We arrive in Guatemala City to be picked up by a charter from deepStream. It’s about an hour drive into the mountains to Magdalena. The landscape is filled with political signs for the upcoming election, pedestrian overpasses (as I remember having over the track for Formula 1 in Indianapolis) and many familiar American fast food establishments. We arrive in Magdalena just as school was let out. The children share the streets with automobiles. We are greeted at the team house by Mark Schmidt. After lunch we set out to meet the fine women that make up a Baking School joined by Carlos Lopez and his wife Thelma.
Antoinetta welcomed us to her home. She and her husband, Jose, donated space above their home to provide a place for the women to learn. The women were dressed professionally on in black suit pants and white tops and hair nets. We went through brief introductions. The women, humble. Genuine. Full of joy. Sorrow. Amazing women. Two with young one’s strapped to their backs. A few other children playing in the room adjacent to us. The women on average had 4 to 6 children each. They all spoke of gratitude for the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to provide for their family. One of the women mentioned the extra money she was able to bring in was able to help put her brother through school, or pay for one father’s medical care. They left us with empanadas filled with sweet rice and raisins. We enjoyed later with the bold Guatemalan coffee we were spoiled with.
From the cooking school we walked to La Esquela de Arte. Some of the kids work was on the wall, simply tremendous! We heard Carlos’ testimony and the story that lead to the creation of la esquela de arte. Afterward walking to the home of Christian and his family. This is one of the families we purchased a 12×12 Love Project home for. They are currently living in a home-made of lamina, one room to include the bedroom and kitchen about 6×10 in size. This would be a family we would be working with later in the week. In hearing Christian’s testimony he spilled with gratitude and was at a loss for words. Incredibly humble, a stream of tears falling down his cheek. Mark provided us with some perspective. Christian works in the fields all day and brings home $4 US/day. If it’s a slow day, $3.75/day. He then comes straight home to assist the hired team of 3 on his home. The people of Guatemala are kind. Buenas tardes.