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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Friends of Guatemalan Children Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International

Mission: Friends of Guatemalan Children's (FOGC) mission is to promote the health of Guatemalan children by providing financial assistance to organizations and establishments that provide nutritional and medical assistance to those children and to relieve the distress of orphaned and abandoned Guatemalan Children through provision of food, medical care, adoption assistance and similar activities.

Results: FOGC provide financial, administrative and logistical support to Casa Guatemala and have done so for almost 30 years. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for grants for CG; assisted with the coordination of volunteers, schools, social clubs and church groups visiting; arranged for large shipments of supplies for the orphanage, school and clinic; and helped to organize trips of medical teams who have provided cleft lip and palate operations and other important surgeries to thousands of Guatemala's poorest people.

Target demographics: vulnerable, impoverished and orphaned children

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 500 children with our education, nutrition and healthcare programs at Casa Guatemala: 235 in our primary school alone and approximately 265 children aged 0-6 in our clinic from the local Mayan communities

Geographic areas served: Guatemala

Programs: Primary Education, Shelter, Nutrition, Healthcare, and Sustainable Agriculture. FOGC is entirely run by volunteers so that all donations can go directly to support the children in need in Guatemala. Our main beneficiary is the Casa Guatemala school and orphanage (http://www.casa-guatemala.org). Casa Guatemala provides a safe home, hot meals, medical care, education and a healthy environment to up to 250 children in Guatemala who have been faced with abandonment, abuse, neglect or extreme poverty.

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization this is. You show up there to this school in the middle of the jungle by boat (it is not accessible by road) and you are greeted by the happiest children. They either live there during school time and return to their villages afterwards or their parents arrive by boat (or canoe) to take them. They are given a great education that would, otherwise not be available to them, as well as healthy meals and some healthcare. After the first year, we were so moved and inspired that we choose to return every year, bringing other volunteers with us and we are going on our 7th year of visiting. Please consider making a contribution to this really worthwhile organization. The children would benefit greatly from it!!

Edgar F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great organization that is truly concerned about providing the best experience/well being for the child. You will feel at home by the third day. This is my first time doing volunteer work so I did a lot of research about these NGOs. Several other organizations gave me the impression that they were looking to attract the largest amount of volunteers for the shortest period of time ( one or two weeks ). Casa Guatemala encourages long term volunteer work (three months ro more) to enhance the experience for both the children and the volunteer, but shorter stays are also welcomed for the help they provide when doing activities with the kids. Having people come and go in the lives of such young kids is not beneficial for their social/emotional development. You will have a life changing experience because of the long term experience. Be ready to rough it out at this place, specially the diet, lack of electricity and air conditioning will make you appreciate the comforts from home. With so many kids you'll want to make an impact in all their lives, but remember that we don't choose which child or children we make a life long impression, the child will choose you. You won't regret being part of this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Friends of Guatemala Children is 100% volunteer run, ensuring that all of the funds raised go directly to support their main grantee Casa Guatemala. Casa Guatemala works hard to ensure that the vulnerable children in their care receive an excellent education, healthy meals, medical care and a loving home. Over 200 children per year are benefitted by their important programs. This helps their families to break free from the cycle of poverty and gives them the chance for a brighter future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Casa Guatemala was one of the most eye opening, life changing events I have ever experienced. After serving 5 years in the United States Army and graduating from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC I decided to spend some time volunteering in Central America. Thankfully, I discovered Casa Guatemala. When I tell people about my time in Rio Dulce they usually respond with, "Wow, what a difference you must've made in those kids lives." The truth of the matter is, although I'm sure I made an impact in their lives, the biggest change was in mine. Those kids taught me more than I could have ever imagined. They showed me that happiness is simple, when things are broken.. you fix them, and that when facing a tough time, such as finding out my dog just died, something as easy as a hug could bring a smile to my face. After the end of my 3 months, I genuinely saw the majority of these children as my little brothers. They were no longer just some kids at a children's village in Guatemala where I was doing volunteer work. I think it is extremely important to educate and instill morals in today's youth all over the world. Casa Guatemala gave me the opportunity to do this through helping these kids while simultaneously bettering myself. It's been a year since I left and I think about my little brothers often. I miss them so much that I'm coming back for graduation in 9 days! I'm so happy that Casa Guatemala was created and that I get to be apart of it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer at Casa Guatemala 15 years ago and it changed my life. It is a beautiful place filled with caring volunteers and paid staff who endeavor to help educate, feed, and care for hundreds of Guatemalan children each year. The children benefit from a higher quality diet, medical care, and education than they would otherwise receive. Volunteers benefit from learning about a new culture and community that will shape their future attitudes and life experiences.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mi experiencia en Casa Guatemala ha sido, en una palabra, increible. He podido aprender mucho y crecer como persona, mientras colaboraba en diversas cosas para el bienestar de l@s niñ@s.
Me he sentido como en casa, parte de una familia, y no pienso en otra cosa que en volver.

2 Timothy B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer at Casa Guatemala for 3 months back in 2016. Casa G is a fantastic org looking that dramatically improves many children lives over the years. My experience was a very hands on, at times challenging but most of all highly rewarding. The positivity instilled in these children really rubs off on to you and is something that i carry with me even to this day. I would highly recommend Casa G for your volunteer experience and I myself hope to return in the near future.

3 Leslie103

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a short-term volunteer at Casa Guatemala for the past 2 years (returning every few months). I absolutely love it! Seeing the children grow and thrive has been so inspiring. Helping with the daily activities and being able to spend quality time with these happy, bright and energetic kids is wonderful. I am so happy that I found Casa Guatemala!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Casa Guatemala is an amazing place! Each child receives a hopeful future thanks to the dedication of teachers, volunteers and donors. A sound education, nutritious meals, a safe environment AND love are given to every child. Each time I volunteer I leave so inspired!

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Jen W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked for a lot of non profit organizations. Few do what they say they do. Casa Guatemala does all that and more.
Children from severely under privileged circumstances might arrived underweight and with poor educational opportunities, within six months, all are at a normal weight, have been well cared for and are on their educational path.
Each child has positive ripple effects in their home communities. Every dollar donated to this organization is wisely managed and carefully spent. There are no wealthy CEOs, it all goes to kids.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked in many overseas organizations and Casa Guatemala is the most effective and efficient organization I have seen. The children are offered education, health care and love and they thrive.
They work with a very modest budget, they aren't wasteful, there are no administration budget blowouts, their executive director lives modestly and is a hands on leader who is known in the surrounding communities for her caring leadership.
This is a wise community investment.

Alex W.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Casa Guatemala is an incredible organization with a lot of heart! I’ve been here for 10 months and I’ve seen how day after day they ensure that their children thrive and succeed in life.

They help the kids even after they graduate from the school and are always there for them when they need help, even as adults. When hard times fall on the students’ families Casa Guatemala supports them through it. They know that in order for the kids to thrive the families and community must also thrive.

Casa Guatemala succeeds because of a lot of hard work from passionate, dedicated individuals who come together to create a loving, nourishing community. They make magic happen even on limited resources.

There is no better place to donate or volunteer if you want to make a great impact on struggling communities who are striving to improve their circumstances for this and future generations.

1 Jesse N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an amazing experience at Casa Guatemala. Heather and the hostel not only took care of us on our journey but I learned that all the proceeds go to the orphanage which our Dentistry For All Team were able to help hundreds of kids with dental issues on top of that we all made great friends. I can’t wait to go back and I recommend anyone of any age to get down there to help where they can!

1 Ross B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's a family away from home and an opportunity of a lifetime for the children that attend the school where they receive an education and a safe environment to enjoy growing up. The only downside to it is, whether you are a volunteer or a student, that one day, you'll have to move on.

2 James Vere N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing amazing amazing - wonderful organization really well organised heather is a super person and all the staff really friendly

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered twice at Casa Guatemala once for 3 months in 2016 and once for 2 months in 2017. It is hard to put into words how much of an impact the kids have had on me. I went as volunteer aiming to help, serve, and try and improve their lives in whatever way I could; but it was the kids who ended up making my life so much better! They taught me so much about being persevering despite the circumstances and seeing the best in any situation. They showed a level of love and care that I will never forget. The organisation itself does the best it can with the resources it has, but there are still a lot of things on the wish-list for the kids that any future volunteers or donations would help towards. Even so, after returning there six months after my first stint, there were massive improvements - and it is getting better and better. Casa Guatemala not only helps the kids who actually board there, but also kids from local villages, giving them an education and food as well. I am literally counting the days until I go back.

3 Connie M.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first visited Casa Guatemala 18 years ago on a small ship. I've watched their evolution over the years. They're a stable project that provides much needed educational and medical services to the children of impoverished Mayan villages in the jungle communities of the Izbal region of Guatemala. I've supported them since that first visit almost two decades ago.

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10

Donor

Rating: 5

I've visited Casa Guatemala twice over the last eight years. I happened upon it by chance when the small ship I was sailing on from Panama to Belize stopped for an afternoon to drop off a propane refrigerator and a lot of food. I asked my fellow passengers for donations for the orphanage and we all pitched in with cash. Since that time I've kept up with the orphanage via the internet and made many donations during emergencies, such as the bats in the girls' dormitory problem. I returned for a visit with my adult daughter at Christmas in 2007. We took 150 lbs. of river sandals and children's underwear. Then we went to Fronteras and bought gallons of shampoo and big bags of fruit for the children. This past year I've supported one of the older girls that we met during our 2007 trip. She goes to secondary school in Fronteras. I love that particular program. The conditions at the orphanage are so primitive and all donations are greatly appreciated and put to use. This is a "no frills" orphanage that serves hundreds of the most impoverished children in Guatemala. Hopefully I'm going to be able to return for another visit next spring.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Gracias a FOGC ha tenido el oportunidad de crecer en Casa Guatemala desde niño y ahora voy a graduar de abogado. Ahora trabajo por Casa Guatemala y ayudó a los niños como yo fui ayudado.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a magical place! In the middle of the jungle, Casa Guatemala is a safe village for children to grow up healthy and to find an education. Volunteering with them changed my life and linked my heart to the lives of these wonderful kids. I am glad when I hear about their successes and I keep supporting them in every way I can. If you still don't know Casa Guatemala or if you have never donated to their cause, what are you waiting for?
Maria Jose Dominguez

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7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Casa Guatemala is a place with a heart. The biggest heart I have discovered while travelling around the world. Once I volunteered there, I kept going back. There is nothing better than seeing these kids smile.

2 Blanca3

Board Member

Rating: 5

My daughter found out about Casa Guatemala in a magazine at Alberta Motors Association in Edmonton Alberta Canada. She fell in love with the idea of volunteering,she went and said..that she found out what her purpose in life was. She applied to the faculty of pharmacy and she was accepted. She is going back in November 2016. A sustainable organization lead but an amazing executive director and all her staff volunteers and donors!!! Thank you.

2 Carly15

Donor

Rating: 5

We love casa Guatemala. A place filled with celebration, consistency and always hope.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friends of Guatemalan Children provide 100% of the funds collected to support programs in education, nutrition, and healthcare to some of the most vulnerable children in Guatemala. I have been involved with the organization for 15 years and have seen first hand the impact their support makes on the lives of the children at Casa Guatemala!