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BRILLO DE SOL

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International

Mission: To transform lives of children through education and rehabilitation by attending to the humanity of each child in a way that respects their individuality and unique learning needs. By adapting to their needs, Brillo de Sol strives to promote the recovery of self-esteem, discovery of talents and abilities, and the development of thinking skills in each student. Acting within the guidelines of the education laws, our trained staff adapts the curriculum and evaluation guidelines to the specialized needs of individual students. We strive to place each student on the road to success in life through education, socialization and by teaching them the values necessary to lead productive lives.

Results: Since its founding in 2005, Brillo de Sol has been a beacon of hope for families of children with learning disabilities who’s children lack the educational opportunity they so desperately need and deserve . In that time, Brillo de Sol has provided over 450 children with an education, therapies and the skills the tools they need to live healthy, happy, and productive lives. These children, including the 85 currently enrolled, have found a safe space with unconditional love an acceptance that helps them develop their inner strengths and talents with much to give to their families and community.

Target demographics: children ages 4 to 18 with learning and other disabilities and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 85 students and their families.

Geographic areas served: Antigua, Guatemala

Programs: primary education, speech, language and other therapies, parent education, and community outreach.

Community Stories

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This summer I was given the opportunity to volunteer for two weeks at Brillo de Sol. Being welcomed into the school with open arms from the staff and given the opportunity to work with the children on phonemic awareness in individual/group settings was invaluable. What will be mostly remembered though, is the environment that this school provides for each kiddo. Many of these kids do not have the best background or home environment. At Brillo de Sol, they are given unconditional love, taught HOW to love, and given a safe environment to learn and truly be a kid while simultaneously earning responsibility and tools to be a functioning, healthy adult in society. The staff here are making incredible differences in the education and well-being of every kid that walks in their doors. Brillo de Sol rocks.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My heart has been touched deeply by the children at the Brillo de Sol school in Antigua, Guatemala and I am honored to be a supporter of the school and a sponsor of students to help them receive a quality education that addresses their unique needs.

I have now sponsored two children over the past few years and it is immensely gratifying to watch their progress as students at the school.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor to a child for a few years now, and am really happy with where my donations go and what they support. I also appreciate the gifts and reports I receive about what this student is doing, along with the hand made thank you cards. My last package was even hand delivered by a representative here in the states.
Another great aspect of Brio De Sol are the news letters, they are exceptionally informative keeping me caught up on the activities and new developments occurring within the organization. So I know where my donations are going, and what they assist with.
Overall this is an exceptional non-profit, well worth checking out, and supporting if one is able. All donations go to making children's lives better, those who may not have the resources to do so otherwise.
Jacob Gates

2 Karen S.11

Donor

Rating: 5

It has been several years now since I stumbled upon Brillo de Sol....a short visit with another person who was doing a volunteer thing there. I ended up putting my plans on hold for a few days in order to return and assist with some painting that was required for the then recently purchased school building /facility. Despite me having almost no Spanish language skills I was made to feel very welcome and had a couple of meetings with the ever busy Letty. I was totally impressed with her vision and what she had accomplished. Her ‘thinking outside the box’ approach to educating ALL children AND staff is something to be emulated.
My finances are not excessive in my home country but, compared to some, I am affluent. I have a regular withdrawal set up in order to support Luna who in turn acts as a therapy dog for the school and so many of the children....An example of ‘outside the box ‘ thinking promoted by this school and organization.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I am honored to support Brillo del Sol and the wonderful work that they do to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for these very special kids!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My son volunteered at this school and my husband and I were moved to donate to its excellent work. We have a special needs granddaughter and are consistently impressed by the services and resources available to her here in New Jersey through our local public school system. These resources are not provided in Guatemala and many parts of the world, and we were so impressed by the initiative and success of Brillo de Sol supporting special needs children in their community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got to spend two weeks at Brillo De Sol. I went on a service learning trip with my university. My professor and 4 other WSU students studying Speech and Hearing Sciences were able to work on phonemic awareness skills with several classrooms. Brillo De Sol has created a welcoming environment and a safe place to learn and grow as a volunteer. The staff is kind and inviting. I hope to visit again soon!

2 Ashley H.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the lovely opportunity to volunteer at Brillo De Sol for 2 weeks as an occupational therapy student. In those two weeks, I not only got to utilize my OT skills, but I also got to build new friendships and learn about the schooling system in Guatemala. Brillo De Sol has fantastic staff that do their best to meet individual needs as well as group needs in the classroom. They were willing to work with suggestions and truly want the best for their students. I would highly recommend volunteering at Brillo De Sol to anyone.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I couldn't be happier to support Brillo De Sol and the great work they do. I was introduced
to them by my friend MIke Fraas, and in the few years I have been associated with this
organization, I have been continuously impressed by the work they do on behalf of these children. I wish you continued success in all you do. It is vitally important and incredibly helpful.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I spent a week in June helping out Brillo de Sol. The teachers, staff and children are outstanding and this place of education is amazing, not only for the children but for a wonderful experience of volunteering. We are so lucky to be welcomed by this amazing family and look forward to returning again soon.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I first visited Brillo de Sol in 2014 and was captivated by Letty’s story, her vision and remarkable success for the school. She is a true humanitarian! Her energy, enthusiasm, commitment and genuine love for the students is contagious and the same can be said of her staff.
In 2015, I volunteered at the school and worked with a group of children on vocal music. They learned to sing, “Here Comes the Sun” . I was amazed at how quickly the children memorized the words and were able to enunciate them so clearly in a very short time.
Not only did they discover their singing voices, they also had fun together and supported one another while learning English through song. Their efforts culminated in their performance of the song at a local community event.
These were a memorable few weeks for me and it has been a privilege to work with these students.
While it is the right of every child to receive an education, these children at Brillo come from homes with exceptional poverty and their education would not be possible without the assistance of many donors. These children are so happy and grateful to be attending school.
With this motivation. our family has and continues to sponsor 3 students.
It is such a pleasure to receive their letters and their teacher’s reports on their achievements.
I continue to visit Brillo de Sol and look forward to a long association iwith the school n the future.
Nessa, Toronto, Canada

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I did a humanitarian coop for my school in Guatemala as social service worker. I went to Brillo de sol to provide help for students with difficulties of learning and give support to all teachers. It was the best experience of my life to see the smiles in their faces when you take time to listen them, help them and support them in homework. It’s awesome to see those students realize that it’s a privilege to be able to go to school. As volunteer, we realize that every small changes made a big impact for that school and in the life of each students. The principal of the school, miss Letty, are a very precious person who persevered to give a great quality of education for those kids and make what this school it is today. It was so an amazing experience that I came back to Brillo de sol last summer. I decided to sponsor and help two kids of this school and I’m so happy to have this opportunity to support this school in distance from Canada. Obviously, I’ll go back soon.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Brillo de Sol is a unique school in Guatemala, educating many children who, for one reason or another - physical, emotional or psychological - have problems in the traditional Guatemalan school setting. The minute you walk in the door, you can tell that you are in a special place. You are greeted by friendly people eager to help you, and the school mascot, Luna, a former street dog. As you walk through the school, you can see the joy emanating from the classrooms and the school yard during recess ,children helping others who have physical disabilities, and a kindness towards others. My sister and I are sponsoring a delightful student. It is so rewarding to see the strides she has made. There is a real caring for the students, from the Board of Directors to the volunteers.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hola,
my name is Edith Ludewig, I was traveling in Guatemala in the end of 2017 and the organisation “DoGuatemala” was showing me some options to work as a volunteer. I was very interested to work with children and since I haven’t been to Antigua at this time I really wanted to travel there. The school “Brillo de sol” was my first choice and I was very happy to get accepted there. Dying the time of working (2weeks) I was living in a host family to get a better impression of the real life. In the school I was welcomed very warm and heart full and I was since the first day impressed from the work they are doing. We so much effort and love they were working to make the children the best school experience they can experience. The school itself is beautyfully self designed, we were playing games and cooking together (one day I was showing one of my favorite german dishes (potato salad)).
I had an amazing time that I will never forget and I would recommend everybody who is interested to work with children to go to “Brillo de sol”.

Greetings from Berlin,
Edith

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hola. Soy Ana y el mes de agosto Miguel y yo nos fuimos de voluntarios a Guatemala, en concreto a Brillo de sol. Fue una experiencia maravillosa.
Quiero compartir lo que escribió Miguel, mi marido, en Facebook.
"Voluntariado en Guatemala
Ayer terminaba nuestra gran aventura en Antigua (Guatemala). Hemos estado Ana y yo 21 días de voluntarios con OngVoluntariado en la escuela Brillo de Sol, una escuela de inclusión con muchísimos niños y niñas con discapacidades. Yo he estado con niños y niñas de 7 a 14 años donde he conocido a Fátima con sindrome de Down con la que he pasado muchas horas recibiendo su cariño, con Antony y Kevin dos niños que han buscado en mi la figura de un padre, Josue un niño con memoria a corto plazo pero que en ningún momento ha olvidado darme cariño en forma de abrazos y besos, Dulce tan distante al principio pero que con el paso de los días ha ido haciendo honor a su nombre, Alan y Jesús potenciales futbolistas, Johanna esa rubia de padre suizo que no parecía guatemalteca, Jefferson con rasgos autistas siempre acompañado en clase de su madre, y el resto Angel Luís, Angel, Melany, Diana y Emily. Hemos pasado unas semanas donde he aprendido mucho de ellos y me llevo el mejor recuerdo en forma de cariño que en ningún momento han dejado de mostrarme. No puedo olvidar a Miss Sonia, su profesora que tanto esfuerzo hace cada día para sacar adelante esta clase tan complicada. Muchas gracias Océano (así era el nombre del aula)
Gracias también muy especiales a Mario Cuenca y Gerson de Ong Voluntariado por la labor que hacen en la ONG para que todos los voluntarios nos sintamos como en casa. Y por supuesto gracias también a Paty y Ricardo, nuestros anfitriones que nos han dado de comer y con los que hemos aprendido tantas cosas de Guatemala. Ha sido sin duda una de nuestras mayores locuras pero que nos ha llenado y donde hemos aprendido a valorar lo que tenemos, te das cuenta que con muy, muy poco se puede ser feliz. Gracias Guatemala. Volveremos."

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Brillo De Sol is a wonderful organization that truly serves the children of the community and beyond. They enable children of all ages and disabilities to receive an education tailored to their level and needs.

3 Madison H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Brillo de Sol was a joy to work with. I got to work closely with the teachers and students for one month and was blown away by their commitment to make sure each child was shown love. A great organization that is much needed in their community.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Brillo de Sol while on a study abroad in Guatemala for 4 weeks and it was without a doubt one of the best parts of my trip. There is no way to describe the love and happiness shown by the kids and the teachers! I felt so welcome every day that I spent there and I can only hope I’ll get to go back some day.

3 Nick B.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved with Brillo de Sol through a university-sponsored, six-week study abroad trip to Guatemala, and it could not have been a more fulfilling and enriching experience. I didn't know what to expect before starting with the school, but after my first day there I realized that this was an incredibly important service to be offering in the area: students that otherwise wouldn't be receiving an education and who may be ostracized in their communities are receiving special care and instruction and learning how to cope with their various developmental and behavioral disorders.

Of the kids, I can say that each one that I interacted with seemed as happy as could be imagined at the school - at no point did I hear any of the students complain about being at school. In fact, the school seemed like a refuge for them where they could learn and play in a safe environment with their friends who they might not see very often outside of the classroom. Of the teachers, I'll say that they are some of the most patient, compassionate, and hard-working people I've seen in a school setting, and that they are wholeheartedly dedicated to their students. I had the absolute pleasure to work with Miss Monica in her classroom (Bosque) and to come to know her students very well.

It's not an overstatement to say that my life and perspective were changed by my time at Brillo de Sol. Every aspect, from time spent learning in the classroom and playing with the kids at recess to talking one-on-one with Miss Monica and the amazingly dedicated administrative workers at the school, showed me a part of life that I'd never seen before, and I believe I came away from it a better person. It was remarkably humbling to see the positivity and kindness that emanated from kids that face a hard life every day, and I'm beyond happy that they're able to learn and live in a place like Brillo de Sol.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This school skillfully creates a learning environment with a range of students . More importantly, it imparts a caring, inclusive community with a strong sense of belonging with all students. Inspiring to volunteer here!