“My name is Gabriel García Velásquez and I want to tell you my story before and after meeting Mentors Guatemala. Before meeting Mentors Guatemala, life was very difficult as a farmer here in Huehuetenango for my family. Because of our financial difficulties my two sons were only able to complete the 9th grade.

I needed additional capital to purchase additional seeds for my farming enterprise. If I went to our town’s lenders they would charge me so much interest all of my profits would go to them.

Then I met my mentor Juan. He introduced me to Mentors Guatemala. They treated me with respect and I knew that they truly wanted me to succeed. They didn’t charge me one penny more for the classes and the extra support that they provided.

Before meeting Mentors Guatemala, my family sowed beans and oats. Our house was very humble with a dirt floor, thin boards, and sheets for walls. Today my house is made with cinder blocks and I have a clean cement floor. I have been investing my income in new crops and in improving my home. I am also starting the save for the future.

The first time Mentors Guatemala gave me a loan was for Q3,000 (about $390 USD) and now I am applying for my third loan, of Q5,000.00, (about $650 USD). Investing in my business and purchasing a larger variety of seeds has allowed me to have a profit with each harvest of approximately Q10,000.00. (about $1,300 USD).

If Mentors Guatemala has taught me anything, it is that I must be honest in everything that I do. I know that if I do not fail them, they will not fail me and they will help me fulfill my dreams of cultivating larger areas of land. Making it possible to give work to others, and give a better life to my family.

I take this opportunity to thank the courage and good hearts of the people who donate money to help us. They do not only think about themselves and their well-being, but they share what they have with us. We have limited resources, we struggle to get ahead, but we learn from your kind-hearted example. So, we strive to help others achieve their dreams. Thank you very much for believing in us.”

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