Pueblo Modelo, or “Model Village,” is an initiative in Guatemala that is igniting hope and providing opportunities to the people in the Pueblo Modelo community through economic empowerment. Today we are concluding our “Pueblo Modelo Trilogy,” which walked through the impact of the initiative and introduced you to the man who is overseeing the project, Sam Montero.
In this week’s blog, we hope you enjoy an interview between Sam and Dairyn, the woman who is leading Pueblo Modelo CarePoint in Guatemala. As Sam described in May’s blog, “The most important component in the Pueblo Modelo initiative is the local leadership. They are the ones doing the job 24/7. They are the ones who gained the trust of the community.” Dairyn knows her community well, and in this interview describes its opportunities and challenges and her vision for seeing it flourish. Sam describes Dairyn, saying, “Dairyin is a natural leader. She is passionate about helping and developing her community. She is an important part of what is happening at Pueblo Modelo. To see how she is growing with her leadership, taking responsibility in the transformation of her community is amazing. Working with her has been a blessing.”
HopeChest is blessed to have Dairyn investing in her community and actively working toward its development. We hope you enjoy learning more about her heart and how her story has led her to step up in her community.
Sam: Can you tell us a bit about where you grew up and what your youth was like?
Dairyn: I grew up in La Fragua, a small neighbourhood near the center of Zacapa, in a rented house. In our family, there are three sisters, and I am the oldest. My mother was the one who took care of us. At the age of 10, everything changed at home. My parents started with problems, and they separated when I was 15 years old. This really affected me emotionally. I was not doing well in class. I had an internal collapse, and that led me to make negative decisions.
At 17, I got pregnant. It was a really delicate pregnancy. I had an emergency surgery. When I turned 18, I finished school with a business degree. With the support of my family, I managed to achieve it. My encounter with Jesus and change of paradigm made me a different person with a new focus on life.
Sam: What was it like seeking employment opportunities in your community before being connected to HopeChest?
Dairyn: It is really difficult to get a job in our community. I had to look for a job in Zacapa. This allows me to keep serving my community and getting some income to help my family.
Sam: What challenges and opportunities do you see in your community?
Dairyn: Some of the biggest challenges I see that we need to face in Pueblo Modelo are:
– change of paradigms (perspectives) of the people
– changes of culture, and example just be on time
– develop a sense of dignity
– believe that they are capable and have the capacity to do things and change their future
– have an entrepreneurship spirit.
But at the same time we have a lot of opportunities in our community to grow and change our future. Some of them are:
– the emerging generations — we are a young community and we can work with the children to change their mindset.
– We have a great relationship and link with the schools of the community, that is a huge asset to develop our community.
– Pueblo Modelo is a young community with less than 20 years of existence, so we can change our culture too.
– And we have a great opportunity to bring change to our community because there are organizations like HopeChest, interested in improving the community.
Sam: What obstacles are you overcoming as you work within your community to bring transformation?
Dairyn: Pueblo Modelo is a small village with a culture of indiscipline. They don’t really want to change. People at Pueblo Modelo want everything given away. At the same time, they have this mentality of consumerism…so I would say we need to change the mindset of the people, to change the culture, and once we change the culture we will become a Model Village for Guatemala.
Sam: How did you get involved with Children’s HopeChest? What past experience do you bring to your leadership role with HopeChest?
Dairyn: I was working at the church as a volunteer. There, I’ve learned about teamwork. We worked with Servant’s Heart ministry, teaching of values at the school in our community. I am also part of the administrative team of the church, I have worked with children and adolescents. I think God has been preparing me for this job.
Sam: Is there anything additional about how you and your family’s lives have been impacted by being a CarePoint Coordinator?
Dairyn: I have seen through this the confirmation of God for my purpose here on earth, we have felt challenged to serve with greater effort.
Sam: Can you talk about the joy/fulfillment that you experience in this role?
Dairyn: For sure, see the changes in the children at the school at Pueblo Modelo. But one of the most fulfilling moments is meeting a child who is part of the school physically disabled. He walks using his hands, and despite that he fights to achieve his dreams, with enthusiasm and perseverance. That is a huge example of what we want people at Pueblo Modelo to become.
Sam: What is your vision for Pueblo Modelo? Describe the “Green Tree” of how you want to see it flourish?
Dairyn: I would like to see people living with dignity. Living with the values of the Kingdom of God, with a lot of opportunities for all and to be a model for other communities. A leafy and stable tree that produces a lot of fruit, that gives many benefits to nature, that produces life and that is a symbol of hope and rest.
If you missed one of the previous blogs in HopeChest’s “Pueblo Modelo Trilogy,” you can read the first one which introduces the initiative, here. And you can read the second post in the trilogy, which introduces Sam, here.