I was lucky enough to volunteer in the fall of 2016 for Mil Milagros. The commitment and dedication that Mil Milagros has to a greater purpose is unforgettable. Every member of this organization is driven and considerate. After speaking to coordinators in Mil Milagros' Guatemala and Boston sites, I am positive Mil Milagros is a positive force for change that will never rest. To me, Mil Milagros is a family. Everyone from Guatemala to Boston had an immense amount of care for each other and from this organization, I learned that the best thing you can share with the world is knowledge. Margaret Blood and Mil Milagros are sharing knowledge with mothers in rural Guatemala every day, and I cannot wait to see how this nonprofit grows and gives in the future.
I recently returned from a 5 day trip to Solola with an amazing group of people to see an amazing organization and the work it does. While in Guatemala the group I was with visited four different schools that Mil Milagros has touched, and it is apparent that a touch from this organization is a touch of life, for the children, and teachers in those schools showed nothing but thankfulness and friendship when we walked through their doors. Mil Milagros' work in these schools surely has changed the lives of these children, giving them their first meal of the day, allowing them to focus and actually show up for school. I never in my life have seen children so happy to receive dental floss, but it just shows how much these kids truly want to be healthy, and how they want to learn and grow. It is because of Mil Milagros that they are given this opportunity that they so obviously long for, it is remarkable work that is being done. I hope to visit again very soon.
I just came back from my third trip to Guatemala. During this trip, I visited four of the schools supported by Mil Milagros. This was a wonderful and rewarding experience. Mil Milagros does an amazing job with supporting these schools. The children are always so grateful for what they receive and everything that they have. The love that Margaret has for this program, that she created, is beautiful to witness. The children when they see her, surround her with nothing but love and hugs. Being adopted from Guatemala has made this experience eye-opening for me. I know that I could have been one of those children. Just knowing that I can make a difference in these children's lives is more than I can ask for, and being able to give back to those who need it. This time going to Guatemala was different and I could really see it more as a place in my heart and somewhere that I know is always going to feel like home.
I spent my summer volunteering with Mil Milagros. I had the opportunity to visit their partner schools, watch how the staff worked in the office and also conducted 1:1 interviews with their Mother Leaders. The team really cares about the population they work with, and they understand the challenges that their communities face, which is crucially important. During my interviews with the Mother Leaders, I heard so many stories about how Mil Milagros had impacted these women's lives. Not only did the mothers report that their children were healthier, but they also reported that they themselves had gained so much from working with Mil Milagros - self-confidence, a community, and more.
I had the privilege of volunteering with Mil Milagros for several months in their Boston office and a month in their Guatemala office. Both locations instilled in me a sense of amazement at the variety of high-impact work that is occurring in Guatemala. Not only do the Guatemalan partner communities collaborate with Mil Milagros staff, but they lead and develop the majority of the projects. It was fascinating to see the direct benefits from the health and hygiene, educational, and nutritional projects on the children, but also the profound impact the projects made on the mother and grandmother leaders in each community. Grandmothers who became influential leaders in their communities and mothers who were inspired to go back to school were common stories amongst all of their partner communities.
Needless to say, Mil Milagros is one of the very few non-profits out there that invests in the right combination of community involvement, health, education, and women's leadership with a high success rate. I am confident in saying that an investment in Mil Milagros will take you farther than other organizations. I look forward to witnessing their continued success as they expand their work with-risk mothers, grandmothers, and children in one of the poorest areas in the world.
I had the privilege of volunteering for Mil Milagros for 3.5 months, working primarily as their communications volunteer. I helped operate their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as helping out in field with the lessons that my coworkers planned. I was impressed by how well Mil Milagros worked with its partner communities, and not simply for them. Being on social media all the time and reading about a lot of other non-profits in the area, I was struck by how many weren't working to establish long-term change, and instead were just giving handouts. Mil Milagros, on the other hand, spends a lot of time and energy working with the mothers of its partner schools to train them in proper hygiene and nutrition practices so that Mil Milagros can step away from the community after a few years and the mothers can continue teaching their communities without skipping a beat.
Additionally, I admired how well the staff members worked with and got to know the members of the partner communities; mothers and children alike felt very comfortable approaching them with any questions or feedback they had.
Mil Milagros is an organization that creates tangible, lasting change, and I cannot recommend it enough.
I had the opportunity and pleasure of working with Mil Milagros as part of my social work practicum. I saw how the organization was able to accomplish such breadth of work with a small staff, and did so in a way that honored the dignity of each community Mil Milagros works with. Mil Milagros employs a partnership model, meaning that the organization does not simply impose its ideas, but rather works in alliance to implement its program and meet the needs identified by the communities. Community members are not just passive beneficiaries, but they actually play an integral role in executing the program. This unique approach therefore goes beyond a typical charitable model. By working with, and not just for the communities, Mil Milagros' approach is more sustainable and effective. I learned a lot about how to build rapport with individuals, families, and communities, and how to develop impactful programs. Additionally, as a volunteer, I felt especially supported and valued. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to form part of the Mil Milagros team!
My son Alex and I had the extraordinary opportunity to see first hand the positive impact Mil Milagros is having with so many children, families, and teachers in Guatemala. The very small staff accomplishes so much for so many. Margaret, Carolyn, and the other staff members have put in Daly Blood (pun intended) and sweat in ensuring every penny is put to good use in improving the nutrition and hygiene of many children and families.
We appreciated the time given during our visit to remind us both what is important in life. The families of Guatemala are very fortunate to have Mil Milagros a part of their lives and Mil Milagros is very fortunate to be paid back with so much love and gratitude.
I was honored to volunteer with Mil Milagros last summer in their Boston office. I was impressed both with the efficacy of the program and by the dedicated, passionate people who do so much to make the goals of Mil Milagros a reality. One of the things I love about Mil Milagros is that the program works with local women to strengthen the community from the ground up. In this way, Mil Milagros has been able to improve nutrition, health, education, and women's rights all at the same time. I am very lucky to have been able to work with such a wonderful organization.
I had the pleasure of working with Mil Milagros staff this past summer. Their passion, creativity, and drive for constantly improving upon their holistic programming, and their responsiveness to community-determined needs, were truly inspiring.
Mil Milagros not only provides the much needed resources for the operation of their programs, but also builds the capacity of mother-leaders for a sustainable impact of child development in the communities in which they serve. In conversations with the mothers, I heard their first-hand accounts of the many ways in which Mil Milagros has changed their lives, the lives of their children and their communities. Mil Milagros has sparked hope for the future of their children, and has empowered women to have the confidence to voice their opinions and lead in their communities.