The Pulex Bucu family is one of many families that suffer from the poverty that exists in Guatemala. Marcelina is a middle aged woman that has had to work since she was a young girl. She is the mother of eight children whom she has had to support through arduous work in the fields and by offering cleaning services. With much sacrifice and effort she has kept her family going for many years. Of Macelina´s children, the only one that stills lives with her is Romelia , a mother of five children. Neither of these ladies was able to go to school due to a lack of resources; for this reason, they are not able to read or write. Three of the five of Romelia´s children were conceived with a man that soon after abandoned them. The other two children have a different father that rarely ever goes to visit them and does not contribute to their wellbeing monetarily.
Marcelina has been the one that has worried for the wellbeing of her five grandchildren since her daughter, their mother, does not have the resources to support them. Romelia, the mother of the children, has not been able to find a decent job since she never attended school. The only income that Romelia´s families counted with when they were young were the small wages that the oldest daughters earned cutting coffee. Blanca and Esperanza, daughters of Marcelina, worked at Finca Castellano in Escuintla while Luis Alberto worked at Finca El Valle exposing himself to high temperatures, sunburns and stings or bites from the surrounding animals. The income that the three earned was not enough to cover all the expenses the family had, and many times they went without. Due to the large amount of family members that made up the family, the family was usually only able to prepare one meal a day.
The conditions of the home in which the Pulex family lived were very poor. The home consisted of walls made of cane, a roof made of old metal sheets, and dirt as the floor. Rain often entered the room where the family slept and turned the dirt to mud. During winter, the family was not able to sleep since they did not have enough blankets to protect them from the cold. Marcelina often cried because she did not have a safe place for her or her grandchild to live. At the end the year 2010, the God´s Child Project was introduced to this special case and helped the family with the construction of a new home. Since the family did not have water or electricity, a service team donated a solar panel for the family to have a light source at night. This solar panel helped keep the family warm at night and allowed the children to do their homework at night, Additionally, the family received clothes, shoes and blankets from the project.
Months later Luis was integrated into the ITEMP program as a result of exploitation at work and being exposed to inhumane conditions at the young age of 8 years old. The program quickly began to support Luis by providing him with a scholarship to attend school, food for him and his family, and providing basic medical care for the entire family among other things. Through the ITEMP program, it became obvious that Luis was not the only one in his family that needed help. The sisters were also exposed to disease and sexual abuse where they labored and for this reason they too, along with their mother, were extended the help from the program. The women enjoyed the benefits of the Atkinson Family Clinics, the mother´s club, and some technical courses that would aid them in finding a new job.
Currently, Luis is in first grade at the Scheel Center. He is a smart child with dreams of overcoming all obstacles in life. Among the services that have been provided for Luis is money for transportation to school every day. Luis hopes to one day become a teacher in order to be able to educate his community and help them rise out of poverty. He is very happy because he no longer has to put his life in danger in order to work and receives help with food and education from the project. Marcelina and Romelia now work making different items to sell and maintain the home. The entire family is happy because they now have a secure place to live . Additionally, the family has seen great improvement in the development of Luis as a student and hope to one day see him as a teacher. The family is confident that with God´s help and assistance from the God´s Child Project Luis will accomplish his goals.
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La Antigua Guatemala,