Sandoval Family

InnerCHANGE Guatemala City

Guatemala City is one of the largest cities in Central America, with a population of 3 million people registered in 2023. Like every city, Guatemala City has its contrasts and high-risk areas (red zones), where many people go unnoticed by other citizens because they live in violent communities full of gangs, alcoholism, and drug addiction. In red zones, the majority of deaths correspond to young people between 12 and 29 years old. Unfortunately, there is a lack of adults who are willing to get involved in the lives of youth and families. The red zones lack hope, and young people die without knowing the true Jesus since He seems distant. Our InnerChange team is in Zone 3 of Guatemala City, where the city's garbage dump is located and where poverty and violence mark daily life. Many families survive with what they collect every day at the garbage dump, with extended work hours of more than 12 hours and earning less than 10 dollars a day. The Sandoval family strives to be a part of inhabitants' daily lives and to present Jesus in a relational way, creating opportunities for comprehensive development in the environment in which they and their neighbors live.

I, Fito, was born and raised in Zone 3. I worked in the garbage dump for 17 years, was involved in gangs, and was a drug addict until Jesus literally reached his hand into the garbage to transform me and reveal Jesus’s love to me. This is what drives my desire to serve my community along with my wife, Nanci. We have been married 19 years ago and we serve together, along with our three daughters:Ashlie (13), Keyla (4), and Daphne (8 months). The Zone 3 community is desperate for God’s love and for people who desire to be a part of their lives. We show who Jesus is with our lives rather than simply preaching with words, inspired by John 17:3 which says, “And this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

We work with at-risk youth and young people, ranging from 12-30 years old, from red zones that are considered vulnerable to gangs, family disintegration, and drug addiction. Additionally, we work with teenage mothers, their husbands, and children. We carry out activities that allow participants to know and experience the love of God and we help them grow in their faith. We serve as a bridge between local churches and youth. We have impacted many young people in the area over the years with our programs, Bible studies, discipleship, camps, and relational activities. Everything we do is focused not only on the Gospel, but also on revealing God’s kingdom here, in our neighborhood.

One specific program we have is a family integration program which consists of supporting families by reinforcing values, creating space for family devotion time, and trying to help families live honestly. We also support their children by providing them with what’s necessary to continue their schooling. With this program we have seen how families enjoy living together in a safe space, where they can play together, read the word of God, and, above all, spend time as a family. This is countercultural in communities with high rates of domestic violence and broken families.

We are also initiators and active members of a network of organizations that are developing joint initiatives and searching for ways to share dreams and resources in order to have a greater impact on the Zone 3 community. In this network we are collaborating with at least 15 organizations that work in the landfill sector in Zone 3. During the last 5 years with this program we have impacted 700 families through joint projects in times of emergencies and bilateral support between institutions. I, Fito, am also involved in the Community Leadership Council. We are trying to help our community develop through projects that improve infrastructure to improve living conditions in the communities surrounding the city landfill. This helps bring God's shalom to this needy and vulnerable community.

We appreciate all support and prayer as we live, work, and serve in our community that we love dearly.

Thank you for your support of our Fito & Nanci Sandoval: # 5891

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Fito Sandoval -

Nanci Sandoval -