Cuatro Caminos "four roads", is an area located high on the side of a mountain in the state of Quiché, Guatemala. Life in this area is very difficult and very isolated from the outside world. It is a two hour walk to the nearest market town of Zacualpa. Cuatro Caminos is a farming area where corn and black beans, the staple elements in their diet, are the major crops. The Quiché Indians who inhabit this area trace their ancestral roots to the ancient Mayan civilization. They normally speak an Indian dialect called Quiché - however, Spanish is becoming more common. Very little money ever changes hands in this area as they live on a barter system.
Hello, my name is Juan Sebastian Gutierrez Ajqui. I was born on February 20, 2007 and I am twelve years old. I am a healthy child. I have one brother and two sisters. One of my sisters also goes to the feeding program and we walk about 35 minutes to get to the program. Sadly, my father passed away about ten years ago from an automobile accident in the United States. My mother’s name is Josefina and she works in a tortilleria (place where they make and sell tortillas) in Huehuetenango. It is a town located far away from us, so she only comes home every six months to visit us and to leave money for our expenses. We stay with our aunt while my mother is working. She is the one who takes care of us. We do not travel to the coast during the coffee harvest. We own a house, but we do not live in it because we are living with my aunt. We only stay in our own home when my mother is here with us. It is made of adobe with a tin roof and a concrete floor. It has two rooms and a separate kitchen. We have electricity but we do not have water. We get our water from a small natural spring. I am in 5th grade. My favorite color is blue and my favorite animal is the dove. The foods that I like best are pineapples and caldo de res (traditional Guatemalan dish). In my free time, I like to play soccer. My family attends an Evangelical church.
With much love and many blessings
Juan Sebastian Gutierrez Ajqui
Translated by: Edwina Lyons/ AAC Missionary