Eugene Cho

“vacationing” in a place with the 4th highest murder rate in the world

Hey everyone. Thanks for your love, support, and prayers.

Minhee and I (and one of my ODW volunteer staff) are currently “vacationing” in an “urban ghetto” marked with the 4th highest murder rate in the world. We’ve taken some personal vacation time to travel to Guatemala as invited guests (for a few days) to do research, learn, and network with some NGOs for some possible future partnerships. We are spending the bulk of our time with an NGO called Lemonada International.

We’ve heard and partly witnessed some painful stories of violence, drug abuse, broken families, and the ugly cycle of extreme poverty.

There is an estimate of 60-100K people living in the urban ghetto known as La Limonada. It is an urban slum community built into a rhine that runs through Guatemala City…Many of the families live with no running water or electricity. The geographic location of the community and the sub-culture of extreme poverty have produced a lack of education and job opportunities, spiritual darkness, and unsustainable living conditions.

Having said this, we’ve witnessed some amazing stories of love, courage, and hope.  We are seeing what we’ve seen in so many places that give us hope in the fight against extreme global poverty:

Never underestimate the power of love – as it’s lived out in compassion, action, and justice.

Yes, while there are very visible expressions of poverty and brokenness, La Limonada is (as the Guatemalan founder, Tita, shared with us) a beautiful place because of the beautiful people – especially the kids. There’s no guarantee that ODW will partner with Lemonade International as we’ll need to do our due diligence but I have no reservations asking you to do me ONE BIG FAVOR and visit their website to learn more about their story.

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10 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    At your suggestion, I visited the website. There is a line on the site used to desciribe La Limonada that says: “Even Santa Claus doesn’t visit La Limonada.”

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by eugenecho: Why are we in a Guatemalan “urban ghetto” marked with the 4th highest murder rate in the world? http://bit.ly/9QwcCH

  3. danderson says:

    Eugene,
    Are you familiar with Agros? It’s an organization which works in the poorest rural areas of Mexico and Central America in agricultural and community development. They work at a grassroots level and are trying to find the root causes of poverty in the area. I think they have established close to 20 working sites in Guatemala.

    Also – just talked to the wife of a Honduran pastor friend who has gone down to Honduras on a medical mission. Even though he’s from the country, he’s amazed at the poverty and lack of basic health care in the area he went to. Near riots over medical supplies. But as the wife pointed out: poor economically but rich in spirit.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      yeah, i’m familiar with them. they’re based out of seattle and are doing some great things.

      my odw staffperson that’s on the trip with minhee and i was in guatemala three years ago to do some film shooting for a project with agros.

  4. Matt EHH says:

    Thanks for the info Eugene. Life changing stuff.

  5. […] said that, I was reading an article online on the airplane en route to Seattle from Guatemala (research trip for One Day’s Wages) about a 15 year old girl who ended up getting an abortion […]

  6. Steve says:

    I missed the last few days…and look to really pay for it.

    From the street here in Guatemala, I can assure you that Tita is the real deal, and worthy of support. Limonada is one of a number of ministries, where the wounded victims have become the nurturing healers….powerful…AND a rebuke to the powerful men in churches in Guatemala.

  7. Travis says:

    Speaking of Jesus… there’s a spirited conversation about to begin here about a controversial topic. Your opinions would be welcome there!
    http://www.reliefjournal.com/2010/03/29/does-it-matter-if-the-president-believes-in-jesus/

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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on.

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