We’re happy to let everyone know that after a brief pause due to COVID-19 restrictions, the nutrition program in the La Labor region of Guatemala is up and running once again—though temporarily in a new form.

The Missionaries are in ministry in La Labor, which has a large central parish, Sangre de Cristo, and 14 smaller chapels out in the countryside.

Before the arrival of COVID-19, volunteer cooks gathered twice a week in the La Laguneta community outside of La Labor, where they prepared a wholesome lunch for as many as 90 children.

 

When Guatemalan health authorities issued restrictions on large gatherings last year, those meals had to be suspended. The death in September of Fr. Bill Beuth, C.PP.S., who oversaw the program, was also a blow.

Now, the pastor of Sangre de Cristo Parish in La Labor, Fr. Abel Cruz, C.PP.S., is pitching in to get the program on track. With the help of Jose Luis Jolón and parish volunteers, they are delivering food monthly to the families in the program so that meals can be prepared at home. Families receive beans, rice, sugar, eggs, corn meal and cooking oil.

Volunteers continue to track the weight of children in the program.

“This is a temporary bridge while COVID restrictions are still in place,” said Mark Giesige, director of mission advancement for the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Cincinnati Province. “The volunteers intend to go back to preparing meals once restrictions are lifted.

“Thanks to the many donors who support this wonderful program,” he added. “We’re hoping to expand this program into other communities. It really makes a difference.”