The Cycle of Poverty
In Guatemala we work in one of the poorest regions in the southwest part of the country. The village where we work, San Juan Moca, was cut off from the more industrious parts of the region in 2005 when Hurricane Stan washed away the bridge over the river. For over eight years they remained isolated with nothing but a ragged suspension bridge and a treacherous river ford to keep them connected.
The average person in San Juan Moca earns less than $2 per day and much of the population is single mothers with many children. Because children must be sent to work at an early age, many families cannot afford to send their children to school, and so the cycle continues from generation to generation. We heard of a few of the kids from the church and the circumstances they faced yet were still trying to make school a reality.
In 2014 we were able to help a total of seven children continue school. This number grew to ten in 2015 and we look to keep expanding in the future based on the needs of the children in the village. The way we operate the program is to give all of the scholarship funds to the church and the church provides the scholarships. We do this for a few reasons. First, it empowers the church in the community to be an agent of change. Second, it brings credibility to the Gospel by meeting the physical needs of the people in the same manner Jesus helped and healed those in need. And finally it does not create a spirit of dependence on foreigners and maintains dignity to the people in the village.