What an incredible and unforgettable trip to Guatemala!
The memories are so vivid, particularly of the children – whether they were laughing joyfully as we played chase, jumped rope, and enveloped them with the parachute; or, watching us patiently and curiously as we took their heights and weights. Or, like our last group, running after our truck, frantically waving goodbye until we were completely out of sight.
And then there are the mothers – beautiful, hardworking, gracious and remarkably resilient. But none more so than Vicenta. She lives in El Barranco with her five children – all together in one room with a dirt floor, a tin roof and no mattresses on their makeshift beds. She finds work when she can, cleaning houses or making beaded jewelry for sale. She does her best to support her children on her own and to make sure they stay in school.
You can see the worry on her face, but also her strength, and above all, her love and her commitment to her children. The family has so many needs, but Vicenta is grateful for the help she receives, including the vitamins. She talked about her youngest son as she held him close and described how he was malnourished, unable to eat and hold food down. After taking vitamins he regained his strength, and now has a good appetite and plenty of energy.
The needs of this family, and others like them, are so vast and daunting, and almost incomprehensible. But I am thankful and hopeful for their futures, knowing that Vitamin Angels and its local field partners, like Mayan Families, are addressing malnutrition every day and playing such a critical role in improving the lives of these women and children.