Guatemala part I

Its been a whole week since I have been back from Guatamala and I can’t believe I haven’t written a thing so far- its a combination of having my dear little children around all of the time and being so overwhelmed by the experience I don’t really know where to start.

What is on my mind today is how the people in Guatemala have so many things right.  One of which is their sense of community.  Togetherness.  Watching out for one another.  We may think we do that- but trust me, its but a mere shadow of what they have.

True- their houses are mere feet apart.  Built into mountain sides with dangerous, uneven footing and slippery clay underfoot- its like a maze and you wonder how children (and adults) aren’t constantly breaking their ankles.  Yet living there since birth they seem to have adapted.  There is no other way.

Yet is it not that much different than the neighborhoods many of us live in with people living next to us and behind us and in front of us, just a few minutes walk away.  Yet we close ourselves off.  We don’t even know our neighbors.  We shut our doors and do whatever we do in our American houses.  Hop on Facebook or Instagram and “share.”  Its not sharing.

I can’t think of one time I went on Facebook and felt really connected to someone.  Really connected.

However spending nearly a week with groups of women and watching them and seeing them do laundry together, watch each others children, just walking around the village with their babies on their back- it just seemed so right.  I would imagine this is what God would have in mind for his people.

When everyone has a one room cement or tin house with a dirt floor and maybe a makeshift bed of scrap wood and corn stalks, one lightbulb in their house, one window, one door, everyone is on a pretty level playing field.  No one is griping, “well she has TWO lightbulbs!” There is definitely no vacation envy or car envy or Louis Vuitton bag envy.


Instead, they help each other out as needed. When I gave a little girl a granola bar she promptly broke it into three pieces- one for her, one for her sister and one for her mother  The giving is evident- They shared their pop with us, cookies- things that are a sacrifice for them. Yet they gave willingly.

We went to Guatemala to help them- by building houses- but they gave us so much more.

This is the house we dedicated to Lucas.

(Notice many Guatamalans don’t smile for pictures- unless we told them to- because they don’t realize what they look like in pictures. They don’t know they are supposed to.)


Another family we built a house for.


sweet ladies






beautiful children



photo credits  Mariah Nelesen


2 Responses to Guatemala part I

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.