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Children’s Day in Guatemala


OK, I was going to post about the new house we are living in, but it is going to have to wait.  Our friends at El Barrios from Christ made us an offer we could not refuse.  Pastor Nacho asked us to help with a chicken barbecue for a young women’s prison and to speak before lunch.  There is a holiday a week in Latin America it seems and Monday Oct 1 was Children’s Day here in Guatemala.  Chicken, beans, rice and condiments and as you will see gifts for children and some pregnant teens were purchased.  Cindy and I loaded the gas grill on the Vine Van Sunday evening and were up at 4:00 in the morning to get to Ignacio’s house before 7:30.  It is a traffic thing.  No traffic and they are only 30 minutes away.  Well there is coffee and breakfast too.

When we got to Pastor Nacho’s house there was a rush to load all the groceries, gifts and set the three pinatas in the back seat.  Fortunately none of the pinata’s were made to look like Chuckie from the horror movie.  It was a little unnerving to look in the rear view mirror and see three pairs of eyes in a fixed gaze looking back at you.  Back into the traffic and another hour plus to go less than 6 miles.  We went through the gate and the inspection process.  We had a tour of the facilities.  There are about 45 inmates all female between ages 13 – 18.  This particular facility has mixed gang and non-gang inmates, with four children living with their mothers and four pregnant teens in population.  We were surprised by a show with skits, dance and karaoke.  As good mothers would the children were included if old enough to participate. One child acted as lead singer of the band El Tigre’s del Norte (The Tigers of the North).  He was dressed in black and gold cowboy outfit and had  a black mustache and goatee.  He was into it and was the delight of the crowd.

El Barrios for Christ has worked with the administration to convert a room into a library.  There is space next to the library for creating a room for the young mothers and children.  The idea is to allow the children to have a place to play and be separated from population for much of the day.  Also the mothers would get training in nutrition, cooking, mothering skills and discipleship classes.  The estimates for materials for roof and painting is about 1200 dollars.  I will forward this project to a couple of construction teams that are friends of both Vine International and El Barrios for Christ.

We saw the initial pinata battles start and then it was time to start cooking.  The chicken was awesome covered in a mustard, orange juice marinade.  Beans, rice, tortillas, and cake filled out the plates.  El Barrios bought enough food to feed about 60 plus people.  Ignacio and I taught on God as Father and our need for a Savior.  One young lady answered many of my questions.  We will get a Bible to her and some that are participating in discipleship classes with the help of friends of ministry from upper South Carolina.

Please check out the photos of this wonderful day.  Pray for these girls and the staff of both the prison and El Barrios for Christ.  Pray also for the dear lady that is the senior warden.  Her three year old son died from illness a few weeks ago and she jumped in and petted the children in this prison.  It is a difficult thing I would think.

Next post will be about our new home here in Guatemala.  We are truly blessed.

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