Melanie lives with her father and her mother. At home, duties include caring for children, making beds and helping in the kitchen. Her father is employed as a laborer and her mother is employed as a seller in the market. There are 2 children in the family.
For fun, Melanie enjoys basketball, singing and reading. She attends church activities regularly and is in primary school where her performance is average.
Your love and support will help Melanie to receive the assistance she needs to develop her potential. Please pray for her.
Melanie lives in the mountainous community of Momostenango, home to approximately 100,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of cement floors, brick walls and tin roofs. The primary ethnic group is Mayan and the most commonly spoken language is Kiché.
The regional diet consists of maize, beans, bread, chicken, beef, rice and potatoes. Common health problems in this area include respiratory illnesses and intestinal diseases. Most adults in Momostenango work as street vendors and earn the equivalent of $350 per month. This community has electricity and water but needs vocational training centers, hospitals and improved housing.
Your sponsorship allows the staff of Soplando Vida Student Center to provide Melanie with Bible teaching, sports, birthday celebrations, cultural activities and trainings with specialists. The center staff will also provide educational conferences for the parents or guardians of Melanie.
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: Northeast of Quetzaltenango