| Nov 7, 2023
No Longer Sleeping on the Floor
This past month we were able to support two families who arrived on our doorstep looking for aid. Don Miguel* and Doña Margarita* have 5 children between the ages of 3 and 14. Doña Candelaria* has 3 children aged between 6 months and 8 years old. The two families rent rooms in a house on the outskirts of Antigua with another two families. Each family has a room to themself and they all share a kitchen and bathroom.
The families are originally from San Antonio, Quiché, around 5 and a half hours away from Antigua. They moved to Antigua to find better opportunities for work as, in San Antonio, they could only get a job working in the fields. In San Antonio they earned around Q30 ($4) a day and were not guaranteed consistent work. Often they went without food.
Don Miguel and family moved to Antigua around 12 years ago. They married young and moved to find better opportunities. In Antigua Don Miguel works as a shoeshine in the streets of Antigua and Doña Margarita washes clothes and sells tortillas. They earn around Q1300 ($173) a month for the 7 family members.
Doña Candelaria moved to join her other family members 8 years ago after the birth of her oldest son. She left the father of her two oldest children as he was an alcoholic. She also washes clothes and sells tortillas, making around Q400 ($53) a month for her and her 3 children.
Last month, Doña Margarita and Doña Candelaria visited us to ask for support for them and their children. We filled out our socioeconomic form with them. We were struck when we learnt that neither family owned any beds. The family members were sleeping on the floor on pieces of cardboard and blankets. We decided to carry out a home visit to check up on the family and confirm that what we had been told was the case. When we visited the house we realised that it was indeed true and that the children had never slept on a bed before.
This week we were able to find the donations to buy the two families a bunkbed each. We drove to the house in the pouring rain, stretching over puddles to unload the beds from the pickup truck and get them inside before they got too wet. The children were literally jumping for joy as the beds were set up in their rooms, giving each other and our staff members hugs of excitement and gratitude. Their smiles for the photos we take as evidence said it all.
Yesterday the family arrived at the Dreamer Center to receive their vegetables. Both Doña Margarita and Doña Candelaria have signed up to be a part of our Women's Social Empowerment programme. They will take part in workshops and adult learning classes to learn new skills which they can add to their CV and use to start a new business or enterprise.
At ANA we work to prevent trafficking and slavery through addressing the root causes. By providing improved living conditions, education and emotional support to the Lobos Families we are able to protect them from the possibility of further migration and all the dangers that come with it.
The GOD’S CHILD Project and ITEMP have been working for 30 years to break the chains of poverty and slavery through education, housing and healthcare as well as direct intervention. Please click the link below to donate to support us in our ongoing mission.