Not enough hours in the day? Too many chores with working a job for 8 hours and then coming home to all the household chores? Isn’t it wonderful that we have a car to get where we are going, a dishwasher, a washing machine and clothes dryer for the clothes, an electric stove and refrigerator? Even with all these appliances we still never seem to have enough time.
Most of the artisans we help in Guatemala have none of these conveniences. Their lives are extremely difficult. Their hand weaving is their job during the day and they work at weaving for about 4-6 hours or more to help earn income for the family.
They do a lot of walking every day — none of the artisans have vehicles.
Many of them have kitchens that consist of nothing more than what would be called a cooking pit — like an outdoor campfire. This is extremely dangerous because it is so easy for the children to get burnt. If they have a little more money they may have a wood burning stove which is like a concrete barbeque grill.
Many families cannot afford a bed and mattress and use these woven reed mats as their beds.
Some women use a large rock to wash clothes while many others have a pila — which is a large outdoor sink with a washboard built right into it. This large sink is used for all types of washing — dishes, clothes, bathroom sink to brush your teeth, etc. Often you will see women washing clothes in the lake because of no running water at home.
Families don’t eat much meat because they can’t afford it but when they do want chicken for dinner, the work involves butchering a chicken.
Shopping for groceries involves walking to the local market or to one of the stores and then carrying back whatever is purchased.
Most times they work together with other women in the community or with extended family members to get the large jobs done. Even with all the hard work they are joyful and appreciative of everything they have in their lives.
We are all busy — no matter where we live — hectic and busy daily lives caring for our families. Will you take a moment to pray for our artisans and their families?