Lorena Trujillo, Treasurer

I grew up in Grand Junction, CO with my mother, Margarita Alvizures and my brother, Diego Trujillo. Growing up in a single-parent household in the United States, there was never extra money for a lavish life. I grew up with the basic necessities to live off of, in other words, we were poor. With all the great opportunities I was given I was able to attend Colorado Mesa University and graduated with a BS in General Accounting and a BBA in Human Resources and Economics. I am currently working in my line of work at Family Health West.

After visiting Guatemala, I quickly learned poverty in the United States is 10 times better than poverty anywhere else. There is government assistance, free public education available to all, indoor plumbing, clear drinking water, hot running water, and reliable electricity. Whenever there is a person or family that ends up in financial hardship, there are multiple programs that help you and give you a hand up during difficult times. My first visit to Guatemala was a real eye opener of how fortunate I am to live in the United States. The abundance of poverty was astonishing. The more remote places we visited, the more poverty followed.

On the way to where my mother’s family lives is a section of extreme poverty where families don’t have enough money to fully clothe their children. They were walking around naked. I was told that is how they live until the child grows up a bit and feels embarrassed not being clothed and they find whatever clothes they can find to cover their private parts. They usually just have one or two outfits to change into. 

Guatemala is a beautiful country with the tropical rain forest view, but for the countryside people, it is a place where they have to wake up very early every day to earn just a couple of dollars a day. The ones that are physically able to work, walk hours to go to work and are there by 7am. Work is usually not offered year-round but only during harvesting months. There are men, women, elderly, and children working just to survive. Many children prefer to work rather than go to school so that they can help their parents feed their younger siblings. It truly broke my heart seeing those young children unable to enjoy their childhood. The few children that are able to go to school also have to walk great distances just to get an education. Most schools only offer up to a middle school education. If children are even able to reach high school, they most likely have to go into town and pay to get a high school education. For the majority of people in the countryside see education as only for the more fortunate. 

Poverty in Guatemala is a whole different level of poverty that you will not see in the United States. I am very fortunate to have experienced poverty in the United States and not in Guatemala. Please help us by donating to Growing Hope Guatemala in hopes of children getting their childhood back.