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Maria Fernanda Ismalej Alvarado  

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  • Age: 6
  • Birthday: January 18, 2009
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Guatemala
  • Center: Bethel Student Center
  • Child ID: GU4470166
Fernanda lives with her mother. She is responsible for running errands. Her mother is employed as a teacher. There are 2 children in the family.

Playing house, playing with dolls and jumping rope are Fernanda's favorite activities. In kindergarten her performance is average and she also regularly attends Vacation Bible School.

Please remember Fernanda in your prayers. Your love and support will help her to receive the assistance she needs to grow and develop.
Fernanda lives on the plains of Aldea Los Jocotes, home to approximately 1,200 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, mud walls and tin roofs. The regional diet consists of maize and beans.

Common health problems in this area include intestinal diseases and respiratory illnesses. Most adults in Aldea Los Jocotes are unemployed but some work as day laborers and earn the equivalent of $188 per month. This community has electricity and water but needs schools, employment opportunities, hospitals and public transportation.

Your sponsorship allows the staff of Bethel Student Center to provide Fernanda with Bible teaching, sports, birthday celebrations, cultural activities and skills training. The center staff will also provide educational conferences for the parents or guardians of Fernanda.
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 Cobán

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Start Sponsoring a Child Today!

Your tax-deductible contribution of just $38 a month connects a child living in poverty with a loving, church-based Child Sponsorship Program.

Your support provides:

  • Medical checkups, which often save lives
  • Nutritious food
  • Health and hygiene training
  • Educational assistance
  • Access to special services like surgeries and disaster relief
  • Mentoring to help children discover their incredible value as God’s children
  • Most important of all, your sponsored child will hear about Jesus Christ and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.

When you sponsor a child, you'll receive your child's photo, personal story and a child sponsorship packet by mail in approximately 10 days.

When children find out they've been sponsored, the joy they feel is indescribable. Just knowing that someone across the globe cares means more than you can imagine. Sponsoring a child in need will profoundly change the future for your child, and will change your own life as well.