Grateful Single Mother

Violeta is a single mum in Guatemala. She has four children, Mario, 4-years-old, Eddy – 12, Maribel – 14 and Marvin – 16. She lives in Parramos, Chimaltenango in Guatemala, a poor urban area where it’s dangerous to walk around at night.

She works casually as a labourer in the fields when there’s work, or as a cleaner in private homes. Her income is not regular, and she’s lucky if she earns $260 a month, which isn’t enough to feed four children, pay utilities and rent.

The father of her children was a violent alcoholic. After her daughter was taken to hospital, she left her his house with her children. Unfortunately, she doesn’t receive any help from her relatives, as they all struggle to make ends meet.

Her son Mario attends our NPH daycare centre from 7am to 5pm each day. This allows Violeta to work or search for work, so she can provide for the family. The children in our daycare programme receive breakfast, lunch and healthy snacks. The centre also provides Violeta with a bag of groceries on a regular basis and vitamins for Mario.

In Guatemala a private daycare centre can cost up to $430NZD per month, so it is a true blessing that Mario is able to attend NPH at no cost.

Violeta lives in a small two-room house made of concrete blocks, a concrete floor and a tin roof. The kitchen has a dirt floor, tin walls and roof. The family own 2 beds, a small closet, a stove, some blankets, but no fridge.

Violeta says that Mario enjoys daycare and is able to learn things that she can’t teach him. Violeta says, “Mario enjoys playing with his friends at daycare. It’s so nice to have him back at daycare. The pandemic was very difficult. There was not a lot of work and the children couldn’t go to school.”

If it weren’t for the daycare centre, one of Violeta’s older children would need to skip school to look after him while she works. Violeta’s goal is to find a steady job so she can provide for her family.

The daycare centre on NPH Guatemala’s main property in Parramos helps 24 families, who are mostly single mothers. This year NPH Guatemala was able to open a new daycare centre in a red-light zone in Chimaltenango, helping more vulnerable children and families.