Mausers' trip to Guatemala
In March of 1999 the Mauser family traveled to Guatemala to visit the buildings constructed with money raised in Daniel's name. It was an amazing and rewarding trip!

During our trip we were hosted and escorted by Bob Hentzen, the President of the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (see
memorial funds story) , along with his wife and son. He's an American who has spent most of his life living and working in South and Central America. He's quite an amazing guy who's really dedicated to helping the less fortunate.

A school was needed

CFCA needed only $31,000 (just a rudimentary structure compared to our schools) but ended up raising over $77,000! We traveled to Guatemala to meet Evi for the first time and witness the dedication of that school, plus another building being constructed elsewhere with the extra money!

High School/Trade School being constructed

We were really impressed with how far an American dollar goes there. The school they are building in Daniel's memory has a 14-room high school and a 6-room elementary school. The elementary part was done already, and the high school was about 2/3 done. They had a very nice reception for us in San Ixtan, complete with a Mass said in Daniel's memory. It was very moving, with school children singing beautifully. As seen in the photo, they installed a beautiful plaque and picture of Daniel.

Tom, Linda & Christie in completed elementary school

Inside a completed elementary school room in San Ixtan.

Plaque honoring Daniel on the new school

The plaque placed on the school in San Ixtan.

Meeting Evi

It was a thrill to finally meet Evi, our sponsored child, who was born just one day before Christie. Evi was brought to the school dedication by her aunt, because her mother was out picking coffee.

Evi suffers from epilepsy (it's somewhat under control with medication), and has other health problems that have held her back. Her father died a few years ago, and her family is very poor. She is very shy, is very far behind in school, and is now receiving training as a seamstress.

A new library!!!

We then traveled a hundred miles away, to the city of San Lucas Toliban, which lies on Lake Atitlan. There we saw the other structure being built with the CFCA funds. It was not a school, as we had assumed: it was a LIBRARY!!! What a pleasant and symbolic surprise for us, given that Daniel's life ended in the Columbine library. And how pleasing to know this is the first library for this city of over 20,000 people!

Once again, we were surprised to discover how much could be built with less than $40,000: a two-story building, complete with books, computers and a t.v. and VCR. . The building is being built mostly by local apprentice laborers, though there were a number of college students there from Illinois on spring break providing voluntary help.

Appreciative community

The library is adjacent to the parish school and church. They held a Mass for us in the church (built in l572!). After the Mass they presented us with gifts, including a beautiful embroidered shirt, an embroidered blanket, and a wonderful wood carving of "Daniel in the lion's den" carved by a villager. It was all quite moving. Afterwards, we visited each classroom, and the children brought us handmade cards. They were so appreciative and friendly. We were particularly impressed with the spirit of the schoolchildren we met. They seemed so energetic and enthusiastic, not downtrodden, despite their poverty.

School kids in San Ixtan

We visited a number of mission sites. We were very impressed with what CFCA and others are trying to do there. Of course, we developed an appreciation for how much we have in America, and these people's strength inspired us and their suffering provided us with a context for our own our suffering.

To learn about CFCA or to become a sponsor of a child yourself, check their web site.

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