On a recent trip to Guatemala I met Alejandro* as our group walked with Tita from Escuelita Mandarina to Escuelita Limon. He was just returning from work at a legitimate business in the city… which is rare for the people of La Limonada.
Business owners in the city rarely hire people who live in “the ghetto” because of their perception that everyone from the community is involved in gangs and drugs or simply because the people of La Limonada are looked down upon as a lower class in society.
So, to see Alejandro all dressed up and returning from work was a surprise. As we stood there overlooking the ravine that is La Limonada, he pointed out his home and shared a bit of his life story. He shared of his struggles and hinted of a “crazy” past life. We prayed for him and asked God to give him peace and to forgive him of the darkness of his past.
A couple weeks after we left I talked to Tita and she told me that she met up with Alejandro* as she was walking through the ghetto and they exchanged some brief greetings. Later that day he tracked her down, confessed some specific things regarding his past and broke down crying as he talked about being abandoned by his mother when he was 9 and his younger brother was 4 years old. He spoke of being sent to an orphanage where he and his brother were physically abused. He wept as he shared about the pain of growing up in a world filled with crime, pain and despair.
As Alejandro* shared what life had been like he experienced a burden being lifted from his heart that day.
Tita says. “God sent us to this community not only to reach the children. As long as we seek for God, there is hope for all the people in La Limonada.”
*Name changed to protect his identity and ensure privacy.