I’ve been in Antigua, Guatemala  for 10 days, but it feels more like two… the time has just flown.  My name is Jenni and I came to help and encourage Paso a Paso’s founder and missionary in partial residence, Stephanie.  We’ve spent most of my days working in Barrio La Cruz—a  smalll community with an overwhelming mixture of
tropical beauty juxtaposed with the despair of poverty..

How can I describe Barrio La Cruz to you?
…Ancient, rusting  U.S. school buses carting people to and from work and the city
…The sound of pigeons walking on the metal roofs of the shacks that house far too many families
…Kids playing around their mother’s legs as she cooks over an open fire.
…The smell of fire, food, and other less appealing smells mixed together
…Inclines that make you wonder how far you would roll if you fell down
…The sound of women washing in open wash basins filled with dirty water while their children play

Barrio La Cruz touches all my senses and lingers. As I head home, I
am grateful for the opportunity to have been here and for the welcome I
received in the community.

Today we learned to make tortillas with Rolando’s mother and sister.  They laughed as we attempted the continuous patting motion required to produce a round, thin tortilla.  They are one of the few families in the community who have a stove and they use it to make and sell 400 tortillas a day.  After they buy the corn and pay to grind it, if they sell all of the tortillas they make, they profit about 30Q or $4. They spend about 6 hours a day to profit this little.

During a break from tortilla making, Rolando’s mother, unwrapped her wound from her recent surgury and infection.  I was amazed at the massive scaring from what should be a small surgery (for a hernia).  If you’ve read the earlier posts, you’ll know that complecations from diabetes increased her chance for infection.  She got a massive infection, that has now healed, but has since run out of her diabetes medicine.  Changing diet is tough when you are just scraping by and doctors and medicine are often only sought when problems become extreme.