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Guatemalan women uplift the impoverished

The women behind Potter’s House Association, Andrea Marroquin and Gladys Guitz, impacted students both in classrooms and during chapel by sharing their stories of transformation from the garbage dump community of Guatemala.

Former Walton scholar and 2012 graduate from the University, Marroquin, has been working for the association for a year and a half alongside Guitz, who has for the past 29 years.

Their association has many facets, from community development to vacation bible school, but Guiz said it simply started from doing a favor.

“We need people with an open mind, when you start news things you need to be flexible, we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do, maybe we still don’t and God is still defining that,” Guitz said.

Potter’s House Association’s vision is, “That every beneficiary child and youth, through their personal relationship with God, will reach the maturity they need to pursue their own holistic development and will contribute in the fight against poverty by influencing their family, community and nation,” according to pottershouse.org.gt

The women made this clear as they shared personal stories and the poem; Christ has no Body, by St. Teresa of Avila, which stressed the importance of serving God.

Belinda Henriquez, senior from Honduras, had to opportunity to spend time in Guatemala this summer with the Guatemala Water Project trip, and enjoyed hearing from Guiz and Marroquin.

She observed the importance of family during her time in and around the garbage dump community.

“Family integration, or “La familia” as we would say it in Spanish, is crucial for sharing the gospel around the community,” Henriquez said.

She said that she noticed people’s need for perspective to know how to help.

“As a community, we have to understand that people are not the problem, they are the solution! Besides being called from God to serve our neighbors, serving others in need is a way to encourage them and give them power to see beyond their present conditions and limitations,” she said.

Henriquez thought Marroquin did a great job emphasizing how valuable people are in their community, and how unique talents and gifts are crucial for development.

“Potters House in Guatemala is making a huge impact on the lives of the children and family. It is encouraging to see the lives being transformed by the program,” Henriquez said.