Mission: We are a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization registered in the U.S. working with indigenous and street children in Antigua and Santa Catarina, Guatemala, to provide a safe environment for them to be children. We all know that sometimes poverty can take away their privileges of being children. The mission of our group is to restore those lost privileges and let them SHINE!
Results: It is difficult to measure positive results in terms of children's development. It has been 5 years since we started our soccer practice with street children. Many of first comers are growing into young adulthood, which is a common stage when many boys are exposed to drugs and alcohol, especially in Guatemala. We are proud to know that none of our buys are smoking or drinking, and actually seeking a productive future for themselves, which we are happy to be a part of.
At the community center, there are children without schooling. For them our service is the only form of education they have, and we don't take this privilege lightly. We provide a reading/writing, math and English classes to those children with and without schooling.
Target demographics: street children and children from indigenous commuinity
Direct beneficiaries per year: 70 children (40 at the community center and 30 with the soccer team)
Geographic areas served: Antigua and Santa Catarina, Guatemala
Programs: education at our community center and soccer practice to street children
I communicated with LMS - and 2 days after I was interacting with the kids. I spent 3 weeks at the school, 6 days a week, and the time went away so fast. I am deeply grateful for the time I spent with the kids, to see their smiles and different faces every day. To build relations with them, and feel how our connection grew after hours of teaching English - but specially when we were playing soccer, hugging or swimming in the pools. A warm atmosphere where I felt welcome and integrated.
To create a picture of how it is - you come, and a smiling kid takes your hand, and suddenly you're running down the hills together in an incredible speed. Or collecting beautiful flowers and playing 'salon de belleza'. Or playing 'papa caliente' with a special kind of energy and excitement, that makes the English classes even funnier.
I had an awesome time. I can't imagine a more authentic experience to interact with indigenous wonderful kids than this. Because I was the only volunteer teacher in the weekdays, I felt that I was completely a part of it, without having the other volunteers to rely on. It made it more challenging, also due to (many) different levels of English in the same class. I really hope that the project will grow and blossom, but I have experienced a great potential - and we all know that education is the key to development and improved conditions for the kids. With their engagement and strong minds, I will with all my heart say that they deserve a beautiful and stimulating life.