Hello! My name is Maria Filomena Paredes Pachel and I am a single mother. I was born on January 05, 2000, and I am 21 years old. I have one son who is two years old. His name is Harold Fernando Paredes. Growing up, I did not have a father in my life. So, when I was 14, I fell in love and was determined to create a family and have a different life compared to my mother’s. I told my ex-boyfriend my plans, and he was nice about it. But five months after he got me pregnant, he left me to marry another young woman. I was heartbroken and depressed because another man abandoned me. I didn’t have a stable job or enough money to afford the nutrients that I needed while I was pregnant, however God sent many kind-hearted people to help me with groceries. After he was born, kind-hearted people and neighbors continued to support me with buying groceries and milk since I could not produce enough physically. Thankfully, my baby was born healthy. I live about an hour away from the feeding center. I live in a humble house made of adobe walls, tin sheet roof, and a concrete floor. The house is old and is located on a farm. My mother, son, and I live in this house. It is borrowed, so we are not paying rent. There is one room with a separate kitchen. I have some pets in the house such has ducks, dogs, and chickens. My house does not have water nor electricity. I get the water from a neighbor. I do not have much storage space for the water, I only have about a couple gallons at a time. However, since I am working all day, I only use the water at night most of the time. Additionally, I use candles to see because we have no electricity. There is no sewer system in the house either, so we use the bathroom at my aunt’s house. For income, I work at a tortilla shop all week, as does my mother. I also sell flowers. I earn about Q35 a day. Sometimes, I am hired as a domestic employee or am asked to come into a restaurant to wash dishes for a little extra money. But that does not happen very often anymore since I have to watch over my baby. Unfortunately, we do not receive help from my father since he abandoned this family and started another with someone else. The father of my child does not help us either. As for my health, both me and my baby are in good health, thank God. My family and I need groceries, clothes, and shoes. I am a member of the Catholic Church. I am thankful for God’s love and mercy in my life.
Maria Filomena Paredes Pachel
Translated by: Kalyan Marroquin / Missionary Intern