Have you ever heard of El Portrerillo, Guatemala? Of course you haven’t, and here’s how I know: I googled El Portrerillo, Guatemala, and you know what came up?
It’s tiny, forgotten, needy.
It’s been waiting on us.
Wilson Lumber has a Caring Team, a small group of employees who meet regularly to determine how to utilize company resources to bless our employees, our community and our world. As we have a good start on our employees and community through other programs, we decided to partner globally with Mission Firefly, a local organization that began ministry in Guatemala several years ago helping villages with clean water, clothing, shelter and much more. Partnering with Mission Firefly was a perfect fit for how we were looking to help globally.
So a small group from the Caring Team visited El Portrerillo, as well as several other villages in rural Guatemala, earlier this month. We certainly could have helped in any of them. But the tiny village of El Portrerillo seemed to us to be the neediest, and at the same time the one we could help the greatest.
We met with the principal/teacher of the school and two of the dads of children there. There was also a very merry and very giggly band of children highly interested in what we were doing, though I doubt they understood a word we said. After meeting with them and seeing a little of the village, all agreed that this was the right place for us to be.
The village of El Portrerillo is a very small village in a valley about 45 miles west of Guatemala City. It consists of about 60 families, and most work in the fields surrounding the village. There is no clean water. There is one school for 1st through 6th grade with only one teacher for all 19 kids. That’s right, one teacher. The school is terribly underfunded and needs everything from another teacher to desks to simple school supplies.
They turned away many kids because there is only one teacher and parents that are able choose to send their kids to different schools close by because the teacher is overwhelmed.
But we can help.
When asked, they listed a number of things they need for the school and community. On the list were things like clean water, healthier breakfast, or a fence around the school.
We will most likely begin immediately providing a more healthy breakfast for the kids every day. We will also start paying for another teacher to come to the school. And of course we will begin planning future trips there, most likely two more this year.
Our Core Values drive us to always do the right thing and treat others the way you want to be treated, among other things, and we believe it’s the right thing to give back a portion of what God has so graciously blessed us with to the community, here and in the world.
So we want you to know that when you choose to do business with Wilson Lumber you’re not only buying lumber or doors or windows, you’re giving back too, helping care for people here and now in El Portrerillo, Guatemala.