Tunaja is a very primitive area of the state of Quiche, Guatemala. The inhabitants are Quiche Mayans who trace their ancestral roots to the ancient Mayan civilization. The prevalent language is the Mayan dialect - Quiche. The people are either farmers or shepherds and live off the fruits of their labors. Very little money ever changes hands as they use a barter system. Public education is available - however, most families cannot afford it. Electricity and running water are not available in most of the area. Life in Tunaja is extremely difficult.
Many greetings! It is a pleasure to greet you hoping that you are doing well. My name is Marta Arely Tino Rodriguez, and I am a happy and healthy 10-year-old girl. I am in third grade this year and I am repeating. In my free time, I like to play tag. My favorite color is pink, my favorite animal is a dog, and my favorite food is grilled chicken.
Neither of my biological parents live with me. My father abandoned us many years ago and did not recognize me legally. My mother has lived in the United States for 5 years with my stepfather Hugo. She is a housewife. Hugo sends us money to support us economically. My grandparents Marta and Mateo take care of us. I have three siblings: 1 brother and 2 sisters. I want to tell you that other than my mother, we are all healthy. My mother has diabetes which is why she cannot work. Also, we do not attend a church yet. I live in a village called Tunaja, and it takes me 20 minutes to arrive to the feeding program. I walk part of the way and ride the bus the rest of the way. My humble house has walls made of block and adobe, the roof is made of tin sheet, and the floor is made of cement. There are two rooms total, but we only use one; additionally, we do not have a separate kitchen, so we cook in the corridor. My siblings and I share this space with my grandparents. We have a cat, dog, pig, and hens at home, too. We have running water and electricity at home. My grandparents pay for the utilities. My grandmother owns the house. Our greatest needs are groceries and corn. I say goodbye to you for now hoping God takes care of you and pours out many blessings upon you!
The Living Waters Evangelism Team is speaking to families in Quiche by phone call. They spoke to my aunt to receive information pertaining to me.
With lots of love,
Marta Arely Tino Rodriguez
Translated by: Kalyan Marroquin / AAC Missionary Intern