Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor, is visiting partners and communities in Guatemala along with four FFP colleagues. Hours into his arrival he encountered a family desperately trying to make ends meet. Below is an email he shared with the Food For The Poor staff about the family’s saga.
We arrived in Guatemala yesterday after first being returned to Miami because of mechanical problems, which was a little scary!
In my very first day my heart was broken … I met a woman (Maria) with three children (Stephanie, Dulce Maria and Oscar) at a hospital that we support with medicines, medical supplies, equipment and food, as they serve a very poor population.
Her husband had polio as a child and an infected, untreated cut in the knee that forced him to drag himself on the floor to get around. He eventually learned to use crutches and by sheer force of will he became a mason and, despite physical challenges, he worked in construction. Then jobs dried up and he left for another area of the country with the promise of more work.
As the doctor is seeing them, Dulce Maria breaks into tears and explains that she misses her dad and that her mother has no money to buy food. Then Maria starts crying too and says that there will be no money until her husband returns, but she knows God will not forget them. The doctor then gives them a bag with medicines and food that you all had sent to them, reinforcing that fact.
I am so moved by their suffering and tears, and their willingness to share their pain with us, that I give Maria 155 Quetzals (U.S. $20). I place it in her hand discreetly so as not to embarrass her. Without even looking at it, she is so moved by the gesture that she breaks into tears. I hug her and it soon becomes a weepy group hug. Oscar keeps repeating, “lechita, Mami.” When I asked about this, the mother explains that she had been giving him dry corn flakes for breakfast and now he knows that she can afford to buy milk (“lechita“) to go with it.
I love my job! Thank you all.
Love you, too!!