Chuchuca, where your child lives, is an area located high on the side of a mountain in the state of Quiche, 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. Chuchuca is a farming area where corn and black beans, the staple elements in their diet, are the major corps. The Quiche Mayans who inhabit this area trace their ancestral roots to the ancient Mayan civilization. They normally speak a Mayan dialect called Quiche - however, Spanish is becoming more common. Very little money ever changes hands in this area as they live on a barter system.
Many greetings! It is a pleasure to greet you hoping that you are doing well. My name is Catarina Marleni Gutierrez Calachij, and I am a happy and healthy 3-year-old girl. I am not in school yet because of my young age. In my free time, I like to play with my stuffed animals. My favorite color is black, my favorite animal is a dove, and my favorite food is fried chicken.
Both of my biological parents live with me. My father works as a day laborer, farmer, and travels to the coast to harvest sugar cane to support us economically. My mother is a hardworking housewife and weaves typical Guatemalan clothing to help us economically. I have three siblings: 1 brother and 2 sisters. I am joyful to say that we are all healthy, and God has taken good care of us. Also, we attend a Catholic church. I live in a village called Chuchuca, and it takes me 30 minutes to walk to the feeding center. My humble house has walls made of wooden planks, the roof is made of tin sheet, and the floor is made of dirt. There is one room and a separate kitchen. We also raise pigs and hens. We have neither running water nor electricity. We obtain water from a river that is 5 minutes away from us. At night we use the flashlight from our cellular devices to see. The house belongs to my father, however when my father tried to travel the United States, he used the house as collateral when he took out a loan from the bank. He did not make it across the border and now must pay the debt to receive the house back under his name. We have not been able to start paying the debt. Our greatest needs are groceries, clothes, 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 mother to receive information pertaining to me.
With lots of love,
Catarina Marleni Gutierrez Calachij
Translated by: Kalyan Marroquin / AAC Missionary Intern