Judy Moore and I (Deedee Murphy) traveled to Guatemala earlier this month to participate in the CEDEPCA/ USA Board meeting and hear about CEDEPCA’s work with their Disaster Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Institute of Biblical Studies and Intercultural Encounters.
We were able to meet Betsy and Eric Moe, our PCUSA Mission Coworkers who help to facilitate their Intercultural Encounters.
We heard all about the amazing partnerships that CEDEPCA leads like the Tamar Project for girls and the Josef project for boys. We saw the health kits that the Women’s Ministry team passed out to girls while teaching them about their sexual health.
We visited Casa Migrantes that provides a space to stay for migrants passing through Guatemala on their way to the USA or after being deported. A trip to a local church showcased the new ministry started by a grant from CEDEPCA for youth to learn the skill of baking bread so they can help pay for their education while earning an income.
Of course, we traveled to the Heart of Women’s sewing collective to purchase scarves, bags and purses. A new sewing initiative was also started when 23 sewing machines were donated to Copearte, a sewing machine project funded by SDOP (Self Development of People) through the PCUSA One Great Hour of Sharing. Look for some of their products at our Alternative Gift Market.
Our last day of travel was to Xela to visit the Fraternidad Presbiteriales Mayas and hear the amazing stories of women learning to read and write through Bible studies while also breaking through the barriers of a patriarchal culture. The pride they showed in their faces while telling their stories was inspirational. The picture below is of Emelina Lopez Mendes who never went to school. After Habitat for Humanity built a house for her they left her a Bible. She began learning to read the Bible through the courses taught by the facilitators at CEDEPCA.
We were also able to visit the home of Justa, who received a grant to make chocolate in her home, so she could have an income while working at home. It was delicious!
I am honored to serve on the Board of CEDEPCA/USA and look forward to sharing more about its inspiring programs. We are planning a trip this fall, October 13 – 20. Stay tuned for more information or contact Deedee at [email protected] or Judy at [email protected].