The feeding programme in San Miguel Dueñas (pronounced “Dwaynyas”) opened in July 1999. However, Living Water International has had a church in the area for almost eight years prior to this.
Dueñas is a suburb of Antigua, the old capital of Guatemala, neatly nestled at the foot of three beautiful volcanoes. On one side, the presence of “Volcan de Agua” looms larger than life – but dead still and quiet. On the other side of this small town are two very large and ominous volcanoes. “Acatenango”, the larger of the two, is like “Agua”, ever quiet; however, the absence of any foliage near the top serves to remind the onlooker that one day her presence may be felt. “Fuego” is another story all together. The sides near the top are covered with ash and show signs of tracks where rivers of molten lava have flowed, and gigantic puffs of black smoke are released from its crater.
Surrounding Dueñas are coffee plantations and green houses full of roses. Most of the people here are simple farmers who work on the plantations or in the green houses. The area is deeply steeped in tradition. The people are of Mayan ancestry and many of them have kept to the old ways. The village has three churches, including ‘our’ congregation – Living Water International. A new purpose built building was finished and dedicated in April 2013. This houses the church, the feeding programme and classrooms.
About 1,000 children are fed here with carefully designed meals of meat, vegetables, pasta or rice. After they have eaten, the children have a time of Bible teaching and activities.
One of the rooms in the building houses a small clinic once a week to give the children basic medical care; further medical care and also dental care is available at our main clinic at Jocotenango, another suburb of Antigua.