Poverty in El Modelo– the model city

At the risk of sounding like an 80s Sally Struthers infomericial… Imagine what it’s like to live on just 50 cents a day.

I’ve seen a million of these videos asking me for just a dollar a day to feed a hungry child. But I don’t think I’m going to understand that level of poverty until I’m face to face with it.

Our FlyIns class chose from a list of story topics last Wednesday. Jeremiah (a photographer) and I will be working on a story about the what’s been described as the most impoverished village in the Zacapa area.

We got the information about the village from Carlos Vargas, the founder of Hope of Life, a non-profit organization that helps alleviate malnutrition in the Zacapa area. (Our class will be staying at their ministry.)

About 300 families live in the village called El Modelo. The name means “The Model (City).”

Homes have roofs made of woven palm trees and walls of plastic bags. There is no water, electricity or sewage. Women give birth on the dirt floors of the homes. Carlos told Jeremiah he wouldn’t last one night in the model city.

I read another woman’s El Modelo experience on her church’s blog. She wrote much of what I’ve heard.

But how many words can describe that kind of poverty? Can words and pictures even capture the experience?

I guess I’ll only know the answer to that when the semester is out.

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Filed under Guatemalan Social Issue

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