I traveled to Guatemala on a Saturday with our national senior account executive from Salem Radio, five of my colleagues from Food For The Poor (FFP) and the 13 coolest Christian radio hosts (some also pastors) that one could ever imagine, coming from as close by as the west coast of Florida and as far away as Hawaii…
Part VIII: A Widow on the Edge
We then visited Catarina Sacrohope, a 27-year-old woman with four young children. At first sight, Catarina’s predicament has much in common with many of the other destitute families we had visited: she is a widow; she is very poor; she lives in a cramped, wretched hovel; she and her children scavenges for food at garbage dumps; she has no means of support for her family; her children are malnourished (the youngest did not stop crying until we gave him some food); their clothing is ragged and threadbare.
|Angel with Catarina and her family|
Yet her sadness was different for the others we had seen – it was more distracted, more desperate, more urgent; more intense. As we walked down the treacherous, slippery, rocky, narrow pathway that sloped sharply downhill towards her house, I understood why.
You see, Catarina lives with her family on the edge of a cliff, literally one foot away from a hundred-foot drop down a ravine that people use to dump their useless garbage, debris and human waste. There is slow but chronic erosion, as the shack is directly in the path of frequent mudslides caused by the heavy rainfall and the area is further afflicted by earth tremors.
Catarina is a woman who lives in constant fear – not only of long-term consequences of malnourishment, contaminated water and other scourges of poverty, but of an instant and immediate danger to the life of her children and her own. She is a woman living on the edge of a cliff that has her teetering always between life and death, robbing her of anything even remotely resembling peace of mind.
To be continued…