I had the privilege of volunteering with Mil Milagros for several months in their Boston office and a month in their Guatemala office. Both locations instilled in me a sense of amazement at the variety of high-impact work that is occurring in Guatemala. Not only do the Guatemalan partner communities collaborate with Mil Milagros staff, but they lead and develop the majority of the projects. It was fascinating to see the direct benefits from the health and hygiene, educational, and nutritional projects on the children, but also the profound impact the projects made on the mother and grandmother leaders in each community. Grandmothers who became influential leaders in their communities and mothers who were inspired to go back to school were common stories amongst all of their partner communities.
Needless to say, Mil Milagros is one of the very few non-profits out there that invests in the right combination of community involvement, health, education, and women's leadership with a high success rate. I am confident in saying that an investment in Mil Milagros will take you farther than other organizations. I look forward to witnessing their continued success as they expand their work with-risk mothers, grandmothers, and children in one of the poorest areas in the world.
I had the privilege of volunteering for Mil Milagros for 3.5 months, working primarily as their communications volunteer. I helped operate their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as helping out in field with the lessons that my coworkers planned. I was impressed by how well Mil Milagros worked with its partner communities, and not simply for them. Being on social media all the time and reading about a lot of other non-profits in the area, I was struck by how many weren't working to establish long-term change, and instead were just giving handouts. Mil Milagros, on the other hand, spends a lot of time and energy working with the mothers of its partner schools to train them in proper hygiene and nutrition practices so that Mil Milagros can step away from the community after a few years and the mothers can continue teaching their communities without skipping a beat.
Additionally, I admired how well the staff members worked with and got to know the members of the partner communities; mothers and children alike felt very comfortable approaching them with any questions or feedback they had.
Mil Milagros is an organization that creates tangible, lasting change, and I cannot recommend it enough.
I had the opportunity and pleasure of working with Mil Milagros as part of my social work practicum. I saw how the organization was able to accomplish such breadth of work with a small staff, and did so in a way that honored the dignity of each community Mil Milagros works with. Mil Milagros employs a partnership model, meaning that the organization does not simply impose its ideas, but rather works in alliance to implement its program and meet the needs identified by the communities. Community members are not just passive beneficiaries, but they actually play an integral role in executing the program. This unique approach therefore goes beyond a typical charitable model. By working with, and not just for the communities, Mil Milagros' approach is more sustainable and effective. I learned a lot about how to build rapport with individuals, families, and communities, and how to develop impactful programs. Additionally, as a volunteer, I felt especially supported and valued. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to form part of the Mil Milagros team!
My son Alex and I had the extraordinary opportunity to see first hand the positive impact Mil Milagros is having with so many children, families, and teachers in Guatemala. The very small staff accomplishes so much for so many. Margaret, Carolyn, and the other staff members have put in Daly Blood (pun intended) and sweat in ensuring every penny is put to good use in improving the nutrition and hygiene of many children and families.
We appreciated the time given during our visit to remind us both what is important in life. The families of Guatemala are very fortunate to have Mil Milagros a part of their lives and Mil Milagros is very fortunate to be paid back with so much love and gratitude.
I was honored to volunteer with Mil Milagros last summer in their Boston office. I was impressed both with the efficacy of the program and by the dedicated, passionate people who do so much to make the goals of Mil Milagros a reality. One of the things I love about Mil Milagros is that the program works with local women to strengthen the community from the ground up. In this way, Mil Milagros has been able to improve nutrition, health, education, and women's rights all at the same time. I am very lucky to have been able to work with such a wonderful organization.
I had the pleasure of working with Mil Milagros staff this past summer. Their passion, creativity, and drive for constantly improving upon their holistic programming, and their responsiveness to community-determined needs, were truly inspiring.
Mil Milagros not only provides the much needed resources for the operation of their programs, but also builds the capacity of mother-leaders for a sustainable impact of child development in the communities in which they serve. In conversations with the mothers, I heard their first-hand accounts of the many ways in which Mil Milagros has changed their lives, the lives of their children and their communities. Mil Milagros has sparked hope for the future of their children, and has empowered women to have the confidence to voice their opinions and lead in their communities.
The impact Mil Milagros has on some of the poorest communities in Guatemala is dynamic. They promote and support innovative solutions. I was most impressed by how they not only feed students daily at various schools but the "mother leaders" of the students are the ones that come in and prepare the food for the children. They also provide teacher training for the teachers in the same schools. Everything about Mil Milagros shows how they work alongside the communities they serve and foster and strengthen the capacity for self help and growth. Mil Milagros is truly one of the most amazing organizations that I have had the true blessing to work with.
I spent a couple of months during the summer in 2013 volunteering with MilMilagros. It was a huge blessing to be able to witness the amazing work that they are doing in the local schools and to be a part of that work. I especially appreciated how the mothers of the students in each school worked so hard each day to provide lunches to the students. It is great to see how MilMilagros ensures that the communities have ownership over the projects, that they are involved in every step.
Last August I traveled to Guatemala with fellow church members to participate in and witness the works of Mil Milagros. I can easily say that it was the best experience of my life. Being a 16-year-old high school student, I had never traveled outside of the country without my family and had certainly never been a part of something so much bigger than myself. I was nervous at first. However, once I arrived, I was immediately welcomed by Margaret Blood and her staff members, as well as the locals. From that point on, I knew that I had nothing to fear and that this trip was going to be one that I would never forget. My group traveled to many schools throughout different parts of the country where we helped the kids read, practice their math skills, and paint! In addition, I was able to observe the miraculous doings of Mil Milagros in their efforts to help eliminate malnutrition in the youth, and teach the students about the importance of health and hygiene. With the help of Colgate, we distributed kits of toothbrushes and toothpaste to the children at these schools, which they all greatly appreciated. The work of Mil Milagros does not just benefit the children; it benefits their mothers, the teachers, and the schools as a whole. The children of Guatemala are some of the smallest in the world and usually do not graduate past the 6th grade. Introducing healthy lunches and vitamin supplements to these schools and young kids has immensely helped change that circumstance and provided hope for students and their families. Being able to be a part of all this in addition to learning about the beautiful culture and inspiring stories of the Guatemalan people has changed me as a person, made me view the world differently, and inspired me to continue to want to help others. This experience was truly amazing! Mil Milagros has definitely lived up to its name!
The project team at Engineers Without Borders (EWB) UIUC chapter had the pleasure of working with Mil Milagros this past month! Mil Milagros worked alongside our group of university students as well as professional engineers in the Chichimuch, Guatemala region. We assessed the feasibility of a new water supply project in Chichimuch. They ensured our week in the country ran smoothly as our chapter worked closely with the town council members. Two years ago Mil Milagros brought to our attention the water shortage problem in Chichimuch. They invited us to work together with them to solve the challenge. They helped organize the logistics before our arrival and welcomed us for a second time in Chichimuch this March. Mil Milagros has guaranteed the Guatemala Water Project at our university continues to move forward. We look forward to continue working with them in the future! Carolyn and Megan served as the main communicators between EWB and Chichimuch making sure information was clearly communicated among both sides. We have developed a strong relationship with Mil Milagros and they go out of their way to facilitate the EWB project. They also help perform year round checks in terms of water data collection for our project. That has helped enormously in keeping the project up to date. We are glad to be able to count on them as a partner!