Catering to Multiple Needs in Guatemala

Everything that we do aims to improve health and education in Guatemala!  We cast quite a large net with our mission statement, and as such, we will unfortunately never run out of service work opportunities.

Sometimes we cater to basic needs like food and shelter, but most times, we’re finding ways to provide communities with greater access to education and related resources or providing items for the home that will improve health or increase efficiency.  Often, we work with professionals and other service providers to make it easier for them to cater to the people, providing them with needed tools or equipment.

Just recently, we’ve been taking the time to consider ways to incorporate a more holistic approach!  For example, instead of treating just a societal or physical problem, we can also ponder mental and emotional contributors and provide support that crosses the lines and assists a community on all levels.

photo shared with permission by Iris Santander

Much to my joy, I have started building a relationship with Jose Miguel Yllescas Juarez, a licensed psychologist in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.  Having made his acquaintance through a mutual friend, I am deeply looking forward to meeting him in person when we travel to Guatemala in a little over two weeks.  Jose Miguel recently offered, compliments of a private donation outside the nonprofit, a workshop at the Backyard School for Iris Santander, one of our strongest and most trusted contacts, and the recipient of several of our past and current service projects.  The Backyard School not only provides educational opportunities for over 350 children from the community, but to many mothers of those children.  After a group of women attended Jose Miguel’s workshop, they clamored and begged for additional support of that type.  That’s when we were contacted!  It is so needed, and so often overlooked!

Back by popular demand, and with the help of the fundraising efforts of many, most notably a group of US and Canadian psychologists and social workers, Jose Miguel has already begun a series of six workshops at Backyard School that will offer instruction and support for a wide gamut of mental and emotional issues.  Just to name a few:

  • Gender-based and Domestic Violence
  • Child Abuse
  • Teenage Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Health
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Stress Management

Coinciding with the workshops at Backyard School, he also will be offering another workshop this upcoming Friday, March 8th, in his hometown on the topic of empowering women — to help them build confidence and self-esteem so that their voices can be heard and they can make positive changes for themselves and their families!  I am excited to support his efforts and would welcome any donations you’d like to make in that regard.  Read more about Jose Miguel here.


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