A story of war, poverty, and perseverance
Casa Guatemala was established in 1977 and originally named Casa Canada, as the original founders were a Canadian couple. They reached out to assist the malnourished, orphaned, and abused children during the brutal civil war. Their early efforts catalyzed the mission of the organization to provide a safe home, nurturing, health care, and an education for the children of Guatemala who are abused, abandoned, malnourished, or living in extreme poverty.
Casa Guatemala was established in the height of the Civil War, when poverty was epidemic within the displaced indigenous population. We served as a light shining at the end of a tunnel for families that could not afford to feed their children, and children whose parents had been killed in the war. In the beginning it was only a small clinic and office run by a handful of international volunteers. The Center was expanded within the city for many years until The Children’s Village was created in 1987.
The children's village
Spanning over 100 acres of tropical jungle are the many buildings and spaces that make up the community – including separate housing for the boys, girls, and local staff, a primary school, medical clinic, library, carpentry shop, outdoor playing fields, and a dining hall, where the meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables from the school’s farm, are served.
The farm is both a learning tool where the children gain the agricultural skills needed in the outside world and a source of provisions for a balanced diet. In addition to the wide variety of produce we grow, our farm also pigs and other livestock, the surplus of which is sold in the local community to aid in the self sufficiency of the project on a whole. Our medical clinic provides free health care services for the children of the centre as well as the many local indigenous communities in the area.