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Guatemalan Mentor of the Poor - Carlos Vargas
[Defeating Paralysis & Reversing Poverty]

When you’ve got out of poverty, never forget the poor; never say no to those in need!
As long as it’s charity, don’t worry, everyone will provide.
- Carlos Vargas
Falling from topnotch CEO to paralysis
With a goal to change the fate of poverty for a better future, Carlos Vargas, the founder of the first social security agency in Guatemala took all the money he got - US$10 and bid farewell to his parents and five brothers and sisters who only had one meal a day to the United States alone at the age of 20. Carlos has lived up to people’s expectations in just 15 years and became a CEO of an American company in 1986. He married and have children and climbed to the peak of his career. Unexpectedly, he was attacked by an unknown severe illness that paralyzed his entire body. Wanting Carlos to return to his hometown while holding his last breath, his American wife Cheryl Peterson went through many hardships by taking his husband and five children back to his hometown to embrace his slightest hope.

Returning to the hometown and found hope
After Carlos and his family have returned to the hometown of Guatemala, besides endless attempts to rehabilitate, they also keep on helping the poor and praying.

Every day, Carlos is wheeled by his wife and children in turn in a wheelchair to the streets and slums of Guatemala City to help the poor. Unconsciously, Carlos has become the best doctor for the poor by allowing them to live up with strength and hopes. After a thousand days of charity and intensive rehabilitation, Carlos finally won the battle of paralysis.

Founded the Guatemalan “Mother House”
After the victory over paralysis in 1988, Carlos fulfilled his promise to God by establishing the first social welfare agency in Guatemala known as “Oasis de Eden” to help tens of thousands of abandoned elderly people. The media at home and abroad praised him as Guatemalan Mother Teresa for founding the “Mother House.” Later on, Carlos founded the “Children’s Paradise” to shelter the vulnerable children that are abused, quitted school, lost their relatives, etc. In addition to providing food and clothing, he also founded “Free Schools” to help them go to schools and use education to change their fate of poverty.

To break the vicious cycle of poverty, Carlos resolutely founded the “Hospital Matenmd Infantil San Lucas.” To date, the first to third floors are completed, while the other three floors are under construction. This is indeed the first hospital in Guatemala that has saved tens of thousands of women and children, and is also the first nutritional rehabilitation center in Guatemala for the poor.

Giving fishing rods to the poor to benefit more than 800,000 people
Carlos has always wanted to turn various love acts into innovative public welfare. Besides giving fish to the poor, he also provides them with fishing rods. Carlos has built five artificial lakes to raise tilapia and grow organic vegetables intensively around the lake, counsel the poor for employment and encourage them to become self-reliant. He has also built more than 3,000 green houses and dug more than 5,000 artesian wells to benefit more than 800,000 people to drink clean water. At the same time, he has created an overall community for poor people to bring healthiness, hopes and love to tens of thousands of poor people in Guatemala.

Doing good deeds timely for the past 26 years
After defeating paralysis, Carlos has been committed himself to God’s promise by offering diversified love and innovative public welfare to reverse poverty for the past 26 years. This has brought healthiness, hopes and love to tens of thousands of poor people in Guatemala. He deserves to be praised as the “Mentor of the Poor” and stood out among 2616 candidates of Loved Life Medal in the world and won the “21st Fervent Global Love of Lives Award” in 2018 from Chou, Ta-Kuan Foundation in Taiwan. The Foundation always welcomes recommendations for life warriors from all walks of life in the world who are hardworking, benevolent, courageous, and have made great accomplishments, etc. (Fervent Global Love of Lives Award recommendation hotline of Chou, Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation of Taiwan: 02-29178770, Fax: 02-29178768, Address: 3F, No. 52, Mingde Road, Xindian District, New Taipei City, Website: http://www.ta.org.tw, e-mail: ta88ms17@gmail.com).

Defeating paralysis & fulfilling his promises
In 1986, Carlos edged himself as the CEO of an American company. While enjoying the high-spirited achievements, he suffered from an unknown severe illness that paralyzed his entire body. Holding his last breath and a trace of hope, he then returned to his hometown in Guatemala along with his wife and children.

In addition to his courageous rehabilitation, Carlos also uses the poor as his teachers by helping them continuously, praying persistently and practicing his mother’s repeated advice: “Son, to give is always better than to take; when you’ve got out of poverty and sickness, never forget about the poor.”

Every time when Carlos prays, he particularly promises God that as long as he can stand up from paralysis, he would definitely help the poor to stand up too.

After fighting a thousand days for life, Carlos used his faith and love to create miracles. God has also manifested miracles and healed Carlos, allowing him to defeat the paralysis in 1988 and help the poor to stand up.

Offering diversified love to reverse poverty
From the 4th century to the 10th century, Guatemala was a Mayan cultural center, but it was destroyed by the Spaniards in 1524 and became a Spanish colony until it got independent in 1840. However, it plunged into a civil war for a hundred years, leaving it a poverty-stricken country. To date, the average per capita is only US$5,069 to rank the 117th poor country in the world.

To allow the poor people in Guatemala to stand up, Carlos established many social welfare organizations timely that were regarded as a pioneer then after he defeated paralysis in 1988.

To let the abandoned elderly with disabilities during the time of Civil War to have a last warm home, Carlos followed the Catholic Mother Teresa’s “Mother House” in India by establishing the first social welfare institution in Guatemala known as “Oasis de Eden.” It allows Guatemala’s old and sick people who have suffered profoundly during the war to have an ultimate dignity of their lives.

Opening the first public charity hospital
To save tens of thousands of poor women and children, Carlos founded the first charity hospital known as “Hospital Matenmd Infantil San Lucas” in Guatemala. In the first 10 years, it has completed the wards from the first to the third floors, while another three floors are still under construction. Besides taking care of sick women and children, this hospital is also a rehabilitation and rescue center for the poor in Guatemala.

Carlos is convinced that education can change fate, entrepreneurship can reverse poverty, and diversified love can enhance people’s strength to change.

Carlos pioneered the establishment of “Children’s Paradise’ to accept the disadvantaged children in Guatemala. Carlos further set up kindergartens, elementary schools and vocational schools to make every poor child to gain knowledge and technology. He especially believes that the cultivation of poor children to gain professional know-how in education is to allow them to support themselves when they grow up, and can then help the disadvantaged in return.

Breeding tilapia to provide protein supplement for the poor
Carlos has made full use of the existing natural resources and led the poor young people of Guatemala to roll up their sleeves. To date, he has built five artificial lakes and selected tilapia with strong vitality and high productivity to provide protein supplement for the poor. Meanwhile, vegetable farms are opened around the lakes to grow organic vegetables. The surplus vegetables are sold to the market to accumulate the resources for starting new social welfare institutions.

Building 3,000 green houses and digging 5,000 artesian wells
To improve the plight of a lack of water and electricity in the slums of Guatemala, Carlos also enhanced the health environment at the same time. He always initiates to lead everybody to work together, withdraw local materials and reuse the wastes. So far, more than 3,000 green houses have been built to create warm homes in the slum.

Meanwhile, Carlos has combined the Lions Foundation of Canada and the international organization - Free the Children and other foreign public interest groups to dig more than 5,000 artesian wells so far. They have allowed more than 800,000 poor people to drink clean water, thereby greatly reducing the mortality of poor children.

A social entrepreneur full of wisdom, charity and courage
In short, Carlos is a wise and caring social entrepreneur who overcomes his own paralysis and commits his promises to God. He implements diversified love to reverse the poverty and multi-innovative practices to operate the sustainable charity affairs, helps people who need help consistently, and offers convenient and hopes to people eternity.