Mission: Educational nature facility for at-risk youth
Programs: Reception of two groups of children from our ngo link-partner schools (45-50 each group); each even was for four (4) days and three (3) nights. Most of the work related to the program is provided by volunteers. Overhead costs, not directly associated with the program provide the infrastructure to allow for the programs to occur
we conducted an outreach in north-west guatemala and sponsored a workshop in panajacel for 12 senior-level guatemalan university students in guatemala city who qualified. Licensed psychologist, volunteer, and mindfulness practitioner cristina herrera, along with a team of local volunteers, conducted this important 4-day workshop in panajacel which resulted in university students being trained to volunteer and work as mindful mentors (for the children) in the future. Most of the work related to the program is provided by volunteers. Overhead costs, not directly associated with the program provide the infrastructure to allow for the programs to occur
in july, 2014, we received another group of 45 children from our local village/community: san andreas semetejbajfor a one-day event. Teachers and children enjoyed a tour of our 60acre forest site, and recieved an overview of our pgoram, followed by a picnic lunch. The purpose of this event was to help build a sense of "community" between the local village children and adults and the ninos del lago program. Most of the work related to the program is provided by volunteers. Overhead costs, not directly associated with the program provide the infrastructure to allow for the programs to occur
also, in 2014, our la cadena program outreach team (volunteers) traveled to meet with potential ngo la cadena link partners that are other licensed, ngo's that provide high-quality public school curriculum to the children they serve who come from poor and vulnerable communities. Children from these, our la cadena (link) partners ngo's will benefit from our 4-year journey to the forest program.
Four years ago, a photojournalist friend and colleague who has worked on the streets of Brazil with homeless children told me about woman she had met in Mexico who started a unique program working with Guatemala's poorest, most at-risk children. Her name was Arlaine Cervantes, and she had recently started Ninos del Lago. A nature camp overlooking one of the most beautiful lakes in the Western Hemisphere, Lake Atitlan. The camp was being created as an inspirational educational retreat designed to give these children their first opportunity to play, to learn, to be creative and to dream in a safe, secure and nurturing environment. I was immediately taken by the passion and unique vision of Arlaine, and she convinced me to fly down to Guatemala to see the camp site and the children for myself. I never looked back. There is not another program of this type in Central America, and when we are complete, Ninos del Lago will serve as a model program to help transform the lives of forgotten children throughout Central and South America. Since that first visit I have been back to Guatemala several times and have seen the progress and momentum. It started as one woman's dream but has developed into project that is now getting support from volunteers in the US, Holland and throughout Guatemala. We still have a way to go, but we now a core team of dedicated volunteers and sponsors who have helped us overcome tremendous obstacles.