Hilda Carillo, Guatemala: Wife, Mother Equips Other Women to Rise Above Poverty
About Hilda Carillo
We first met Hilda in March 2013 while teaching the Spiritually Healthy Leader workshops at her local church in Guatemala. We had the privilege of staying in her home and were blessed by her tireless attention to make our stay comfortable while caring for her family and attending the workshops.
The Carrillo home is a center of activity that frequently rings with laughter and song. When Hilda and Amilcar took us behind their house to show us their horticultural projects, we discovered their intense and sacrificial dedication in serving Guatemalans in remote places. The Carrillos experiment with propagating garden plants and making organic fertilizer and compost. They also raise worms, chickens, and turkeys to reproduce in the remote mountain village of Los Romeros. The projects that prove to be successful in their back yard are then taken to Los Romeros to teach the people the necessary skills to establish their own gardens without using pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or heavy equipment. Poultry adds protein to their diet by providing fresh eggs and meat.
We were so impressed with their ministry that we encouraged our son Jesse and grandson Brennan to adopt them as an outreach. In 2014 we were blessed by many partners who gave towards the purchase of a pickup truck for Amilcar and Hilda to use in their work in Los Romeros. We traveled with them on the truck’s maiden voyage to Los Romeros. On that trip we saw Hilda focused on working with the women, teaching them how to make embroidered blouses. Vicki was able to help Hilda distribute fabric and thread purchased for the ladies to continue developing their sewing and embroidery projects.
Hilda models resourcefulness. At home she feeds and cares for her family and adds to the family income by making and selling homemade peanut butter (a commodity not readily found in the markets in her town), specialty breads, jams, and jellies. In addition she helps provide for the needs of the Los Romeros project. Hilda’s laughter and joy are infectious. God works through this true Proverbs 31 woman. The joy of the Lord is her strength.
My name is Hilda Noemí Jocol de Carrillo, and I am 43 years old. I was born in the town of La Esperanza (“The Hope”), which is located just 7 kilometers from Quetzaltenango, the second largest city in Guatemala. My parents are native indigenous peoples who work in the family-owned artisan bakery. My eight siblings and I worked together alongside our parents in the bakery from childhood until adulthood. Each of us went to school, studied, and got an education.
I married José Carlos Amilcar Carrillo Cajas. When my husband and I were ready to start a family, we found out that it was impossible for us to have children because I had fibroid tumors in my womb. I underwent various treatments at the hands of doctors, finally crying out to the Lord. He had mercy on me and gave us a beautiful son, Josè Eduardo, who now is 11 years old. After that I prayed again for ten more years and the Lord gave us our beloved daughter Mildred Anaceci, who now is 18 months old.
After finishing my schooling I worked as an accountant for two companies, and then for 17 years I served as the treasurer of the municipality of La Esperanza. During that time, God spoke to my beloved husband and called him to teach organic farming principles to families in Los Romeros on Tajumulco Mountain, located in the remote San Marcos region of northwestern Guatemala. Just two months after Amilcar began working with Los Romeros families, God called me to work alongside him. I resigned my job with the municipality and began supporting him in his work.
In living among the families of the community, I was able to better understand their poverty, child malnutrition, maternal and child health needs, illiteracy, basic hygiene needs, and many other needs. My first responsibilities centered on project orientation for the families. I explained the guidance we would give to them, especially in how diversifying crops and feeding of their children with organically-grown vegetables provide nutrients that are not found in beans and corn (the two basic grains planted and harvested for hundreds of years in this area.)
Soon I observed that the women worked hard beside their men, but often their clothing was worn out. They had almost no resources for anything new. I asked God to show me how to work with the women on projects that they could do with their own hands that could benefit them personally. I taught them how to embroider blouses for themselves. Then they made embroidered blouses for their daughters. Most recently we have added new projects. I teach the ladies to crochet knitted clothing. They have learned to grow and use some household herbs to flavor their food and medicinal plants to help them treat common illnesses.
But it wasn’t enough to help these women to clothe themselves and their families. One day the Lord helped me see the need to give them spiritual food. Now, in every meeting I share some Bible teaching and we pray together for their needs.
During these past two and a half years working in the project with Amilcar, I have experienced the Lord’s faithfulness. He has provided ALL of the needs of our family, as well as the needs for the work with the families in Los Romeros. Also He has sent various persons to partner with us physically, spiritually, and to encourage us in the way, including the people of 30 60 100 MINISTRIES. We give all the glory and honor to God!