|Birth Date||Sep 10, 2015|
|Age||4 years old|
Pasojoc 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 more than a two-hour walk to the nearest market town of Zacualpa. Pasojoc is a farming area where corn and black beans, the staple elements in their diet, are the major corps. 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 Jade Soraida Alitza Mendez Simaj. I was born on September 10, 2015 and I am four years old. I am a basically healthy little girl. I am not attending school yet because I am still too young, so I spend my time playing with dolls and toy dishes. My favorite color is pink and my favorite animals are birds. The food that I like to eat the most is fried chicken. My favorite fruit is the banana. I am the only child in my family and my mother is the one who brings me to the feeding program. We walk about one hour to get to the feeding program. My father’s name is Cesar Mendez and he is a farmer. My mother’s name is Romelia Simaj and she is a housewife. My whole family travels to the coast during the coffee harvest season. We do not have our own house, so we live in my paternal grandparents’ house. The house is made of adobe with a tile roof and dirt floor. It has two rooms and a separate kitchen. We have electricity, but we do not have running water. We carry our water from a small creek to our home. We share our house with some relatives. We raise chickens, turkeys, goats, sheep and a dog. We sell them when we have some needs. We also grow corn, black beans and squash for our consumption. My family attends a Pentecostal church named Prince of Peace.
With much love and many blessings,
Jade Soraida Alitza Mendez Simaj
Translated by: Lidia Vasquez / AAC Guatemala