Helping children since 1987
Casa Guatemala is a registered NGO and receives no government funding. We rely on funds from individuals and groups around the world to provide care for up to 300 children at our village and in the larger community. These children have been wards of the State, but the majority come from families from the surrounding Mayan villages who live in cases of extreme poverty who, without Casa Guatemala, would have no other access to education.
Casa Guatemala seeks to provide a safe home, love, nurture, health care, and an excellent education to the children of Guatemala who are abused, abandoned, malnourished, or living in extreme poverty.
Casa Guatemala strives to equip the children in our care with the skills and education needed to become upstanding, empowered citizens in their communities. We aim to become fully self-sustained through the businesses that we run which provide us with financial support as well as meaningful job-training opportunities for the older children.
Since 1977, Casa Guatemala has helped thousands of vulnerable children from around Guatemala. Over the years we have facilitated hundreds of adoptions around the world, rehabilitated thousands of malnourished children and provided a loving home, education and health care for over 250 children per year. Casa Guatemala has been like a light shining at the end of a tunnel for families that could not afford to feed their children, and children whose parents were not able to care for them.
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We provide what's needed most
Casa Guatemala has three locations in Guatemala; a nursery and administration centre in the Capital city and the Children’s Village of Rio Dulce, where the majority of children we serve live. Since 1987, this centre has been home to up to 250 children during the school year and provides educational and health care services to more than 300 children every year.
Facilities include houses for the girls, boys, teachers, volunteers, and staff. School facilities for pre-kindergarten through grade six classes. A medical clinic, dining hall, offices, storage, and carpentry shop. Three greenhouses, two fish ponds, one pig pen, and four wells for water, and 25 acres of fruit and vegetable crops.
In Guatemala only 30% of children finish elementary school. We're helping change that. Every year we help over 250 children from more than 25 communities progress through their early education. Our coursework focuses on language skills, math, health and hygiene classes, sustainable agriculture, and artistic activities.
But we also understand that the education for these children must not stop at grade six. That's why we work with other agencies and groups to secure scholarships and other opportunities for those children graduating from grade six. With your help, and the help of other NGOs like ours, we can give these children the skills and opportunities they need to help change the face of their communities.
Our medical clinic provides free health care and health care education for the children of Casa Gautemala and the surrounding communities.
We seek to help solve the medical problems that, without proper care, can derail the lives of both children and adults. All the supplies and medications we use to help our community are acquired through donations.
As important as health care is to Casa Guatemala and the surrounding community, health education is even more important. Much of the medical knowledge that more developed countries take for granted is unknown in countries like Guatemala. It's our mission to provide preventative health education that will ensure our community stays safe and healthy even after they leave our clinic.
Child malnutrition in Guatemala is a serious issue, and rural areas like Rio Dulce are hit especially hard. Guatemala has the third highest rate of stunting caused by chronic malnutrition in the world. In Guatemala, over a third of child deaths are caused by undernutrition. And children under two years old who are malnourished are at a higher risk for impaired cognitive development. Read more here.
So we understand how important it is simply to have food on the table. But at Casa Guatemala, we don't stop there. We provide a nutritional education to our children and the wider community. Every child that we help educate can take that foundation back to their families and their communities, helping to spread nutritional education through all of Guatemala.
Our farm is both a learning tool where our children gain the agricultural skills needed in the outside world and a sustainable source of produce we use to build a balanced diet. In addition to the the wide variety of produce grown, we also raise pigs and other livestock, the surplus of which is sold in our store and restaurant to aid in the self-sufficiency of the project.
In striving to best prepare our children for independent living and also to provide another source of income for our organization, Casa Guatemala has created various self-sufficiency projects. These include Hotel Backpackers and the Butcher Shop “Granja de los Ninos” in Rio Dulce.
Many of the children who have grown up with Casa Guatemala work in the businesses while continuing their studies and / or after they have finished. For those who grew up with us as orphans, our businesses are always there to provide them with a job in the future and help them to gain the experience. Eventually, Casa Guatemala hopes to support ourselves entirely through these and other business initiatives as a self-sustained community.