Traveling Guatemala, Building Alliances, and Feeding the Hungry

August 24, 2017

Sara Chambers, Senior Copywriter, Food for the Hungry

My recent trip to the lush mountains of Guatemala left me even more in awe of our work at Food for the Hungry (FH) and deeply in love with the beautiful people of this rich country.

Left to Right: Alliance to End Hunger’s Tony Hall; Food for the Hungry’s Lucas Koach; Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC). (Photo: Sara Chambers/Food for the Hungry)

The purpose of our trip was to show people of political influence the success of our work on fighting chronic malnutrition in Guatemala while recruiting advocates for United States foreign aid. While many of our friends on Capital Hill happily think well of our work, it’s another thing entirely to offer them a first-hand experience, to walk the trails to community gardens, shake the hands of leaders, witness the smiling faces of healthy children, listen to the personal accounts of mothers, and see the charts documenting growth milestones. Being there makes all the difference and we need all the help we can get.

A recent survey of Americans revealed that a shocking majority of people believe that over 25 percent of the United States national budget is dedicated to foreign aid, when that number in fact only represents about one percent. However, that penny on the dollar investment in the people of other nations, not only represents the expected Christian humanitarian response to need and suffering, it’s also the most economical way to bridge foreign divides and create allies, reduce the need for military interventions, and stimulate global economies.

I had the pleasure of traveling with The Alliance to End Hunger Executive Director Emeritus Tony Hall, along with Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina and Lucas Koach, who is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy with FH. Together, we visited two communities and heard stories of transformation made possible by collaborations from all sides, including national foreign assistance via funding from USAID. FH walks with these communities for years to identify their largest obstacles and works to create, long-term, sustainable solutions.

Photo: Sara Chambers/Food for the Hungry

I know our guests from Washington went home with a refreshed sense of purpose and determination to help the poor and hungry. If they were anything like me, they not only saw the need and the poverty, but they saw the richness of the people there. They saw their culture and their devotion to their communities. They saw their capabilities to learn.

However, my biggest hope is that they saw their own role in bringing opportunity to their new Guatemalan friends and others like them from all over the globe. The best part is that being an advocate isn’t a task reserved for politicians and lawmakers. Your influence makes a monumental difference. Here are a few ways you can advocate for the vulnerable:

Contact Your Representative and Senators

Contact your member of Congress on behalf of the vulnerable and ask them to support U.S. foreign assistance programs, which help lift the poor out of extreme poverty.

Share on your social media platforms

One of the biggest ways that you can leverage that influence on behalf of the vulnerable is by sharing stories of impact. We hope that you’ll share the message of hope and ask others to join you in your advocacy efforts.