St Albans family prepares for a new life with mission charity in Guatemala

A FAMILY from St Albans will soon pack up their life in the UK and move to Guatemala where they plan to live for the next four years.

Benjamin and Charmari Downing will leave for Guatemala City, along with their two children Daniel, three, and Jonah, one, in December.

The Downings, who live in Kings Road, will work with Christian mission charity Latin Link at a training centre for church leaders and will focus on theology, leadership and community development.

Benjamin, 36, who works for the international development agency, World Vision, as a learning and development manager, said he knew that uprooting their young family would not be easy but it was something that they both felt called to do.

“Both of us have lived and worked in different countries around the world, and I have lived in Latin America before, so we know something of what life will be like.”

Benjamin and Charmari will undergo intensive language lessons when they first arrive, although they both know some Spanish already.

They will look to find a home soon after but may have to consider living in a gated community, especially taking into account the high level of crime in Guatemala City.

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Charmari, 34, said: “There will be many changes and challenges for us as a family, moving to such a different place and being away from our family and friends.

“Life for Daniel and Jonah may be very different from their current life in St Albans, but we believe this is the next step for us as a family and that they will have many rich experiences they could never have in Hertfordshire.”

Benjamin added: “It is right for us to go and we believe that we can make a difference there and that our work will have an impact on the lives of many communities.”