City Moms Blog Network has partnered with Food for the Hungry to initiate change in communities around the world facing extreme poverty. In May 2016, Food for the Hungry sponsored an educational trip to Guatemala for three members of the City Moms Blog Team.
Early Sunday morning, the three of us boarded a plane bound for Guatemala City. There we would meet the team from FH and travel to Huehuetenego to visit the communities of Lopez, Luminoche, and Ical, a village that City Moms Blog Network would be partnering with to support and sponsor children.
We knew that a powerful experience awaited us, but other than that, we were wondering what exactly to expect. What we would soon find as we stepped into these communities and interacted with the beautiful people of Guatemala was that even though they were living in extreme poverty and in conditions that were beyond our imagination, we would find moms surrounding us that we could identify with – moms just like us.
Throughout the week, we saw the faces of these moms light up as their children ran around. We watched them nurse their babies, their shy toddlers climbing on them and scold their little ones as they got a bit mischievous. We saw baby-wearing moms, but instead of carrying their children in the latest Baby Bjorn or Ergo carrier, they were swaddled against their chest and backs in the vibrant, traditional textiles of their native land.
We witnessed community as they met at La Tienda, the town’s simple store, to pick up a few necessities, and they would take a few minutes of their day to chat, to catch up on a little gossip, to check in on each other, and to spend some time with a girlfriend. We were welcomed into their homes where they showed us their kitchens, a wood fire built under a cooktop as opposed to the latest KitchenAid stovetop. They showed us simple wood slats that served multipurpose uses but at night served as a family bed where they co-slept, warm bodies snuggled into the night. And we saw mothers who’s faces beamed with pride as they listened to their children tell us what they wanted to be when they grew up. Moms just like us.
Just as we bear witness to moms in all walks of life in our everyday at home, we saw the same in these communities. There were multigenerational families, grandmothers who served as a strong presence in the lives of their daughters, daughter-in-laws, and grandbabies. We met with single mothers who bore the responsibility of raising their children on their own, and how FH and their townspeople took them on to offer their support.
We saw the FH model of Volunteer Moms who serve the women of their community, offering advice, assistance, and support, just as we do in our own communities, supporting our fellow moms who walk the same paths as we do. We met with the Savings Groups, groups of ten women who combine their resources to help each other out, just as we see moms in Frozen Dinner Groups in the U.S. that meet weekly. Moms just like us.
What we saw most was the universality of motherhood. The commonalities we have with moms, seemingly so different from us, were so prevalent. What we all wish most for is the health and well-being of our children, and hope for who they will become as they grow. We ourselves showed off pictures of our children and beamed with pride in return as the women of Lopez, Luminoche, and Ical asked us our children’s names, ages, and what they wanted to be when they grew up. This bond of motherhood that we felt with these women was so present, so real, so powerful, and how can we not walk away wanting to help, wanting to do more, wishing better for these moms – moms just like us.
This post was originally published on Food for the Hungry’s Blog.
City Moms Blog Network representatives, Beth Zustiak, Brooke Meabon and Stephanie Flies, visited Ical, Guatemala to bear witness to the beauty and the difference Food For The Hungry makes in communities it sponsors.
Won’t you join us in sponsoring a child in the community of Ical, Guatemala?
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For about $1 a day, you can bring hope and change to a sponsor child’s life and the community they live in, through food, education, clear water and medical treatment.
Your gift of $35 a month can truly make a lasting difference and change a child’s life.
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