Efraín Mendoza Pablo

Efraín Mendoza Pablo

Efraín comes from a very remote community in an area known as the Ixcán, where many refugees from the years of violence and civil war were allowed to resettle.  He was raised by and lives with his mother and does not know his father.  He speaks Mam as a native language and Spanish.  Efraín lives without electricity and has to walk a couple of hours just to encounter a pickup ride to a place to get a bus to Cobán, where he studies on weekends.  This means leaving home shortly after midnight, taking a full day of classes starting at 7 AM, spending the night in Cobán, and using most of the next day returning.

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Ana Mateo

Ana Mateo

Ana is a 25 year old single mother from Santa Eulalia in the department of Huehuetenango, in the western highlands of the country.  In order to get to her small town you need to travel about 9 hours from Guatemala City.  The population in her town is almost 100% indigenous and many of the inhabitants don’t speak Spanish at all, only their local language which is Q’anjob’al.    Ana and her two year old son live with her parents and she shares the expenses of the house with her father who works as a small farmer.  Ana works as a secretary in a health center and earns around $370 which is enough to cover her baby’s expenses and the expenses of her four younger siblings as well as put food on the table.  

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Gilda Hernández

Gilda Hernández

Gilda is 24 years old and studies social work. She is a single mother who lives with her parents in a village of San Pedro Yepocapa in Chimaltenango.  She has a large family.  They are ten members living together in the house: her two parents, five siblings, one nephew, Gilda’s daughter and herself.   The family subsists with the income of four members of the family: one brother working as a store security guard, another one as bricklayer, the father as a janitor in the City hall and Gilda who recently got a job with the literacy national committee.  All together they make around $900 per month, which is not real low by Guatemalan standards, but for a family that large it is not enough.  The situation was worse in 2012 and the beginning of 2013 when Gilda didn’t have a job.

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Dolores Ical

Dolores Ical

Dolores was 16 years old when she applied to PROGRESA asking for help in attending high school.  She comes from an extremely poor agricultural family and lives in a one room wooden house with dirt floors which has no electricity or running water.  She is the sixth of ten children.  Several of the older children are now married and live apart but six of the brothers and sisters live at home with their two parents.

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Lidia Chutá

Lidia Chutá

Lidia is 24 years old.  She lives in Hacienda Viejo, an aldea of San José Poaquil, in the department of Chimaltenango. She is the youngest of 11 brothers and sisters, three of whom still live at home with their mother.  Her father was a farmer who died in 1990 when Lidia was only 7 years old.  Since that time the entire family has had to scramble just to put food on the table.

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