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Filling the days in San Miguel Duenas

Carol Fletcher | Guatemala

A Little Bit of Chaos. While mom Agripina handwashes the clothes, the Coyan kids take care of each other. (© Carol Fletcher, village outside San Miguel Dueñas, Guatemala)

 San Miguel Dueñas sits beneath a volcano in Guatemala. It is a village of tiny corrugated tin homes amid macadamia nut and coffee bean fields.

CIA’s World Facts reports that 54% of Guatemala lives in poverty--6% living in extreme poverty and the elite 2% owning 72% of the agricultural land and cattle ranches. Persistent problems exist for high rates of child and mother mortality and malnutrition, as well as low rates of literacy and contraceptive awareness. Approximately 50% of the population is under the age of 19.

The Coyan family represents these hard truths about Guatemala’s struggle with poverty. A large family, living in a small space, with not enough resources, they also grapple with a child with cancer.

La Asociación Nuestros Ahijados (God's Child Project, with whom I traveled) operates in the village to provide medical care, education, and better shelters. This past year, La Asociacion built 100 homes in the area—the concrete floors decreasing stomach parasites by 60%. The organization also helped the Coyan family with medical costs to ensure 9-year-old Mabelin receives cancer treatments. 

I am a freelance photographer in Chicago.  Currently I'm working on several personal projects:  the people who donate their lives to dog rescue, Cuba's entrepreneurs and the many changes I've witnessed in Cuba during the last 3 years, and my old neighborhood (in film).

These particular images are a selection of those I donated to La Asociación Nuestros Ahijados (the God's Child Project) to support their work for the people of this community.  I hope to return there soon.


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