This is Alvinna. She is seven years old and she was one of our waitresses at Ronnie's local comedor. She works because, like so many Mayan children, she has a poor family that cannot afford to send her to school. School requires uniforms, shoes, and supplies. Alvinna has many brothers and sisters, some older and some younger. None have gone to school.
Dean has decided to sponsor Alvinna. We went to see her on our last day in Acatenango and let her know that he was going to buy her the things she needed so she could go to school. She will have to wait until next school year.
There are many, many unwed teen mothers in Guatemala and so families can get quite large. Many live in small, dirt-floored shacks. The women all do their wash by hand in the pilas.
We hope that Alvinna takes full advantage of the opportunity of an education. She will be the first in her family to go school. Ronnie says that a few days later he came home to find her, her father, and four younger siblings waiting outside his door. Her father came to give his thanks and to see if there were possibilities for his other children. Ronnie hopes that he can find other families who will be interested in sponsoring. There are plenty of organizations out there that do such sponsorships, but how much money does the organization take versus getting to the child? With Ronnie you will know that 100% of the money will go to the child.
On our last day in the village we hosted a pinata party. Dean had never experienced a pinata and so he had bought two pinatas and candy to fill them. We went up the hill to where Ronnie is building a house and invited children to come. There were about 100 kids and a bunch of parents.
We started with those that were under 5. They, of course, had no power in their swings to bust the pinata. We did not blindfold this group either. Hector was helping to organize the children as best he could.
There were a few minor injuries and cries as the children swarmed on the candy. That always happens. We did pass out a few little bags to any who were too small or too timid to participate.