Sometimes it is hard to imagine how difficult life can be for people – especially people from a different country or culture that we don’t know much about.
Life in Guatemala, and places like it, is often unjust – cruel even – for no particular reason.
We often see all the problems in the world, throw up our arms, and cynically think that is just the way the world is, and there is nothing we can do about it – so, why bother.
But often a small effort can make a big difference. It can – and often does – change people’s lives for the better.
One example of this happened this year in the village of Rax ‘Ik.
Rax ‘Ik is a village in the Rio Dulce region of Guatemala, not too far from the main town – “as the crow flies”. Due to the lack of roads, however, it is takes a bumpy 2 hour truck ride, followed by a 4 hour hike, over mountains and through mud, to reach the village.
We came to the village because our local board of directors identified Rax Ik as a village in need of an elementary teacher. Their school had been closed because the government was not providing them a teacher.
We had hired a qualified teacher from the local area for a total price of about $2500 – for a full year– or roughly $200/month.
We were visiting the village to check on the school and the teacher – to make sure everything was operating correctly, as well as visit with the villagers. Something we always do with our projects.
Upon arrival in the village, however, we found out that this was not a typical visit.
It turns out that our local leaders were correct – Rax ‘Ik was in need of a school teacher. But what they didn’t know was that the village had never had a teacher. Ever. In over 40 years of existence, no one from that village had ever gone to school.
Needless to say, the village people were overjoyed with our support.
It’s a great, feel good story – but what does that mean to you and me?
It means that for a measly $2500, we and you our donors were able to bring the power of education to a community that had never, in their history, had the opportunity to study.
For only $200 a month, we planted a seed of hope in a place that had never had it before. We are giving them tools to transform their lives and find a way out of their poverty.
Take a look at the picture above. All of those kids are going to school because of a small donation. Their lives will never be the same. They have been given a gift that can never be taken back.
Not bad, for $2500.