Guatemala Photo Of The Day – El Abuelo

What do you see when you look at this picture?

I see unbelievable wisdom.  I see extraordinary patience.  I see a man whose faith has been weathered by a challenging life.  I see the face of a man who has experiences we could never imagine.  I see struggle.  I see pain.  I see hard work and determination.  And I see a man who is dedicated to his family.

This is a man we came to know as El Abuelo.

Abuelo means Grandpa in Spanish, and he is the grandfather who lives in the first house we built this summer in Guatemala.

El Abuelo works hard in the fields surrounding the village of Xenacoj.  He works hard all day for a small amount of pay (probably $10 a day) in the hopes of providing for his family.  El Abuelo is 72 years old.  His wife is no longer living, but he takes care of his daughter (Betty) and his five grandchildren (Marcos, Wendy, Jose, Fernando, and Rosita).

While we were building the house, El Abuelo lent a helping hand scraping bark off the wooden planks used to panel the side of the house.  He helped hold pies of wood as we hand-sawed pieces to length.  He also looked on providing supervision and ideas for improving the construction of the house.

Every once in a while, he could be found sitting in the shade smiling at our team and admiring the progress of the construction.  When we moved the family into the house, he tearfully hugged me in an expression of gratitude for providing a home for his family.

This is a face I will not forget.  When we return to Xenacoj, I look forward to sitting down with El Abuelo.