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Complete: Income Generating Project for Maria Antonia of Guatemala: $712 Raised! Thank You!

22 March 2010 8 Comments

This project is now complete. Launched: October 24, 2009. Completed: March 21, 2010.

Income Generating Project for Maria Antonia Hernandez Pol (17) of Guatemala
Our goal was to raise $712 . Your donations will fund a tortilla business for Maria Antonia (17) and her family of Guatemala. The project  raised money for the following gifts: 1 gas stove, 1 plastic table, corn, 100 plastic bags, 1 plastic basket, 2 tablecloths, 1 pot, and 1 plastic pot.

$712 Raised! Thank You!

Special thanks to super-donor and Aura’s House Partner, Mike Epler for his $207 donation that finished this project!

Read about the gifts Maria Antonia received with your donations and see photos of her tortilla making supplies.

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Maria Antonio of Guatemala

Maria’s family would like to sell tortillas to generate income. They are renting a piece of land and they would build a small galley to sell tortillas.

The following items are needed to start the business:
1 gas stove
1 plastic table
100 plastic bags
plastic basket
2 tablecloths
1 pot
1 plastic pot

See photos of Maria’s family.

Maria Antonia is the sponsor child of Maria G. of Ontario, Canada.
Maria G. writes:

“I began sponsoring Maria Antonia when she was 10 years old. From the very beginning, when I received her portfolio, I could see the sadness lurking behind the smile on her face. I knew then that I had to do whatever possible to help her.

Through correspondence I learned so much about Maria Antonia and her family. Despite the poverty that surrounded her in rural Guatemala, Maria Antonia had dreams of aspiring to improve not only her own life, but also the lives of her grandmother, her cousin Brenda and her husband (who are now her legal guardians), and their three young children. In letters, Maria Antonia spoke often of her love of school, particularly math and grammar, and also of her dreams of becoming a teacher.

The work days are long for Maria Antonia. Each day after school, she returns home and contributes by doing chores. She takes part in general housework, runs errands, and gathers firewood for cooking. All seven family members live in one room separated by ripped sheets.

I had the opportunity to visit Maria Antonia and her family two years ago and I am very grateful for the experience. Maria Antonia was no longer just the girl in the letters I received, she was a real human being. All of her characteristics were there in front of me. While she was shy at first, she quickly opened up. I could see that she was a gentle soul, respectful to all around her, and most of all I could see the mix of both desperation and hope in her eyes.

When I visited her home, a shack built on a dirt floor, I was shocked at the living conditions she and her three young cousins had to endure. The walls and roof were made of pieces of rusted, corrugated metal. Water leaked through the roof in places and the family had gathered pieces of broken plastic in an attempt to stop the leakage. It was one of the many times on my trip that I fought back tears. Her cousin Brenda works hard to maintain a sense of family by caring for everyone, but in rural Guatemala jobs are few and far between. Her husband works daily but it is not enough to support the four children and Maria Antonia’s grandmother.

When leaving, Maria Antonia’s grandmother approached me. In Spanish she told me that ever since I had began sponsoring Maria Antonia, she had prayed that I would come to visit them. I told her that it was my dream as well.

The money raised would go towards helping the family begin a Tortilla business. I feel very strongly about this project because it will not only help the family improve their living conditions, but it will help them take the first step towards being financially independent. Most importantly, it will ensure that Maria Antonia can fulfill her dream of becoming the kind of teacher who will work to help other children in Guatemala reach their dreams as well.”

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  • Lisa said:

    I made a small donation and will make another next payday. I hope they get the $$$ soon! I would love to see them get a decent house, this is so heartbreaking to see them struggling like this.

  • maria Guido said:

    The last donation I made include $20 from Nicky and Ben from Niagara-on-the-Lake. Thank you Nicky and Ben for making difference in Maria-Antonia life.

  • maria Guido said:

    Many Thanks to Christina for creating a wonderful website, and to everyone at Aura’s House for the help to raise the money to improve Maria-Antonia’s life.
    Thank you Christina, Lisa and Courtenay for the donations to Maria-Antonia’s Project.

  • TK Li said:

    I could not login to CI to make donation to Aura’s House project. The message said “We’re sorry. We were unable to match your account information.” I am still waiting for reply from CI. I am wondering if Aura’s House is aware of the problem.

  • Kristen said:

    Thanks TK. I’ll email Greg at CI now. We need to get going again for 2010 as the folks who normally work with us were on vacation and have just returned. Best wishes!

  • TK Li said:

    Thanks Kristen. The Login to my CI’s account from Aura’s House works now.

  • Kristen said:

    Oh! Great to know. Thanks for telling us about the bug.
    Happy 2010 and thanks as always on behalf of all the needy children you are constantly helping through us and Children International.

  • maria Guido said:

    Many Thanks to every one for the donations to help raise the money for Maria’s family tortilla business. Thanks to all of you, Maria’s family will gain some independence and better life.
    Thank you Aura’s House, all the donors and special thanks to Mr. Mike Epler who donate such a large amount of money to help Maria, it was a very generous donation. I’m very grateful for everything.
    In the near future I will join the donors list to help another child.

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