Casa Guatemala needs your help
All we need is you!
As kids in other countries are just starting the school year, at Casa Guatemala we are almost at its end! But we need your help to get us through to the end of the year and ensure that we can run our incredibly successful summer school program in November and December! Help us to make a long term impact in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in Guatemala by donating to our new campaign so that we can reach our goal. Right now we need to raise at least $80,000 just so that we can make it through to the end of the year. Please help us to continue to provide the important services to the children in our care. It is our goal to give these children the best access to education possible so we can break the chain of extreme poverty and malnutrition that is so rampant in Guatemala. But we can't do it without you.
In 2015, 255 children have enrolled in our school from pre-kindergarten through 6th Grade. Of them, 127 stay on site and only going home on weekends or during vacations. The other half come from home everyday as they live close by. We are currently helping 116 different families from 31 different communities. The majority of which are Mayan Q’eqchi. 76% of the children speak Q’eqchi as their first language and most don’t speak Spanish upon their arrival. Its amazing to see the transformation in just a few months as they are now all learning, speaking and reading in Spanish and English thanks to our wonderful teachers and volunteers!
Another important fact about our demographics is that we are almost equal in the number of girls and boys. Every year differs but we pride ourselves in ensuring that the girls of the communities we serve have equal access to education and we teach them the importance in continuing their studies after they leave Casa Guatemala. We work to ensure that our graduates are able to continue on to higher levels of education by securing opportunities for scholarships, sponsorships and free education programs from other community based organizations in the area.
In order to ensure that these kids have a better future we rely on our local, Guatemalan staff! We have got an amazing team of 15 teachers who are led by our director, Lily. They really are some of the best teachers in Guatemala! They live, eat, sleep and breathe Casa Guatemala and act as mentors, friends and family to the kids who depend on them for guidance, education and love. They sacrifice being away from their own families to work around the clock with us and we are incredibly grateful. Here in Guatemala, the public school teachers have been on strike for months and it is a regular occurrence all around the country.
We are very lucky that we are able to provide an above average education for the children in our care.
But it isn’t easy. Our education program is in constant need of funding. We struggle from month to month to cover the costs of running our school. This includes not only the salaries of the teachers and staff, but also the costs of housing and feeding the children. Since we are only accessible by water, the boat transportation of people, goods and fuel adds up too! Casa Guatemala spends an average of $200 USD per day just on fuel for the boat, the stoves, and the generator! Thankfully we receive most of our food for the children from our major sponsor PERENCO, but each month we have to raise at least $8000 USD in order to pay the teachers and staff in the children’s village, not to mention the administration costs in the city. We try to keep these as low as possible, but our work would be impossible without accountants and social workers that ensure our organization is working as transparently and effectively as possible.
Thanks to our social enterprise, Hotel Backpackers, we are able to cover most of the administration costs ourselves, which ensures that the donations we receive, like those from people like you, go directly to running our important programs.
Casa Guatemala is incredibly grateful for your support! Your donations help us to ensure that we can continue to provide for the hundreds of children who depend on us. It is actually an investment in the future of Guatemala and plays an integral role in breaking the cycles of poverty and malnutrition that plague the country.
Casa Guatemala depends on donors and volunteers from around the world. If you are interested in visiting, both long term and short term volunteer programs are available. We are currently in need of long term volunteers! From now until the end of the year! It is a great opportunity to be a part of our summer school program!
Please see our listings of positions here!
Crowdrise fundraising campaign
A new way to support the cause!
Raising $80,000 isn't going to be easy, but thanks to our crowdfunding campaign, we can all work together to raise the funds we need to ensure Casa Guatemala can continue our important work! In addition to being able to make donations via our website, now you can actually help us by joining our fundraising team and creating your own fundraising page to share with your friends and family on Crowdrise!
You can set up a fundraiser for your birthday, run a marathon on our behalf, or just share your Casa Guatemala story. If we all work together, we will surpass our goal in no time! Click on the picture below to donate to our campaign, or to join our fundraising team! We will help you to encourage your friends and family to donate by sending you pictures and videos of the kids and we will share your campaign on our Facebook Page!
Want to donate or fundraise from Canada?
We are very lucky to have the support of our affiliate charities in Canada and the USA! This means that we are able to ensure tax deductible receipts to our donors in both countries thanks to Friends of Guatemalan Children in the USA and Support Casa Guatemala Children in Canada. Canadians can both donate and fundraise via our CanadaHelps page. You can choose from a one-time or monthly donation or sign up to start your very own fundraiser! Our good friend Abbey just had her 7th Birthday and instead of asking for presents, she asked for donations and raised over $300!
Click below or on Abbey's story to start your very own campaign or to donate today!
Replacement water tower
It seems the year is flying past here at Casa Guatemala and we have been extremely busy! It has been a good year for us in that we have been blessed with some very generous donations. Namely, our new water tower! This was an urgent issue as the previous tower was becoming unstable and threatening to become a safety risk. Thanks to the help of Autoneum in Switzerland we were able to successfully build our new water tower and it is working great!
We safely tore down the old tower so that it no longer poses a threat of falling! We are especially grateful to Kasia Zelazny who made the whole thing happen! Back in 2011, Kasia was a volunteer at Casa Guatemala and now, she is employed by Autoneum! When they asked their employees for fundraising ideas, Kasia’s passion for our work here shined through and her project was chosen! We are so grateful for our volunteers who stay involved after their time here! Most businesses have a matching program so be sure to ask your employer if your company will match your donation and double your impact!
Stay tuned for some exciting news
As you may have noticed, our website is in need of a major makeover! It is something that we are very aware of and we are working hard in finishing up our new and improved site! We are sure that you are going to like it and we can't wait to share all of our supporters! As soon as it is ready, I will be letting you know and I really look forward to your feedback! I am sure that you will like it! We are very grateful for the incredible talent and effort of Brent Van Horne who has put the site together for us with the collaboration of our long term volunteer nurse, Michelle Adyniec, and pictures from some of our favourite photographers who have been so kind to donate their shots over the years including Peter McDermott, and Megan Ewing from Photographers Without Borders. We are incredibly excited to publish the new website and bring even more attention to our wonderful work!
Speaking of pictures, we are also working on getting a new 2016 Casa Guatemala Calendar together for you! We have such a wonderful selection of pictures this year from visiting photographers that we won't be having a contest but you won't be disappointed with the selection! We will let you know as soon as they are ready where you can order them! Check out the pictures below for a sneak peek of some of our selection to choose from!
We are incredibly grateful for your help and your donation goes a long way in changing the lives of these great kids!
From all of us here at Casa Guatemala,
Thank you so much!