Ludwin was born in Guatemala a paraplegic. He has practically no use of his body from his shoulders down. He can move his arms slightly with the force of throwing his shoulders; this is how he gets around on his electric wheelchair.
“Thank you so much for taking the time to come see us, we hope that we get to spend time with you again!” Ludwin said to our visiting missionaries during their first visit. They were so happy just to have visitors. Ludwin grew up in an orphanage specialized for disabled children. When he was old enough to do so, he decided to leave the home so he could live with and support his family. He moved in with his mother and brothers and sister. A lifelong friend, Cezi, decided to help Ludwin as it is quite difficult for him to take care of himself and he certainly didn’t want to be a burden. Eventually, Cezi and Ludwin began to have feelings for each other and they are still together today with 3 children.
In 2012, Ludwin’s mother passed away. It was heart wrenching for the family but they keep pressing forward. Ludwin, although he is an amazing artist (he paints with his mouth), was having difficulty selling his paintings. It is hard to sell art when you live in a community that can barely afford food. Ludwin used to spend time with missionaries regularly; they used to live in an area where a traveling ministry would visit periodically and Ludwin was able to learn some English from them.
Whenever Ludwin meets folks he tries to sell them his artwork. He has since sold everything he has painted but now does not have the space to paint more. To cut down on living expenses, Ludwin and his family recently moved into the room they are staying in. It is a 20x20ft room; 9 people are living there. They share a bathroom with the adjoining room. Ludwin’s dream for his family is to obtain a small piece of land so their family can live comfortably and he can pick up his painting again. Where they are living now it is just impossible, they barely have room to move around much less set up an area to paint. Ludwin said one of his former teachers is willing to supply him with whatever materials he needs once he is ready and able to start painting again.
This family currently makes about $125/ month and more than half of that goes towards rent. Cezi and Elias (Ludwin’s brother) make $2 each per day selling bread for a local bakery. The family also occasionally starts new ventures such as helping a local bottling company put labels on its bottles. Virginia, Ludwin’s sister, moved in with the family to help take care of the children when Cezi is out selling bread. Ludwin’s prospects for work is limited to begging for money on the streets until they can afford a bigger place where he can paint. If you follow the link for his website, you can see the pure talent Ludwin has for art and the Serving At Risk Families ministry is working hard to help this family get to a sustainable environment where They can live comfortably and Ludwin can sell his paintings on a regular basis. Click here to see his website where he has displayed some of his paintings. If you are interested in buying one of Ludwin’s Paintings, go to the Servants’ Shop!
For the recent updates on the Mateo Family, Click Here.
Since the majority of this family moved back to Guatemala City in 2015 and Ludwin moved with his brothers to his hometown of Quiche, we have lost contact with them. Please pray that we are able to re-establish communication as we had been working with Ludwin to help him sell more original paintings and prints of his work so he can better support his family.
Hear Ludwin’s story from his own lips! Watch the video to see him at work.