UsYouMe Pioneer Delegation: Guatemala 2015
In March of 2015, the founder of UsYouMe, Sima Simon, went on pre-visit tour in Guatemala, the country that The Pioneers chose as our destination. She visited each of the organizations, where we will be volunteering during our service trip.
On June 18, we will travel to Guatemala. For three weeks, we will be staying at Hogar Miguel Magone, the orphanage described below, where we will engage in several service projects for their community.
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Hogar Miguel Magone
Founded in 1997 Hogar Miguel Magone is a non-government organization, providing shelter for over 100 children aged between three and sixteen years old in Guatemala City. The majority of children sent to Hogar Miguel Magone are victims of abuse or neglect. The orphanage, located on the outskirts of Guatemala City, provides the children necessary care and education to help them live rewarding and successful lives. Hogar Miguel Magone also provides crucial services to more than 100 children and their families who live at Aguacate, a poor neighboring village.
Hogar Miguel Magon puts education as its first priority. The kids have to go to school and understand that this is their chance for a better life. The orphanage currently has one computer, with a very low and unstable internet line, to support all the kids who are queuing every afternoon and waiting their turn to use it. They have an empty room ready to be filled with computers. We will paint and furnish the room, donate and set up 20 laptops computers with all the supplies, applications and accessories they need, including a fast and stable internet line. We will teach the grown kids how to use and maintain the computers, so they can teach the rest of the kids in the orphanage. This computer room will provide them with important educational tools and skills that will support better opportunities in their future life.
Water Reclining System
Water in Guatemala is the most expensive utility, especially running water. The orphanage is not located on a main water line, and the private line makes the monthly water bill high as $1000. Today, even though it has the room the orphanage does not have the funds to hire more staff, so it cannot take new kids. With the help of local professional labor, we plan to install a new recycling water system that collects rainwater to a big water tank and uses it for cleaning, laundry, flushing the toilets and watering the plants. This system will drop the monthly water bill in more than 70%, or about $1000 This would enable the orphanage to hire three more full time staff, which would increase capacity for 30 more children
Solar Water Heater
At the boys’ orphanage, they have to take very cold showers every single day! We plan to provide them with a new solar heating system, and we hope to be there when they are out, smiling, from their first hot shower.
Sports Court Fence Repair
The sports court is the center of the orphanage. This is where the kids play, bond and spend most of their free time and take their energy and aggression out. There is a fence surrounding the court which prevents the balls from falling and disappearing in the valley far below. The fence needs urgent fixing, de-rusting and painting. Together with all the orphanage community, the Pioneers will have a great time working on it and making sure it will hold for few more years. We will conclude the hard work with a football match -- and let the best ones win!
We will be there during the wet season, when it rains every afternoon. In order to bond with the kids and provide them with some important general knowledge, we are planning to offer four fun workshops, where we teach kids about Geography, Science, Music and Sports.
Special Party on June 30th, Annual Fiesta Day
The 30th of June is a national Holiday in Guatemala. We are planning a Talent Show and a big party for us all!
VILLAGE HOME PROJECT
Dona Pancha is a single mom with six kids. They live in Aguacate, the village next to Hogar Miguel Magone, in a broken, dark, one- room, metal house with a mud floor and a leaky roof. Hogar Miguel Magone provides care for Dona Pancha's three young daughters. Marlo, her 14-year-old son, is trying to provide for the family by planting flowers in plastic bottles and selling them. With the help of a local professional labor, we will build them a new home.
Love the Child
Love the Child provides comprehensive child-care, medical care and developmental support for abandoned, orphaned, and abused children in Guatemala. Through loving relationships with caring adults, Love the Child enables these babies to develop into healthy and complete individuals, who will have a positive effect on their culture and their world.
The Pioneers will spend half a day nurturing the children with the staff at Love the Child, as well as providing them with the basic products they need and use daily.
Sharing the Dream – The Elders’ Center of Santiago
The Elders’ Center of Santiago was created to provide a warm, open, supportive and loving environment for the senior citizen community of Santiago Atitlan. Three days a week, the seniors gather at the Center to receive nutritious hot lunches and to reunite with members of the community. Throughout the year, the center is also used to celebrate other cultural festivities, such as Mother’s Day and an annual Christmas party for the elders.
Mothers’ Day Celebration
We will host a special Mothers’ Day Celebration for the elders in Santiago Atitlan providing gifts, food and activities.
In Guatemala City 15,000 people are making their living from the dumps; 70% of them are kids. They live in slums just next to the dump and and they jump on every dump track that arrives looking for garbage to sell or food to eat. Kids are dropping out of school at an early age and often get disconnected from their parents, or fall into glue sniffing, drugs and prostitution. Libre Infancia addresses this challenge by taking 100 of these kids from early morning until late afternoon every day and providing them with food, education, a safe environment and social skills, giving them the chance for a better life, and, most importantly, enabling them to stay with their families
Kitchen, Roof and Workshops
UsYouMe will spend two days with these beautiful children. Our projects include remodeling their kitchen, building a roof over an open area to create more indoor space, delivering fun educational workshops in geography and physics, and distributing food kits to their families.