best part of this work is not just about giving, in learning
lessons in receiving, in asking for help and permission, but
most of all in humility.
To open our arms and receive a hug, a small penciled picture
or a piece of pineapple from someone who has nothing, has no
price at all.
And, though we all have sad and bitter memories, we also have
happy ones. We are working with children every day in
Guatemala and no matter how bad their situations are, they
always have the brightest smiles every time they see us. Very
few have happy memories to cling to and fewer are anticipating
For instance, just earlier this week, after the most beautiful
smile and the biggest of hugs, Rositaís expression turned to
a sad grin and then she began to cry.
She told us that her dad was drinking heavily every night and
hitting her mother on regular basis. We asked Rosita about
herself and her four brothers? She confessed that he was also
abusing all them.
Her oldest brother, who is 13, after having seen enough of the
abuse taken by his mom, jumped on top of her father to try to
stop himÖ That was a really bad idea, she told us, because
it compelled an increase in the violence towards all of them
including the little ones who are 3 and 4 years old.
this time Rosita had another particular worry. Her mom is
having surgery next weekend and she will have to remain in the
hospital for two or three days. Rosita was desperate, because
her father had been drinking heavier than usual and now she
was not going to have her mom to protect her or her siblings.
She could only talk to us and the psychologist at school, as
she desperately pulled on Deboraís shirt, her eyes full of
tears, begging for help.
Rosita is not an isolated case; she is just one more in the
statistic, one more number. She is luckier than most, because
she also has a sponsor, and that brings attention to a pattern
that can only be changed through the education and support of
the newer generations.
like Rosita, as soon as you think youíve heard a really sad
story you realize you are wrong. Itís simply the beginning.
All the kids we work with have a past and present of horror,
terror and pain, lived out to a significant degree on dirt
Every story we hear is even worse than the previous one,
sometimes it seems as if there is no end of oppression or how
much one human can damage defenseless others.
And, yes, itís an age old story, but until now,
We are working towards a better future for these kids. When
Rosita has children she will be able to instill compassion,
love, and care in them. She will not only treat her kids as
human beings but she will also protect them from unnecessary
This is one of many reasons why we see the urgent need for our
next project, which is called The
To educate a new generation of children like Rosita, it is
necessary to show her that there are different choices other
than violence, submission and abuse. Maybe she will be a
pioneer of a new Guatemala.
Itís only been, ten months since we arrived in Guatemala,
but we are proud to say that the ideas which brought us here
have already taken form, emerging out of the many hours of
work, passion, tears, smiles and laughs, with children,
mothers and families with the help of sponsorships, donor
support, training, and a whole lot of love.
And RositaÖ she and her siblings spent the weekend with an
aunt. This was arranged by the school and they also delivered
the aunt extra food. So, all is well , for now.
of Conscious Service is
because of people like you who
this word to the
Thank you so
important part of the growth of
community and this family of
thanks to our supporters:
Genpo Roshi & Stephanie, Kamala, Eva & Matt,
Kyozen Sensei, Elaine, George, Jennifer, Jethro
& Sima, Richard, Kevin, Danielle, Yee,
MarySue, Neil, Patrick, Kanzeon Sangha, Seamus
& Addy @ MIS Technology, Joanna & The Canberra
Integral Study Group, Paul, Sharon, Marsha, Norah,
Jennifer, Jessica, Kay, Malena, Laurel, Kate, Luisa,