Kindergarten Program was born in January of 2011
Mick and Debora were introduced to
three siblings, Luisito,
Chente and Jimena. You can read their story
below and also
see photos of them as they have grown. For
photos here. In 2013, this program was
our sponsorship program at our school in
Kindergarten Program provides each child
safe environment in which to be a child.
meals and one snack per day.
bath and a clean change of clothing.
The opportunity to play, socialize and learn.
To reach more about our school and its
programs, please visit this page: La
Academia - Our School
it all began: We went to have our weekly
class with Lys Flores,
the project director
of Semilla de
Esperanza y Amor in San Mateo Milpas Altas,
Guatemala, where the first
kindergarten is now
She told us that day
about a very particular and
most needy case...
She told us
about these three kids who needed help. Luisito
Jimena (3) and Chente (1.5) who were just
abandoned by their
mom; the father never was in
the picture. The mom decided after
children that she had the right to look for a
Her kids, of course were a big hindrance
for her future plans, so
she simply decided to
drop them at her mother's home and to
forget about them.
The first day we met Luisito,
Jimena for the first time, this is what we
< Click to enlarge photo: No shoes,
Now, back to
our story. Dona Julia, the children's grandma,
has 10 children in total including a girl, Grecia
6 years old and Minor who was 8. Most of the older
boys are alcoholics, and the older girls are
single mothers who
live with their babies in some part of Dona
compound. The only ones working are Dona
Julia and her
husband who earns $65 per month at his job
as a security guard.
Jimena and Chente were living in this environment
surrounded by many irresponsible adults. The only
who was taking care of them was the grandma, Dona
Julia. But, she also had to work all day, picking up wood in
the mountains to sell in the market, for almost
nothing, in order to provide for everybody. As you
can imagine, when
saw them we knew we had to do something and that
to simply supply the family with food wasn't
Luisito, the seven
could not attend the school
because he had to take care of
his two siblings. So Chente and
Jimena's situation w
Luisito didn't love them, but
because he didn't know better. They were all
a very sad and unhealthy
environment with no chance
of a better future.
It was out of
their situation that the
Kindergarten Program was born; out of the need to
offer youngsters like
these ones the
chance of education and better life.
The picture above was taken about six months after
these three kids started in the kindergarten. Luisito
school because his siblings
are attending this program. They only continue to
another picture of Luisito, Chente and
Jimena in December of 2011, only 11 months
after we first met them.
Luisito is attending normal school all year
now and he got to wear for the first time in
his life a new pair of shoes. Chente
and Jimena are running around all day at the
kindergarten, driving everyone crazy, but
also filling us with the joy of their
laughs, happy voices and big hugs.
healthy and clean and they are learning what
is to socialize with other children and
adults in safe and happy environment.
kindergarten started, several more children have entered
this program. Most of them are really shy at first
yet all of them really happy after a while! We
love this program and we love the kids and staff
who are working with them.
the program to keep
growing throughout the years, to give more opportunities
neighborhood who may be living
in similar conditions as to how we first found
Luisito, Chente and Jimena.
are continuing to fund this program also on
GlobalGiving.org. If you would like to donate via
website, please click
The smiles of
these children are the best award, reward that we could ever imagine.
to all of you for making this happen!!
Liz, Marisol, Panchito, Bella and all at IHF.