This past weekend, we were given terrible news about little Veronica... please read the following article. Please be aware, the article is very - very sad and graphic. Veronica is now in a much better place. Candace, one of my traveling partners in our 2008 trip to Guatemala fell in love with Veronica right away.... the following letter is from Sharon, of the organization we went down to visit.

In Loving Memory of a Murdered Child

I have been really having a hard time since I heard this news. Ifeel like someone has kicked a hole in my heart. Veronica, was one of our sponsored students last year. Her mother came to us for help to get a replacement for her own false leg. Everyone told us that the mother was very physically abusive to this child. That she did not feed her, there were rumors that she was selling her. She would bring men back to the room where she was living and leave them alone with the child. There was no proof. We offered to help the mother so as to be able to help thechild.

We found a very loving person who wanted to sponsor Veronica. She met Veronica, she fell in love with her. Veronica was so excited to go to school. She had never been. She was 8yrs old.

She went to school for two days and her mother came to the school and withdrew her.
She told us that the teachers were mean to Veronica. The teachers told us that the mother had mental problems, that Veronica was a sweet girl who was really happy to be at school.

We found out that when Veronica was 2 or 3 yrs old that the mother had tied her up to the beams of the roof and beaten her badly. The court had photos of her badly bruised little body. She was taken to hospital. There was nowhere to send her so they kept at the hospital. The mother, who had been arrested, paid someone off, got out of jail and went to the hospital and took the child home.

There had been many complaints made against the mother, the court had a thick file on her.
When we heard that it was rumored again that she was being prostituted by the mother, we had a social worker file papers asking the court to remove Veronica from the mother and award custody to me. There was no one else that wanted her. Veronica's father had re-married and he was scared of the mother, she was capable of coming to the house and being very violent with his new wife and family. The judge called in the mother, she denied everything, they said that it would be better to remove the child, the police had a warrant to go to her home but she was always moving around, they couldn't find her. We were very frustrated that they gave her
the warning that they would take the child from her custody. She then moved out of the area and no one could find her.

Saturday night , little Veronica was raped , sodomized and murdered at a village around Lake Atitlan, The social worker who came to tell me , said that her little body had been torn up. She
was just 9yrs old, the size of little 7 yr old. She was so little. Her mother says that she was drunk, that she doesn't know what happened.

Even though, logically, I know this wasn't my fault, I still feel like I let her down.

This poor little girl had a terrible life, she was starved and beaten by the one person in the world who was supposed to love her.

I hope that the angels are holding her tight.

Sharon (from Mayan Families)

We did a terrific job on the book fair, raising aprox $1,300 worth of books for the kids in Guatemala!

I will send pictures as soon as we get them! :)

The children and I sent out two totes - one for Marcos and one for Oscar.

In each tote we packed as much as we could possibly fit. Washrags, work gloves, pitcher, kool-aide, black beans, book bags for each boy, water bottle, plastic cups, large spoon/ladle, gum, candy,each boy will receive an "American Football."

I am excited for the boys and cannot wait until they are able to open their totes! :)

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