Modesta Lucas Bravo grew up around coffee plants. Her parents harvested coffee as plantation workers in rural Guatemala.
Growing coffee was hard work, and Modesta’s parents didn’t have enough income to send her to school.
Eventually, Modesta moved to El Tineco, a community of approximately 400 people located in southeast Guatemala. In this community, most families make a living through agriculture. It is far away from the city, so both economic resources and opportunities for education are limited.
Modesta started a family in El Tineco and followed in her parents’ footsteps by farming coffee. Even during those challenging times, her Christian faith remained strong. When she describes her family’s economic struggles, she also points out that they “believe in the existence of God.”
Her powerful faith in God drove her to change her life for the better—by exploring her God-given potential in new ways. “I’m so thankful for God’s purposes,” she said, “because he sent us help in our time of need.”
That help came in the form of trainings Modesta could attend, thanks to a partnership with World Renew and a program called Vid y Pámpanos (Vine and Branches).
Vid y Pámpanos is the diaconal ministry of the Reformed Confessional Presbytery in the Quetzaltenango region.
World Renew is helping Vid y Pámpanos with their agricultural work in four of the poorest rural communities of the region.
The training also includes preventive health and leadership development. Through these trainings, Modesta learned about farming techniques and the best practices for growing coffee. She then began to put into practice the skills she was learning. She started to take better care of the soil on her land and even began to diversify crops.
Modesta has now added, among other crops, cacao, plantains, bananas, and pataxte to her plot of land. She has cultivated a garden to improve her family’s nutrition.
Modesta says she has seen significant changes in how she farms, and those changes carry over to how she lives.
She has the drive to improve her family’s living conditions along with her growing techniques. Her faithfulness has continued to grow alongside her coffee.
“[Now] I have a hope that God will always be with us,” she said, “and will give us his blessing.”