In his home, Gerson helps by carrying water, gathering firewood and helping in the kitchen. He lives with his father and his mother. His father is employed as a farmer and his mother maintains the home. There are 3 children in the family.
Gerson is not attending school because he is too young. Soccer, playing with cars and playing with marbles are his favorite activities. He also attends church activities regularly.
Please remember Gerson in your prayers. Your love and support will help him to receive the assistance he needs to grow and develop.
Gerson lives on the plains of La Fragua, Zacapa, home to approximately 3,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, mud walls and corrugated iron roofs. The most commonly spoken language is Spanish.
The regional diet consists of maize, chicken and rice. Common health problems in this area include parasites, malnutrition, and respiratory illnesses. Most adults are unemployed but some work on plantations and earn the equivalent of $106 per month. This community needs literacy programs, vocational training, employment opportunities and drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs.
Your sponsorship allows the staff of Bethel Student Center to provide Gerson with Bible teaching, medical and dental check-ups, hygiene education, literacy programs, school supplies, education, uniforms and medicine. In addition, literacy programs are available for non-schooled children. The center staff will also provide meetings and workshops for the parents or guardians of Gerson.
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: In Zacapa