Health Talents International

Montellano, Chicacao and Sununche - Guatemala
July, 2004

By Linnea Reed

I have just returned from a week of amazing work. A group from Boulder Valley Church of Christ, in Boulder Colorado came here on a mission trip. We worked in the coastal towns of Montellano, Chicacao and Sununche. Before I start, I have to say that it was nice to spend a week with more gringos, and it was really nice to spend a week with some fellow Coloradans.

The group was so large they had a lot of different projects going on. In the mornings most people would travel to different schools in the area and give a skit on dental hygiene, then give out tooth brushes, tooth paste and dental floss. It was all such elementary stuff to us, but these kids need it, most of them had never even seen dental floss before. Hopefully they helped prevent some nasty problems in the future. In the afternoons all the children in the area were invited to Bible classes. The Boulder group had prepared puppet shows in Spanish on different stories about Jesus and good morals. The kids loved the puppets and the coloring sheets afterwards. Guatemalan children love to color, and for a lot of them it is a special treat. Each day the numbers grew, which was wonderful to see, the kids really wanted to be there. I spent most of my time in the small village of Sununche, translating for the small group of engineers out there to help them build a well. This tiny town had no clean water supply. Sununche is a wonderful town, I quickly became attached; it was hard to say goodbye the last day. Most of the town is family. The patriarch, Lejandro, has 15 children and 80 grandchildren. He and his wife are still healthy and working hard. Bernardo, his son, and his wife Marta are such sweet people. During down times I would talk to Bernardo, who obviously loves his kids and wants a better life for them. Marta and some of the other women in the town showed me how to make tortillas, which is not an easy thing to do. It was quite a site to see a gringa patting out tortillas with the local children and women. I was horrible at it; my tortilla was really ugly but it still tasted good. The children there are so sweet. They loved to hang around us. In the mornings a group of us would come and sing songs, color and play with the kids. They loved it! There was always a good game of soccer to be played as well. I wish I could describe the bond I feel with this town. Everyone loved to talk and learn about my family and tell me about theirs and show me their homes and land. Lejandro showed us his beehives, rubber trees and all the fruit trees. It was beautiful. They are so loving and so hard working. They started to the well before we got there and they had already dug down 12 meters in just twelve days with nothing but a shovel and a five-gallon bucket. I just can't put into words what it was like to be there, to see how little these people have but yet see how rich they are, surrounded by family and filled with faith and hope.

Even more work was done but there is just not time to tell you about all of it. It was an amazing week with amazing people, both the Americans and the Guatemalans.

With joy and love,