I have always wanted to help educate children in need. My experience with Brillo de Sol is very satisfying; and they are very communicative with their goals, and they share their progress. Educating children with special needs is near and dear to my heart, and Brillo De Sol does a great job in this area. Recommend them highly.
I have joined the Board of this wonderful charity supporting special needs students outside Antigua, Guatemala - our main goal is fundraising for student sponsorship and as an all-volunteer Board, it is affirming to know that 100% of donations go directly to support our wonderful students. I have been sponsoring a student for 3 years now and receive regular updates on his progress and personal correspondence, which is so very special.
I was able to visit Brillo De Sol in person last summer (2016) and work with their amazing students for an afternoon. It is a remarkably special place - in a country that has very primitive attitudes toward special needs education, their pioneer Principal, Letty, told me that these students all learn in different ways, in their own time and need to be nurtured accordingly. Her passion and commitment were astounding and she has helped create a creative, nurturing learning environment. There is a dog (school pet) and a 'thinking corner' and it's all very bright and cheerful; all on extremely limited resources. All students pay some sort of tuition, although many are from poor families and only pay what they can afford, perhaps a couple dollars a month. It costs about $60 a month to fully fund a student at Brillo De Sol and I'm very happy to be helping a current student. This is a small place - with huge ambition for its students; and, I'm so happy to play a small role in supporting their valiant work.
Volunteering at Brillo de Sol was a wonderful experience. I was able to interact with the students and meet the children I sponsor. These children are so full of life, energy and love and are eager to learn knowing they have been given the gift of education. Thank you Brillo de sol for all your hard work.
This is a beautiful organization providing education to students with learning disabilities. Being able to sponsor a child and see their progress and smiles brings much joy.
Working on the board has been a rewarding experience which is quite different than that of being a volunteer or donor.
The ability to help children grow and have opportunities that may not have been available to them otherwise is a worthwhile cause of our organization. We are highly focused and targeted with our assistance and it is greared around assistance that is comprehensive for the recipient.
We also ensure we assist in the local school being self-sufficient and offer resources to help them get there.
The things we personally learned that are noteworthy are:
1. Additional dimensions of the organization that need to be understood to effectively assist and help the recipients.
2. Deeper understanding of the issues that the recipients deal with and thus enriching my own personal experience and ability to assist the organization.
3. Learning how to work with peers in a democratized board which is very different than the normal operations of a business.
4. Decision-making process that is much more consensus-based.
Ravi and Sujatha Srinivasan
This is an amazing nonprofit that not only benefits children and families with disabilities but strives to bring continuing education to the entire Guatemalan community
A wonderful organization providing education possibilities to children who need support not only financially but academically in a small village of Guatemala. Giving children the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe, positive and welcoming environment at their pace through sponsorship. With various committees and fundraising we are able to allocate funds to support education and technology growth of the school, students and staff. It is very rewarding to be part of an organization with a mission to support education for children in need.
I volunteered as an undergrad Speech Therapy student at Brillo de Sol last summer (July-August 2019) and it was such an incredible experience. Each teacher and staff member welcomed us with open arms. Every child we got to work with was well loved and cared for while they were at school and it was evident that many of them considered the school as a home and safe place. I am so grateful that there is a place like Brillo de Sol that children can go to learn and be loved!
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.
Volunteered to work with the kids at Brillo de Sol for one month during August 2019. The program is run well and the staff really care about the kids there. I would definitely recommend volunteering your time with the students if you are in Antigua for an extended period of time. School is located several miles south of Parque Central, but the area is safe. Most staff and students only speak Spanish. However, there are usually English-speaking volunteers around who can help with language barriers.
Very fiscally responsible which allows service to greater numbers of children and their families. As a donor, I know that my monthly donation educates and feeds students and their family members
A wonderful school in Guatemala. The children and staff are so warm and welcoming!!!!! A great place to help out while enjoying this beautiful country
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I'm a donor who lives here in Guatemala, so I am able to visit regularly. I've watched my student and others gain confidence and self respect through the education they receive at Brillo del Sol. The student I sponsor, through their education , has learned to tell time, to read at a much higher level and a woodworking craft for possible future employment. I am very excited about his future. They make a big difference in the lives of children who were disabled in some way and therefore shunned by the school system and their peers and sometimes by their families. Now they hold their heads high!
I was born in Madrid in 1995. I moved to Ceuta, which is a small city situated in the north of Africa, when I was 10 years old. I am graduated in a degree of Chemistry at the University of Granada. In addition, I am passionate about travelling and everything related to adventure and outdoor sports. I also love playing and taking care of children, but now I love them even more.
I feel really privileged for being during two months in Brillo de Sol enjoying the company of all the kids. Furthermore, it has been an amazing experience as I have been able to get closer to this lovely group of children and know them better seing how special and unique they are.
Thank you very much Brillo de Sol for everything you have provided. I hope you keep doing this great labor during more years.
Of course I am happy to share my experiences regarding Brillo de Sol! I first met Letty and her fabulous teachers and students in 2011 when I went to the school to provide hearing screenings and advice. That first visit sold me on the school, its mission and its devotion to its students. Guatemala offers so little to its students with special needs, and to watch Letty build this program from the ground up has been amazing! We kept going back every visit to the country and in 2014 we were given the opportunity to sponsor one of their students. Since then we have watched our young student blossom into a confident and happy young lady. Volunteering at the school for two weeks this year, gave us a new perspective, as well. The students are happy, tenacious and hardworking, for sure. But they have also been taught devotion and respect for each other. To watch them help their fellow students, whether it is physical help or academic help truly speaks to the school’s philosophy of celebrating individual differences.
I first heard about Brillo De Sol maybe 7 years ago from friends who had retired to Guatemala and ended up volunteering at the school. After the Volcano eruption in June I realized it had been a few years since we exchanged email and I couldn't remember the name of the town, BUT I did remember the name of the school- because they just spoke so highly of it "Brillo De Sol" was my online search after I sent them an email to see if they were alright. I read that the school served children with disabilities and special needs. I remembered they had told me that years ago but had forgotten. It hit home quite hard, because I am now a parent of a five year old son with special education needs. It felt like a sign to me and my husband. We wanted to sponsor a student. We aren't sure where we would be without the teachers, guidance and therapies our son receives in the United States - a right easily taken for granted. I feel a connection to the school through the email updates and the letter i received from Esmeralda. These e mail updates make us feel that we are part of the school family in some way. I think of Esmeralda often and though I know I probably will not be able to travel to Guatemala or volunteer in person I feel blessed to be in some small way a part of this school and everything it stands for. - Erin Perez
Having volunteered at Brillo de Sol for the past 6 years, I have had the joy of watching these kids develop into confident outgoing individuals. To witness their positive changes and personal growth has been amazing.
This is a wonderful nonprofit organization, run by caring and driven people who strive to make a positive difference in the world.
Brillo de Sol does incredibly important work. I've supported their efforts because I believe in what they do.
This non-profit is supporting a school in Guatemala where all children, including those with challenges, are educated. I'm proud to be a sponsor, supporting a student so he can attend school. http://brillodesol.org/Espanol/our-students/
We visited the school in Guatemala, what they did was amazing. Coming from the UK, where money for this type of school comes from the government, you realise what a challenge it is to open and keep this school running. It is modest compared to UK standards in terms of building and facillities. But, the children look so happy in the pictures (we arrived after School finished). Beautiful murals on the wall, an outside area with play things that used initiative as no purpose built play apparatus such as in UK.
Lettie's and the staff office also doubled up as the library and toy store. They do fantastic work for these deserving children whom the government don't support as is a non mainstream school and possibly not enough money to go around for all types of schools.
This had a lasting effect on me, and I support the school financially monthly.
As soon as you enter the school, it becomes obvious how special a place that Brillo really is.
Letty, Dianita, and Evelyn...these 3 women work tirelessly for Brillo and the children....and its obvious that the children adore them. This loving attitude is present in all of the staff and children. The mission is for the children to be happy, and both the children and adults at Brillo embody this; everyone smiles, acts with kindness, and takes care of each other. It is a beautiful place, doing amazing work to empower and improve the lives of the children and families involved.
Brillo de Sol does exceptional work with exceptional children. The staff genuinely cares about every child, giving them loving, personal attention; carefully assessing their needs; and finding ways to reveal each child's abilities and help them to succeed. Guatemala desperately needs more schools and programs like Brillo de Sol.
In a land where physically and mentally children are shunned, Brillo de Sol shines! It's staff is dedicated to giving each and every child the attention they need to adjust themselves to the world around them and they are given a chance to become a productive part of that world.
Sponsor a child or a program to help Brillo de Sol become an even greater asset to these children, their families and the community! With increased funding they can become 5 Star!
Christiane D. 08/02/2017
Thank you, "Writer"! We would love to know who you are? :)
Brillo de Sol is full of light, love, happiness and compassion.
It is one of the very few non porfits that work with special need children.
There is so much love given to each indivudal child and just by going and visit the project you feel that right in your heart.
I am glad that as a donor through my organisation Uno Más, a lot of people now about the project and are happy to give for better and special education in Brillo de Sol.
Each teacher is very dedicated and Letty, the director, is the star.
Christiane D. 08/02/2017
Thank you so much for your outstanding support for Brillo de Sol, Ana-Maria and Uno Más!
Brillo de Sol is a Guatemalan run NGO that brings education to children with special needs that are not accepted into public schools. The team of teachers and directors are mostly women with families and work extremely hard to improve the future of local children and their country in the long-term. I loved working with Brillo de Sol mostly for this reason, the Guatemalan female leadership. The idea for the school came from a local woman seeing a need in her community and acting on it. Through foreign and local support, the school continues to grow and educate more students each year. They understand the need for sustainability and local support and are working each year towards that goal. It is a great organization that fills a strong void in the community.
-Kamille Barry, Former Volunteer and Board Member
From the moment I saw the children at Brillo de Sol, I knew there was something special about this little school. The way the children looked out for and took care of each other, often putting the well being of their mates above their own self-interest impressed me to no end. Once I got to know Brillo de Sol better, I learned that from day one, each child is instilled with the values of embracing differences, unconditional love and acceptance, and that every person, no matter what their situation, is of immense potential and has much to give.
Brillo de Sol serves children with a wide range of learning and other disabilities. There are no schools for special needs children in the Guatemalan public education system, and Brillo de Sol changes the lives of these under-served kids who might otherwise be forgotten.
As a volunteer and board member, I have come to know first hand just how dedicated the staff and teachers are to these children. I've had parents tell of where almost gave up hope, they have seen miraculous progress and changes in their children. Some of the children tell of finally feeling safe and loved after enduring ridicule, isolation and verbal abuse in public school. The staff focuses on the strengths of each child. Ever conscious of how special needs children can be quite brilliant but learn differently, they tailor the program to the needs of the individual child. Volunteers supplement this by providing one-on-one tutoring and assistance.
Many of the children come from backgrounds of extreme poverty; Sponsorship makes it possible for them to get an education and provides them a chance in life.
This US based organization supports a school for children with disabilities in San Gaspar, Guatemala with fundraising, educational, and organizational assistance. The school provides opportunities for Spanish speaking volunteers, and welcomes volunteer contributions to committees and board of directors in the US. Join us!