As an organization focused on passionately serving children, we`re always looking for new ways to serve children in Guatemala. Most recently, Bertha and our children have been serving in San Nicolás.
For those who do not know her, Bertha serves as our Community Outreach Director. She is responsible for connecting us with ways to serve outside Dorie’s Promise. Although she enjoys working with visitors, one of her greatest passions is finding opportunities for our kids to help those in need with her.
Many of our mission teams have visited San Nicolas during the last few years. They’ve played soccer on the dirt field where cows and pigs interrupt the game. Homes have been built for families. Supplies have filled the classrooms at the tutoring center. A deep connection formed between Dorie’s Promise and the community.
A Community Full of Love and Faith
Bertha shares even more details about San Nicolas, their needs, and our connection.
San Nicolás is a community about an hour and a half away from Dorie’s Promise, located between the town of Fraijanes and the department of Santa Rosa. It’s a little town full of almost 300 amazing families! Sadly, most of them live in poverty, and some are in extreme poverty.
Four years ago, two individuals founded An Opportunity for San Nicolas to meet critical needs in the community. Initially, the project provided 50 children with food, tutoring, and most importantly spiritual guidance. Due to the great need in the community, the number of participants quickly increased to 200!
The founders quickly realized that the needs of the community were greater than their expertise. After reaching out to a local doctor, a medical clinic was added with office hours twice a week. Within the brightly colored community center, An Opportunity for San Nicolas offered educational, spiritual, nutritional, and medical care for 200 children.
Three years ago, through a chance encounter, Bertha connected with the founders. Quickly thereafter, Bertha visited San Nicolas and created a plan for our two organizations to work together. Our mission teams built houses and kitchens; remodeled classrooms; and delivered food, water filters, and medicine.
Every time, we were overwhelmed by the gratitude and joy with which the community received our help.
Staying Connected in 2021
This year, Bertha and our director Alejandra organized trips for our children to visit and serve in San Nicolas. We want them to connect with the community and understand the hardships many families face.
Each week, groups of boys and girls made the trip to help the founder with his many tasks. Although some of these tasks were more difficult than others, the kids seemed fully committed and open to helping however needed. The tasks included preparing a 5-meter by 5-meter plot of land for people to plant radishes, caring for rescued dogs from the street, and maintaining the two chicken corrals and small pigpen.
As they explored the surrounding, our kids learned even more about the community. They found a nearby creek where they could play with other kids and eat lunch together. In some ways, our children became part of the San Nicolas community.
During their final visit, our children hosted a Christmas party for the community. On their own, our children planned everything – a pinata for the kids, food to share, and lots of pictures (see bottom of post). For Bertha, this was the most special activity
The Lasting Impact of San Nicolas
Bertha believes that through being part of this experience, our children’s responsibility, altruism, and creativity grew. Most importantly though, a deep understanding of themselves, their ability to help others, and gratitude for everything God gives us were more firmly rooted in the children. During their trips, Bertha witnessed both maturity and leadership in each child, making her both extremely proud and happy.
According to Bertha, all our kids have a lot to bring to society whether it’s with ideas, doing the work that’s needed, or just being themselves and letting other people see God through them. The only thing they need is the opportunity and guidance to make their dreams and ideas come to life.
The kids created many friendships that will forever change their lives. This project will forever be one of Bertha’s favorites. Seeing the kids grow personally and spiritually and discovering skills they didn’t know they had, makes all the planning worthwhile.