Guatemala Life Challenge

What is the Guatemalan Life Challenge? One visitor shares how this initiative came to be…

“When I went to visit Barb & Gerry Normand, Directors of PILAS Student Ministry, for the first time last year (2014) – I knew the students they sponsored lived in poverty, but I didn’t think too much about what that meant for meals. It wasn’t until Barb & Gerry told us their stories, that I learned that lunch was the first meal of the day for some of the kids; and that some dads spent more money on liquor than groceries. And no matter how little they ate, the village kids were always expected to work in the fields after school.

It isn’t just the lack of meals they experience, it is also the lack of quantity and choice. For those of you who’ve tried the Whole Life Challenge (“WLC”), which is a high protein, low carb, no sugar diet – you may appreciate how expensive it is to eat in this way. In the Guatemalan villages, the diet is almost opposite. Corn is one of their most abundant crops, so tortillas (made of corn flour) are among their affordable foods – as are black beans, eggs and rice. Meat (mostly chicken), salads and fruits are expensive commodities, and portions (when they can get them) are small.

This September (2015), I will be returning to Sumpango, Guatemala to support Barb & Gerry and the PILAS students. What does PILAS Student Ministry do? They provide educational support services to qualifying students (grades 7+) from the villages of Sumpango. The villages have numerous challenges, which include acute poverty, malnourishment, addictions, absence of educational institutions, lack of employment, and more. And, they lack leaders who can bring hope to their communities and families. PILAS’ goal is to graduate responsible citizens, equipped to initiate personal and social change.

To raise funds for PILAS, and to increase awareness of their food reality, I am doing a GLC (Guatemalan Life Challenge) diet. The week of July 25, I will eat a limited menu of “comida típica” (typical food) similar to what the village families would eat, as seen in this link:”


This initiative, the efforts of one person, raised enough funds to support THREE scholarship students!

How about it? Anyone interested in starting the same or similar campaign and help make a better future for the youth of the villages of Sumpango? Let’s talk!