You Can Change the World: Paso a Paso

Jenni White's painting of life in GuatemalaA friend of mine and his family spent six months in Guatemala finalizing the adoption of their second child. That experience inspired them both artistically and practically:

“It is a land of great beauty, but marred by devastating poverty and instability. Guatemala impacted us spiritually as well as aesthetically. We saw poverty and injustice unmasked. The reality of poverty—that some people cannot provide for their families no matter how hard they work—was overwhelming.”

In response, my friend’s wife Jenni created a series of 10 paintings depicting the life and people of Guatemala. They also got involved in Paso a Paso, a nonprofit organization that’s trying to build a sustainable community in a small neighborhood. They’re focusing on education, clean water, safe stoves and job training.

Most families in this community cook with open fires in their home, and as a result the World Health Organization reports that the leading cause of death for children under 5 in Guatemala is falling into these fires. That’s astounding. Paso a Paso is working to replace in-home cooking fires with enclosed wood-burning stoves made from insulated steel drums. You can buy a stove for $130.

In addition to donations, Paso a Paso also sells a few items made locally, including blankets, purses and stationary. Jenni just got back from a trip to Guatemala to work in the community and connect with the people.

Consider supporting Paso a Paso, purchasing some of their locally made products, or buying one of Jenni’s paintings (contact her through JenniWhite.com).

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