Counting down the days 'till Christmas
Season's greetings from Casa Guatemala
It may be hot and sunny here in Rio Dulce, but it is indeed, beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We have our annual Toy Drive up and running in all the local marinas and the Cruiser Community is as always, extremely generous in ensuring that all of the children will have a magical experience at Casa Guatemala!
This Saturday will be our second annual Christmas Concert as part of our Vacation Program. It is a chance for the kids to perform the songs and skits they have been working on before having a nice lunch and a visit from Santa! For many of the kids in our Summer School program, this will be the only chance to celebrate since their villages are too far away to join us on the night of Christmas Eve. Some of them have never experienced Christmas before and so they are all very excited to have a chance to meet Santa and receive their very own gift! Our friends in the area are invited to join us Saturday, December 19th from 10:00 am on to share in the festivities! For those of you far away, we will be sure to post lots of pictures so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
A big thanks to last year's guest Santa, Dan McCarthy who has donated 125 stockings filled with goodies for the kids this year and to our friends at La Comunidad Reina de Los Angeles who have sponsored presents for all of the children in the summer school program!
We are all working hard to get ready for the big day! The kids are busy making beautiful decorations with the teachers and volunteers. The Posadas have begun to go from house to house, bringing cheer and appreciation for the Spirit of Christmas and Giving. Each house: the boys, girls, teachers and volunteers, host a celebration in the nights leading up to Christmas with special food, and a small party so that they have the chance to both give and receive and learn to open their doors and be charitable. Because as much as we rely on the charity of others, we want to instill in the children that it is not all about what they are going to get, but more importantly about what they can give of themselves.
The Nativity Scene at the Boys' House ready for the arrival of the Posada, which represents the journey of Mary and Joseph looking for lodging for the birth of Baby Jesus.
If you are not familiar how Christmas at Casa Guatemala works, it is something not to be missed! Here in Guatemala, the celebration happens on the night of December 24th. All of the children will be waiting throughout the day for Santa's big arrival while the adults will be making 700 tamales, and preparing seven roast turkeys with all the fixings for the families who come to us from the surrounding villages. There are fruits and cakes and candies for the children. Sparklers and firecrackers and an immense joy that is shared by the young and the old. Some families walk for hours through the jungle to be with us and share this special night! We will have about 500 kids and there will be presents for all of them thanks to Santa and his Aquatic Sleigh! It is the biggest event of the year and for many of the children who come, it will be the only present they will receive as well. We hope that you can help us to make this magic night come true by making a donation to our cause! We are very grateful for everyone who has helped so far with donations of money, food and toys!
Donate and help us reach our goal
We still have a ways to go to make it to our goal for the end of the year of raising $80,000 in our big campaign but we have already managed to raise over $62,000 thanks to hundreds of our supporters! We need all of you and your help, big or small, not just to make sure the kids have a magical Christmas, but to ensure our work can continue into 2016 and beyond!
You can make a donation via our new and improved website or as part of our Season of Giving Campaign on Crowdrise where you can still win lots of prizes by donating! The most important part is that we have your support no matter how big or small!
Remember to ask about matching donations from your work and to think about us if you are shopping online!
There are plenty of ways to help and we will always ensure to make the very most of every dollar you send! If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to watch our latest video about the Impact of a Donation by clicking below!
We are always incredibly touched by all of the support that we receive at this time of year. With so much going on in our homes and the world around us, it is easy to be overwhelmed and overly busy! So thank you for taking the time and energy to think of us here in the jungles of Rio Dulce, and for helping us. We are blessed to have such a large network of people who care.
We wish you the very best of this the season of giving and hope that, no matter how you are celebrating, you are surrounded by love and that your heart is filled with joy.
From all of us here at Casa Guatemala with love and gratitude,