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Casa Guatemala was established in 1977 and originally named Casa Canada as the original founders were a Canadian couple who 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.

Mission: Casa Guatemala seeks to provide a safe home, love and nurturing, proper health care and an adequate education to the children of Guatemala who are abused, abandoned, malnourished, or living in extreme poverty.

Vision: Casa Guatemala strives to equip the children in their care with the skills and education needed to become upstanding, empowered citizens in their community and to become fully self-sustained through the businesses that they run which provide financial support and meaningful job training for the older children.

Casa Guatemala has three locations in Guatemala; a nursery and administration centre in the Capital city and the Children’s Village of Rio Dulce, where the majority of children we serve live. Since 1987, this centre has been home to up to 250 children during the school year and provides educational and health care services to up to 300 children per year. These children are either Wards of the State in our care, or children from the surrounding Mayan villages who live in cases of extreme poverty that, without Casa Guatemala, would have no other option for an education.

Casa Guatemala is a registered NGO and receives no government funding. We rely on the funds gathered from groups and individuals around the world and the revenues generated from our social enterprise projects, Hotel Backpackers, our farm and a small store in Rio Dulce and a Day Care Centre in the Capital. These businesses do not only provide a steady income but also serve as training centres for the older children to gain work experience. Casa Guatemala has affiliate registered charities in Spain, Canada and the USA that help to collect the funds needed to operate this large organization.

Started in the height of Civil War, when poverty was epidemic within the displaced indigenous population, Casa Guatemala was like 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.

Situated in Las Brisas, Rio Dulce, Casa Guatemala’s Children’s Village is a paradise filled with laughter, learning and love. Spanning over 100 acres of tropical jungle are the many buildings that make up the community.
These include separate housing for the boys and girls, local staff and 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.
Apart from the wide variety of produce grown, the farm raises pigs and Tilapia, a type of fish, the surplus of which is sold in the local community to aid in the self sufficiency of the project on a whole.

The medical clinic provides free health care services for the children of the centre as well as the many local indigenous communities in the area.

In striving to best prepare the children that grow up in the orphanage for independent living as well as provide an income for the organization, Casa Guatemala has created various self sufficiency projects. These include Hotel Backpackers and the Butcher Shop “Granja de los Ninos” in Rio Dulce the town nearest to the orphanage. Most of the older children will work in one or more of the many aspects of these businesses while continuing their educations through to high school or college in order to gain the experience they will need after they leave Casa Guatemala. Eventually, Casa Guatemala hopes to be able to provide for themselves entirely through these and other business initiatives as a self sustained community.

 

 

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