Guatemala Hope Member
"I'll never forget my first visit to Guatemala. When we arrived in the village of El Triunfo I certainly noticed the poverty but what stuck out was the fact that the children love attention in any country. I was fortunate one night when a family came to visit our campsite. There was a mother with several children and I noticed that one child was severely mentally challenged. She was throwing a temper tantrum on the ground and wouldn't let anyone pick her up so I asked her mother if I could try. That began a 10 year bond of friendship with Arielis and her family. Every year I had the opportunity to strengthen our bond whether it was through horsey back rides, swimming or long walks on the beach. She became a great friend.
My wife and I were able to help the family build a modest brick house and purchased some beds for them. Most families sleep on the ground. Last year, I wasn't able to make the trip and was sadly informed that Arielis died at the age of 20. My wife and I are going to return to El Triunfo and continue our friendship and work with her village. We have been blessed to do many trips and have been blessed to become God parents to other children in the village. Our experience in Guatemala has truly been a God send in our lives."
Vice President, Guatemala Hope
"Dating back to my pre-retirement, I was at Future's conference where I identified 'Personally assisting the people of a Third World Country' as a specific goal. While attending Sunday Mass in Woodslee several years later, several ladies spoke about Guatemala and the needs of the people. I knew at that point I wanted to be involved and I subsequently made two trips to Guatemala. Since then, I have gotten involved at the Board level. What sticks in my mind about the Guatemalans is that in spite of the obvious disparity between our way of life, our living conditions, and our comforts, they are a welcoming, happy and contented society, from whom we have a lot to learn."