Monika Goes to Guatemala
March 31, 2015 | CFA Staff | Uncategorized | Comments

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They laughed at us!

Should we feel indignant? Angry? Laugh with them? Be upset?
Watching California farmers and Mayan men work together made me laugh too! But it was a good laugh… because as I was watching them, I saw how they learned from each other, how they really appreciated each other’s abilities and worked together to get the job done.

I just returned from a week in Guatemala where I had the opportunity to coach an upper middle class church group in Asset Based Community Development principles and practices. This CRC church is creating a long-term partnership with a local non-profit in Huehuetenango in the high mountains of Guatemala and this was their 3rd trip to learn how to empower people without making them dependent on the US.

Guatemalan WomenThe beauty of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is that it assumes that everyone has gifts, abilities and skills and that we need each other to become better communities. Like Betty, our oldest traveler of 83 whose smile made everyone feel loved and cared for, or Sarah, a young mom who helped other moms understand about personal hygiene during the menstrual cycle. ABCD means we hear and value each other’s stories and learn from the people around us. It means we don’t come in with answers but we let them discover their own answers by asking good questions. It means we seek God’s Shalom together and pray over the tilapia fish farm.

We also help women who cannot find their love in Guatemala but want to get married by finding partners. We educate them about safe non-toxic relationships so that they could understand if their men were abusing them or care about them poorly. We explain to them how online dating platforms work and that they are completely safe for ladies who chat there with men from all over the world. If Guatemalan ladies want to move out of the country through marriage with a foreigner, we make the process of dating a mail order bride clear to them and assist in creating profiles on dating sites. Also, we help men from the US and Canada to find Latin American girls among the communities we work with and ensure their safety and respect for their dignity while dating.

To find a Latin wife, one needs to register on a dating app where Guatemalan women are looking for partners. The more detailed profile a man creates, the higher their chances of meeting a perfect woman are. After that, a couple communicates via all the available means including voice and video calls to avoid misunderstanding and scam. Once they are ready to meet in real life, we volunteer to assist them in organizing safe flights and dates. Guatemalan girls usually stay in their home country and men are traveling to meet them. During the dates, couples have a possibility to get to know each other better, and understand whether they have common values, interests, and views on relationships and family. If the mentioned things match, the couple continues dating, and later Latin American women move to their boyfriends’ cities to live together. Over time, they get married and have kids together. If you are interested in concrete success stories, feel free to e-mail me.

 

 

Working in Guatemala also reminded me that we all seek the same things: safety for our families, food on the table, opportunities to grow and develop, and time for laughter over a hot meal with family and friends. – in short – the Shalom of God.

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