Chuchuca, where your child lives, is an area located high on the side of a mountain in the state of Quiché, Guatemala. Life in this area is very difficult and very isolated from the outside world. It is more than a two-hour walk to the nearest market town of Zacualpa. Chuchuca is a farming area where corn and black beans, the staple elements in their diet, are the major crops. The Quiché Mayans who inhabit this area trace their ancestral roots to the ancient Mayan civilization. They normally speak a Mayan dialect called Quiché - however, Spanish is becoming more common. Very little money ever changes hands in this area as they live on a barter system.
Hello! My name is Armando Alex Mendez Ruiz. My birthdate is April 20, 2013, which makes me 10 years of age now. This year I am repeating 3rd grade at school. I like the color black, and my favorite animal is the duck. I love eating fried chicken. I am in good health and so is my family. My father is Roberto Mendez Garcia. He works as a farmer and goes to pick coffee beans on the coast during the harvest season to supply the family’s needs. My mother is Candelaria Ruiz Ruiz. She does the housework and raises sheep and goats.
We do not attend any church for now. My father owns the house where we live; a nephew and some brothers-in-law also live there. There are two rooms made of adobe walls with a roof made of tin sheets and a floor that is just dirt. We have no running water or electricity services. So, we bring water from a nearby river with the help of “tinaja” (plastic jars containers), and we have solar panels to get light. Our priorities needs are groceries and clothes. I walk about 10 minutes to arrive at the feeding program. My mother Candelaria Ruiz provided my personal information to the Living Water staff for my registration in the program. Take care of yourself. May God bless you!
Bunch of hugs,
Armando Alex Mendez Ruiz
Translated by: Violeta Hernandez / A-A-C Secretary-Antigua Guatemala