Catholic Relief Services For young families living in the mountains of Guatemala, raising a baby can be hard. Most families grow corn and beans for a living, but a long-standing drought has caused harvests to shrink. There are few job opportunities, which means putting food on the table is a daily challenge. That’s why when Norma discovered she was pregnant, she wondered how she would manage. “When I was young, my mom and dad didn’t have money to buy much food,” she says. “My mom would split one egg among four children.” Norma wanted more for her son, Victor.
But at age 20, she didn’t have much experience beyond helping her mother around the house. So, she looked for help. She found it in a CRS-sponsored program that teaches young mothers how to raise healthy children, grow nutritious food in small gardens and manage a healthy diet. Plus, CRS provided Norma with food throughout her pregnancy and monthly medical check-ups during Victor’s first two years of life.
“I learned a lot of beautiful things,” Norma says. “I learned how to take care of my boy and what foods to feed him so that he can grow healthy and strong.”
Now, Norma is sharing what she learned with others as a “mother monitor.” “It makes me proud to share the experience I had and the lessons I learned with other women,” she says. It makes Norma proud—and makes her community a better place to raise a family.