A Community of Support in Times of Crisis

December 29 3 Minute Read????

A Community of Support in Times of Crisis

Hello December 29th, 2023

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On February 16th, 2022, a deafening explosion rang throughout the streets of Guatemala City, and with it, Oswaldo’s worst nightmare became a reality. While waiting at the bus stop for his wife, Sandra, to arrive, he spotted the source of the sound in the corner of his eye. His heart fell as he realized his wife’s bus had just been in a horrible accident. Hurtling himself into the midst of the aftermath, Oswaldo sprinted toward chaos to relentlessly search for his wife. When he found her, she was barely breathing, lying within 16 yards of the epicenter of the explosion. Shocked by what he had just witnessed, he truly thought Sandra was gone. 

Oswaldo pleaded with her to fight, “Sandra, wake up! Please stay with us; stay for your kids!”   

Miraculously, she stirred, mustering just enough strength to stay alive as she was rushed to the hospital. There, Sandra was treated for punctured lungs, shattered kneecaps, a broken collar bone, and loss of sight in one eye.  

“The last thing I remember was getting my bag as I was getting off the bus. That's the only thing I remember. I don't know how long I was in the hospital. I kept asking what happened to me, and no one was answering me,” shared Sandra.  

The road to recovery was long and arduous. For an entire month, she was in and out of the intensive care unit, where Oswaldo had to be her full-time caretaker. This took an exceptional toll on all of Oswaldo’s family, but especially on Perlita, his youngest daughter who was born with Down syndrome.  

Growing up with a disability, Perlita needs specialized care on a day-to-day basis. However, while her mother and primary caretaker was in critical condition, Perlita wasn’t able to get the attention she desperately needed. Her sisters stepped in to help with her care, but they were having a hard time coping with their mother’s tragic accident. With everyone Perlita dearly loved preoccupied, she started to feel depressed and did not want to interact with others. Perlita became excessively withdrawn and preferred to be alone in her bedroom.  

In the midst of crisis, Tebow Down Guatemala (TDG) stepped into the gap. At TDG, where Perlita now regularly receives therapy and other resources she needs to thrive in her community, the caring staff stepped in during her family’s time of need. TDG offered to care for Perlita so the rest of the family could focus on other added responsibilities while Sandra recovered.  D_1.jpg

“It’s hard to see Perlita and my family in pain. But I think that's helped us. That shared pain helped us bond as a family. It helped us stand up for each other. I had to step away from work for a while, and my daughters were basically in charge of everything. They made sure Perlita was fed and dressed and took care of everything at the house,” shared Oswaldo.  

While Perlita’s family grew stronger in resilience, they were also strengthened through the support of TDG, receiving the groceries, resources, prayers, and encouragement that they desperately needed.  

“We were never out of food. Tebow Down Guatemala helped us with bags of groceries. My daughters were so excited to receive them. They knew exactly what we needed in our darkest times. They never left us, and because of that, I believed God never left us,” Oswaldo said. 


At TTF, it is our mission to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. In their heartbreak, fear, and uncertainty, we are so grateful for the opportunity we had to offer support to Perlita and her family, support– which is not always readily available to families living with disability.  

However, there are still so many other families in Guatemala City who still need that same love and support. With your help, we are building another campus that will extend our reach to 250 students and their families. TTF Family, will you not look away? See Them. 

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