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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Friends of Guatemalan Children Inc

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Volunteering Oportunities

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

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

1 Leslie103

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate enough to short term volunteer at Casa Guatemala four times in the past 15 months and I am counting the days until I can return again! Honestly, Casa Guatemala is such an amazing place. The children are so happy, bright and full of life. Because of the wonderful teachers and dedicated volunteers, each child is loved, nurtured and educated. Each time I visit, i feel privileged to be a part of such an amazing place. Anyone who visits or volunteers at Casa Guatemala will come away with more than they could ever imagine.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was fortunate enough to volunteer at Casa Guatemala for 2 1/2 weeks in June 2016. It was an amazing experience! The staff are incredible, so dedicated and nurturing! The children at Casa Guatemala are such bright and happy kids and you can see the hope and potential in each and every one of them. Casa Guatemala is truly a most amazing and inspiring place!

2 Jen W.1

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.

2

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

Previous Stories
6

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

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!

2 Monique15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was in Casa Guatemala in 1993 for the first time. It was very good to see the good care the children receive. It was very rewarding to be a part of this as a volunteer. We came back years layer to help rebuild the many destroyed house after a great earthquake and again it was so good to see the efforts that were taken to give the children and the staff a save place again. Love to go back one day...

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered here for 8 months around 6 years ago now. I loved every minute of my time there and I'm still involved in supporting the charity from Ireland. I would highly recommend this charity to anyone interested in volunteering or donating to a good cause.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Casa Guatemala from 08/2005-07/2006. Casa Guatemala is a magical place. I thought English, pe and music at the project and worked some time with the younger boys (verones pequenos). I can totally recommend the project. Meeting the kids, the local stuff and the volunteers from all over the world changed my life.
Un beso grande! David

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Casa Guatemala May of 2013. I went by myself from Canada without knowing anyone I would meet along the way. The experience was amazing: the other volunteers became great friends, the kids were cheerful and full of energy. I taught a few English classes and a few gym classes but I learned so much myself! The hostel associated with it was so accommodating and flexible as well. I will be going back in the future!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Casa Guatemala is a magical place. It provides hope & love to young children who otherwise would continue the vicious cycle of poverty. That is in addition to basic necessities that many Westerners take for granted: shelter, food to nourish, medical care, & education. The staff, teachers, & long term volunteers overseen by Heather dedicate long hours enriching the children at the orphanage. They are building a foundation as the children grow into young adults & enhancing the community by nourishing them in many aspects. It was gift to visit the orphanage this summer.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I will remember my volunteer experience at Casa Guatemala forever. Such an important place within a community that needs it. The staff and children are such remarkable people and I hope to continue to do my part in helping them all.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The mission of this non-profit is clearly to help enrich the lives of the children and make a positive impact on their lives. I will be volunteering again soon because the first time was such an amazing experience and I am proud to be a part of this organization!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To call the experience of volunteering at Casa Guatemala "life changing" would be to understate the significance of this experience. For me and many other volunteers, life at Casa Guatemala has been a source of inspiration. The challenges, the trials, the triumphs and hardships are all part of a big lesson on life, humanity, and hope. Moving to another country, living and working with a group of people for something larger than ourselves...this is not something that most people experience in their lives.

For six months, from August 2013 to February 2014, I lived and worked at Casa Guatemala as an "orientador" - a counselor/caretaker. I was assigned to the small boys, whose ages range from 4 to 9 years old. There were 24 boys in my group. Sometimes there were as many as 4 volunteers for the small boys; other times as few as 2 volunteers. Each day, when the kids are not in school, they are in the care of the volunteers. We get them up in the morning and get them showered. We get them to breakfast and then to school. We watch over them during their free time after lunch and again when school is out in the afternoon. We take them to dinner and put them to bed. We plan activities for them during the weekends. Over the course of 6 months, you get to know the kids extremely well and they get to know you. You are the role model, the parental figure, the one they turn to when they need something. It is an enormous responsibility and a monumental challenge but each day you see you the direct effect that your efforts have. Each day you can see the cause that you are working for and each day you find yourself surrounded by both the natural beauty of the Rio Dulce region of Guatemala and the warmth of the people around you, both the indigenous community native to the region and the volunteers you work and live with. Life can be challenging at times; there is no electricity in the volunteer house and there is no hot water, either. But if you can learn to live without modern comforts, you will find yourself inspired by this place and the people in it. I was certainly inspired by my time there and I now plan to return for 8 months more.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to volunteer twice with Casa Guatemala in the last year and a half. The organization and staff work continuously to provide care and education to children who are in dire need. In many cases, attending the school is the children's only shot at an education and a brighter future for them and their family. I can not think of a more worthy cause to donate time, money and donations to.

4 Heather G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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, medical care, education and a healthy environment to 250 children in Guatemala who have been faced with abandonment, abuse, neglect or extreme poverty. 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.