With 9 members, this is the biggest family yet that we are serving. Carolina Gudiel is a hard worker. We’ve learned how she puts her kids through school: she takes out a huge loan in the beginning of the school year and works hard all year to pay it off just to repeat the process the next December. In case you are wondering, Guatemalan loans and credit services aren’t as regulated as in the United States. Some loans can cost up to 40% interest! Yet Carolina keeps doing all she can to make sure her children stay in school, do well, and succeed so they can secure a good job after school and support their family. When we heard of Carolina’s dedication to her children and how hard she struggles to put them through school (and the way she does it), our hearts broke for this family.
What if Carolina can’t find enough work? Part of Guatemala’s struggle is that an estimated 50% of its population is unemployed. Of course, there are plenty of little fruit stands and handicraft shops around to buy trinkets and food at less than 50 cents each, but Carolina knows this won’t put her kids through school. When we first met this family, Carolina was absent. She was working far away from home during the school vacation months (October-December) because she found good work elsewhere. Carolina does jobs from house cleaning to house painting. Any type of legitimate employment she can find she jumps on and has become a Carolina of all trades! While she is away, Carolina’s oldest daughter (Cindy) takes care of her younger siblings and 5 year old son, Javier. Andrea, who is 19 has since married and moved out of the house, however there are still 7 children attending school. The three oldest: Cindy, Katherine, and Daniel find temporary work when they can in order to help with the cost of their schooling. Byron, Fernando, and Eduardo attend New Life League School. If you have been on a short-term trip with Servants to Guatemala, you’ve probably stayed right next to the school building they attend. It is said that this is the best school in the area, and its tuition proves it: $90/month per child to attend!
Carol’s vision for her family is to make sure they all graduate at least at the high school level. She knows that as the importance of education grows in Guatemala for job placement, anything less than a high school degree will make them more susceptible to falling into the cycle of poverty. It pains us to see that Carol has to take out high interest loans that she isn’t even sure she will be able to pay off just to put these kids through school. This is on top of having 9 mouths to feed. She is certainly proud that her hard work ethic is being learned by her children because if not, they probably wouldn’t be able to go to high school! Family sponsorship for the Gudiels provides the funding for low interest microfinance loans so they are not taken advantage of by the loosely regulated loan system in Guatemala.
For the most recent updates on the Gudiel Family, Click Here.
You might notice that there haven’t been any updates on this family since we have gotten the website up and running. That is because this family has become self sustaining! We have not had contact with them for some time. Please pray for the boys to continue to excel in school, Carol who is working in the United States and sending what she can to support her children, and Cindy who is running the house in her mom’s stead.