Fritha Woodley-Rios

Guatemala City, Guatemala

Fritha is from Bristol. Some years ago she went to Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America. It is a vibrant and growing capital (over 2.5 million) but has one of the highest levels of violent crime in Latin America.

Fritha serves with the poor, alongside her husband Carlos, caring for children affected by poverty and violence. The thousands of youth and children who inhabit Guatemala City streets do what they can to scrape by - begging, selling bananas for a few pennies, salvaging what they can from the garbage dump. Some join gangs and turn to crime.

In October 2010 Fritha and Carlos opened a day-centre, in partnership with a local church, for children in a slum called La Verbena. Called Sonrisas or "Smiles", it promotes the overall development of these children, providing a safe place where they can get fed, have fun, learn about the Bible and receive love and acceptance.