Local pastors share a compelling vision to serve special needs children in the high mountains of Guatemala that combats superstition and history of isolation. Convicted that their faith has prepared them for action, the association welcomed Orphan’s Heart and Third Lens last week to assist them in planning a center. With a mission to confront the prevalence of families whom have children with birth defects and the stigma that has isolated them, the center will be a source for assisting the family with education, therapy, and counsel.
Departing on a windy mountain road from regional city Huehuetenango, vehicles pass over arid mountain passes that lead to San Juan de Ixcoy. Nestled in the crevices is the village of San Lucas, where families maintain roots that keep them connected to the land and culture with distinct language and customs. Arriving and anxious to stretch a leg, the community give a warm welcome from both young and old. Gazing over the site, a beautiful crystal clear stream holds the eye. Workers moving rocks and sand take a break to share a cup of “atole” (corn drink) with us and instantly there is desire to know the source of inspiration that has brought all of them together.
Leading this association are cousins Oscar and Lazaro Garcia. Oscar and Lazaro, both pastors in different communities, have invested in relationships with other spiritual leaders in surrounding communities to build a group of workers and commitment of resources to the work. The ability to use many hands to advance the work is an asset they share with partners in planning the project’s timeline and additional needs.
Building on the partnership with Orphan’s Heart and their extensive work with vulnerable children in Guatemala, Third Lens will assist the association with planning and design of the center in coming weeks. This fast track project is harnessing the assets held by the unity of the believers and their leadership with their communities.