Meeting Yesika

Blog post by FH Artist Program Office Coordinator Bronwen Dunn 

Imagine a moment when the world stands still and changes all at once.

Today was that day.

I entered a secluded village in the lush, jungle-covered mountains of Guatemala to the smell of burning wood and the sight of tiny little faces behind wired fences. I walked along the dirt road up to the school as small heads popped up in the windows. For some, this moment was the first time they would see people not only outside their community, but also from a different culture, ethnicity and speaking a foreign language. I turned the corner into a small room with several rows of children-filled desks when a petite, dark-haired, beautiful little girl sitting on the front row wearing a yellow blouse and dusty sandals came into view. It was Yesika, my 9-year-old sponsor child from Food for the Hungry that only one month ago was introduced into my world.

I work as the office coordinator for Food for the Hungry in the Nashville office with the Artist Program. I have been on staff for more than a year now and have had a great passion since my first day to experience, firsthand, our incredible work in the field. Last Christmas I heard that I would have the opportunity to join and help facilitate the #fhbloggers trip in August to Guatemala. As soon as I found out, the count down began of when I would head south to briefly submerge in the life of the Guatemalan people.

In the initial first minutes, Yesika warmed up to the idea of this new face. “Who is she? Why does she smile so much? Why is she so tall?” are some of the thoughts I can only imagine ran that through her head in that moment. It seems like seconds later, her hand was in my hand as we were navigating our way up a very steep mountain to see her home. The house stood small, but strong amongst a canopy of towering trees and bushes.

We were welcomed by her mother and her two playful younger brothers standing next to a table set with flowers. There was straw laid out on the floor. A home-cooked meal and each one dressed in their finest clothes. All marking a moment of great celebration and honor. I gave her a couple of gifts, taught her how to jump rope, and we prayed together.

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Photo by Jessica Taylor

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