in need.
As you can see there is much need in the ChiChi area. My team hopes to raise enough money to build several homes and contribute to the other services of Pray America. Restoration projects typically cost $500 per home. Each of us is working to raise as much as we can to contribute to our group fundraising. More information about Pray America can found here: http://prayamerica.org
PLEASE consider making a contribution, your support will make a difference in the lives of many people.
I will be adding information and updates as we prepare for our trip as well as updating pictures as appropraite from our projects and time in Guatemala.
Thank you in advance - OLIVIA HINES