The Coyan family outside the front door of their corrugated tin house. The village sits beneath a volcano, amid a macadamia nut farm and near a coffee bean plantation.
While mom Agripina handwashes the clothes, the Coyan kids take care of each other.
Mabelin admires a delicate green dress, a recent donation from La Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados.
The Coyan girls treasure their Barbie dolls and Disney princesses. Guatemala has the highest population growth in Latin America and 50% is under age 19.
While abuela Maria cooks the meal and mom Agripina handwashes laundry, the Coyan kids occupy themselves.
Abuela Maria peeled and boiled the meal over a stove fire. When cooled, everyone picks from the basket.
Nine year old Mabelin has cancer. The Coyan family receives help for her treatments from La Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados.
Only one of the Coyan girls attends school, one reason for Guatemala’s 69% literacy rate.
The Coyan kids rest on one of three beds in their one room home.
The boys look on as the girls demonstrate backbends.
Mom Agrapina rests after several hours of hand-washing laundry. Evelin plays with Franklin.
A day of washing hung in the rain, in the Coyan family courtyard.
The Coyan boys play with a guitar and with a cell phone’s camera in the evening. There is no TV.
A neighbor visits as night falls. There is no TV in the home. Conversation and community provide the entertainment.
NIght falls around the corrugated tin homes in the village of San Miguel Dueñas.
A life of poverty under the volcano in San Miguel Dueñas, Guatemala. 2013.
San Miguel Dueñas sits beneath a volcano in Guatemala. It is a village of tiny corrugated tin homes amid macadamia nut and coffee bean fields.
CIA’s World Facts reports that 54% of Guatemala lives in poverty. The elite 2% owns 72% of agricultural land and cattle ranches. Persistent problems exist with high rates of child and mother mortality and malnutrition, as well as low rates of literacy and contraceptive awareness. Approximately 50% of the population is under the age of 19.
The Coyan family represents these hard truths about Guatemala’s struggle with poverty. A large family, living in a small space, with not enough resources, they also have a child with cancer.
La Asociación Nuestros Ahijados (God’s Child Project) operates in the village to provide education, clothing, and better shelters. In 2012, La Asociacion built 100 homes in the area—the concrete floors decreasing stomach parasites by 60%. The organization also helped the Coyan family with medical costs to ensure 9-year-old Mabelin receives cancer treatments.
Photographed March 20-22, 2013.