Guarchaj family home (before)

The Manual Guarchaj family completed three years on the FTF Program during which Catarina, the mother, took training in weaving, sewing and embroidery. Catarina’s weaving skills improved significantly wherein she can now sell her products in the local markets. Manual learned to weave fabric on pedal loom and now he regularly weaves fabric in his home to sell. The family received concrete blocks, roofing and other materials to build a two room home with new stove and concrete floor. The family received beds, a cupboard and other furniture as well.

Guarchaj family home (after)

Diego Luis Ajpacaja (below) recently thanked his sponsors (not shown) for the opportunity to build his own home.  He used his FTF training in electrical wiring to wire his new house and now offers his wiring skills to other families as well.  

From a native FTF program worker:  “The food and drink [we can offer you] are not much, but it is the best we can afford and we appreciate the opportunity to share it with you.  A strong and common bond exists between the families in the north [U.S.] and those here in the Highlands of Guatemala.  We are families embraced in a committed partnership, both benefiting from the relationship we share with each other.”

Reflections from another FTF participant:  Catarina Guarchaj said that even though she could not communicate her appreciation in a language the visitors could understand, her feelings of gratitude were “so strong they cannot be held back.”  At the end of her speech, her embrace of the visitors from Spokane told a story of underlying love that “binds our two communities.”

From an FTF Program Manager:  “Your support is an opportunity for many families coping with extreme poverty to become self-sufficient and to make significant life changes . . . in order to live with dignity .  .  as they deserve. "   “The challenge now is to provide . . . training and work with which they can generate income in the future to have a decent life.”

The Tziquin family completed three years on the FTF Program during which Maria, the mother, received training in sewing and, with help from their sponsor, purchased a sewing machine so she could make clothes for her family and extra items to sell in the local markets.  The family also received galvanized sheet metal roofing, concrete blocks, reinforcing rebar, wood beams and cement to improve their house (photo shows original house) and added a kitchen, complete with a cupboard.  They also received a water purification system, farming tools and trees (cypress, pine, avocado, lemon, and lime) to plant on their property for future use. 

From a U.S. sponsor: “Thank you for the picture of my new family.  They are such a beautiful family.  I am honored to remain in this program of support to others.  In this small way, I feel blessed to be a part of giving to someone in need.  Itʼs a great opportunity to look at the faces of these people and feel Godʼs love for them.  Sometimes I feel itʼs the closest I will ever come to Godʼs love myself.”

Pascual and Manuela Tzoc, both illiterate, live with their six children in a two room dirt-floor house made from reeds.  Pascual earned about $37/month as a field laborer.  With FTF help, Manuela learned machine embroidery and bread making.  She now bakes twice a week and sells her goods in Tzamjuyub.  The income helps to pay for school expenses for their children.