ABOUT THE COUNTRY
The history of Guatemala is a succession of foreign mastery: first by the Spanish conquering elites, and then the wealthy corporations of the United States. The last brutal Guatemalan Civil War began in 1960, pitting the wealthier urban Ladinos against the poorer rural Mayans. Both sides engaged in death squad tactics, although by all counts the losses were far greater on the villagers’ side as the Ladinos controlled the government and the military.
The civil war forced the middle class to either take sides or flee the country, further dividing the classes. After 36 years of war, a peace agreement was signed in 1996, and the country has been gradually healing since that time. Understandably, great animosity still exists between rich and poor, Ladino and Maya, although they all identify themselves as Guatemalan or Chapines.
VisionTrust runs three Learning Centers in Guatemala, in the communities of Cruz Blanca, Los Verdes, and Villa Canales.
Rut Chamale, our Country Director, has been building relationships with the native Mayan people of Cruz Blanca since 2008. While usually hesitant to outsiders, over the past several years the village has come to love and trust Rut and the VisionTrust Learning Center. The La Comunidad Learning Center began in 2013 and serves impoverished, non-indigenous children from the Los Verdes community and the neighboring community, San Vicente. In 2014, the Villa Canales Learning Center officially became a VisionTrust program site and serves impoverished children, most living in temporary shelters.
At these Centers, we strive to provide holistic child development through high quality nutrition, health interventions, education, and spiritual discipleship that will not only impact the child, but the community as a whole.
Meet the Kids
MEET OUR LOCAL HERO
When Rut Chamale graduated college in 2007, God gave her the desire to serve children living in poverty. Her heart was broken when she noticed that the majority of children in Mayan communities didn’t have dreams for their future. She knew it was time to start working on her own dream of helping children have hope for the future by sharing God’s love.READ MORE +