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Review for Opal House, Snohomish, WA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I was introduced to this organization by a friend of mine in Seattle.

One of the things that impressed me with Will and Dine is the investment in relationships with the community to know the children and families. It seems like they are respected and well known in the town of Auga Escondida. What I like about this program is that they are growing organically and looking for where the need is.

Here is a review of their programs:


• Medical
○ Will is a podiatrist (lower extremity) and works at clinics in San Lucas and Panajachel. He partners with other medical clinics to share recourses.
○ He preforms complex surgeries and serves the state of Solo la.
○ His clinics are Monday and Wednesday in San Lucas and Thursdays in Panajachel with Mayan Families.

• Farming
○ Will has a 75 acre farm with avocados, coffee and various fruits. He has started the reforestation process for his avocados and coffee. They are around 2-5 years old.
○ This land is up in the mountains and has been turned fully organic.
○ They have turkeys, goats and 4 worm compost bins that produce organic fertilizer.
○ They roast their coffee (small crop) with a local indigenous roster. They use the fruit of the beans to compost. Everything gets used.

• Clean water
○ On the Farm there is a natural spring that has been tested and is not contaminated.
○ They have the ability to supply the local town with clean water and do this through water cisterns that are available to the local community.

• Montessori
○ Cutting edge curriculum and Montessori based theories.
○ New school building with natural light that is conductive to teaching, learning and creativity.
○ This building also has the capacity to serve as an afterschool recourse center. There is a room set aside for this potential.
○ They are organically growing classes. They currently have three grades. Pre- k to 1st grade. They also have a few exceptions for children that that are in higher grades.
○ There are three teachers (salary for director is $400 and the other teachers is $320 a month)
○ They also feed the children a nutritious meal for snack and lunch.

• Young women mentoring on Fridays
○ 8-12 young teen women are mentored with Diana and the school director (Jacklyn)
○ Character building and skill building.
○ This week they are doing a HALO project around integrity. Example of how integrity is lost like when you take a photo and rip it up. Even if you put it back together it still wont look the same. Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking.

• Youth mentoring and bible study on Wednesdays:
○ Boys and girls

Youth in the greatest need Identified:

- Mayan population is the majority yet the most marginalized group in Guatemala.
- 50% of youth have malnutrition.
- More than half of families are single orphaned homes. (one parent at home.)
- The education is poor. (average marks are 60%)
- Average child goes to 3rd grade and not proficient in math and reading.
- The young women are at risk for early pregnancy's (as young as age 14.)

I would recommend this organization.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field