In his home, Mario helps by gathering firewood, caring for animals and running errands. He lives with his father and his mother. His father is employed as a church worker and his mother maintains the home. There are 3 children in the family.
As part of Compassion's ministry, Mario participates in church activities, Bible class and Vacation Bible School. He is also in kindergarten where his performance is average. Soccer, playing with cars and swimming are his favorite activities.
Because of your sponsorship, Mario will have new opportunities to learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Thank you for your concern and prayers.
Mario lives in the forested community of Barrio El Porvenir, San Benito, home to approximately 800 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, wood walls and tin roofs. The spoken language is Spanish.
The regional diet consists of maize, beans, bread, rice and potatoes. Common health problems in this area include respiratory diseases and intestinal illnesses. Most adults work as day laborers and earn the equivalent of $150 per month. This community has electricity and water but needs a library, employment opportunities, increased salaries and suitable housing.
Your sponsorship allows the staff of Getsemani Student Center to provide Mario with Bible teaching, sports, birthday celebrations and cultural activities. The center staff will also provide educational conferences for the parents or guardians of Mario.
Dotted with Mayan ruins, lakes and volcanoes, Guatemala is one of the most beautiful places in Central America. Mountains and rugged highlands dominate its landscape in the west. The Pacific plain is a narrow belt between mountains and ocean. In the southern highlands, the most populous region is Guatemala City and to the north is jungle. The country is slightly smaller than the state of Tennessee.
Approximately half the country's 13 million people are Amerindian or Mayan, including 21 indigenous groups. Most of the people still live in small farming villages growing corn, coffee, sugar and beans as their ancestors did. They are world-famous for their intricate handmade textiles of brilliant colors in red, yellow, blue and purple. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the country's children live in poverty. The country's official language is Spanish but more than 20 languages are spoken by various indigenous communities. Guatemalans are predominantly Catholic; about 40 percent are Protestants and a small percentage follow traditional Mayan religions. Compassion works within nearly every department in the country.
Much like many of its neighbors in Central America, Guatemala has a history riddled with warfare, coups and economic struggles. Two thousand years before Christ until the early 1500s, the great Mayan empire flourished throughout much of Guatemala. The Spanish conquered the area in 1524, but in 1821, the country gained independence from Spain. Since then, Guatemala's politics have been marked by rivalries and insurgencies. After a series of coups, short-lived rulers and ever-increasing protest and repression, civil war erupted in the 1960s. Several attempts have been made to end the decades-old disputes, the most recent of which was the 1996 signing of peace accords by the government, leftist guerrillas and other factions. Despite Guatemala's troubled history, the country enjoys freedom of speech and religion and continues to have a Constitutional Democratic Republic.
Map of Guatemala
Child's Location: South of Flores