The very first day we went out to serve the country of Guatemala, our hosts took us to a village that was unlike anything I have ever seen. Hundreds of people were living in the poorest of conditions – literally a garbage dump. Their only source of food was what they could scavenge for in piles and piles of trash.
The heat in this part of the country was so intense some piles of trash would catch on fire. Styrofoam, plastic bottles, and more creating fumes that children and families breath in every single day.
The village’s livestock is often times sick or diseased and cannot be used as a source of food. They have no jobs, no education and no source of income. Their only hope for survival is selling handmade crafts, fruits and being fed by missionary trips and volunteers that travel to their village.
Their houses are built from what they can find in the trash. Most of the houses were comprised of large pieces of cardboard and tarps. If you were lucky, you found a large piece of tin you could use as a sturdy wall.
Everyday, they sit and wait for buses to travel down their long dirt road. When they see buses, they know there will be food. They run down to meet the volunteers and wait in line to be given their source of food for the day.
“You do not truly know what you were born into until you witness what others have to struggle through to simply survive on a day-to-day basis.” -HIM Volunteer Ryan Feser
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