Alex Colao Blog

Hello good people, today is the first day of the rest of your life, Pace e Bene

Visions of Guatemala

Posted by Alex Colao on September 17, 2011

Their stories vary, but their faces are the same. These are the faces of precious children with no hope of escaping the fate that awaits them. 
     Orphaned, abandoned, and abused children live in garbage dumps and walk aimlessly barefooted amid the rubbish looking for food. Their primary concern is their daily need for food and shelter. They are children as well as teenagers.  They are hungry and destitute.  It’s hard to imagine how these precious human beings are able to live in such poverty. 

Like every one of us, they need an opportunity to be cared for, to be loved, and to grow in a healthy environment.

Calvary Chapel – we started out at 6:00 in the morning to join the volounteers at Calvery Chapel who Monday-Friday prepare and serve breakfast to a group of about 100 children from the community.  Without this they do not eat in the morning so it provides them with a good start on the day. Sergio and his wife Brenda and the group of volunteers which also included some of the mothers of the community that also help out. And my good friend  Ermelindo who has grown up in the community and sleeps in the building and is the guard, also his wife volunteers there. He took me around and I met the whole family. They need help on a daily basis with food and also to build their new facilities which include bathrooms and showers for the children which they have already started to build.

Santa Lucia Los Ocotes: Una comunidad extremadamente pobre ubicada dentro de la Ciudad Capital, a la altura del Kiometro 10 carretera al Atlantico. En ella encontramos un trabajo tesonero realizado por dos parejas de esposos: Los España y Los Palomo, en colaboración con otros hermanos de su iglesia. Brenda y Sergio Palomo nos invitaron a visitar esa comunidad donde dan  desayuno gratis a mas de 100 niños todos los dias antes de irse a la escuela. Los fondos para dicho programa son donados por una organización de beneficencia internacional pero solo cubren a 40 niños, de tal manera que los mas de  60 niños restantes son alimentados con el desayuno a base de puros milagros. La ambicion del pastor Francisco Reyes, de los esposos Palomo y del resto de voluntarios, todos miembros de la iglesia Clavary Chapel, es levantar en el lugar una iglesia con clinicas medicas tambien; con lo cual puedan brindar a la comunidad una mejor ayuda, material, fisica, espiritual, etc. Que permita desarrollar a los niños y sus padres de una manera saludable, mental, fisica y espiritualmente. Las necesidades son muchas, pues está en proyecto la construcción del edifcio que brindará todos los servicios necesario; La alimentación tambien es necesaria, pues por una cantidad de niños que reciben desayuno todos los dias, hay otra cantidad mayor que esta esperando ser incluidos en la lista pues el proyecto no tiene recursos para alimentar a mas. A diferencia de otros niños que esperan el fin de semana con ansias, a estos niños no les agrada esa idea, pues los desayunos se otorgan unicamente de lunes a viernes. La mayoria de estos niños no hacen mas de dos comidas al día (inclyuendo la que Calvary Chapel les otorga).

Ciquimula and San Jose La Arada – A 3 hour ride by car going about 90 miles an hour over the mountains. We visited primarely a community of about 40 houses (structures made from whatever was around) at San Jose La Arade. Built into the hill (see film). The need here is obvious as can be seen by the crude shelters and the living conditions, lack of food, no health care and total lack of any kind of gainful employment.  These are the lucky ones though as they at least have somewhat of a shelter and through the help of this volunteer community are able to sustain themselves.

San José La Arada –  (Municipio del departamento de Chiquimula), cuenta con muy buena educacion primaria y basicos, sin embargo, tiene otros problemas donde se necesita de la ayuda y cooperación de todos. Nos entrevistamos con José De la Rosa (conocido comoRosito), quien nos informa que uno de los mayores problemas sociales de la comunidad es la violencia intrafamilia. Además de otros problemas socioeconómicos como es la vivienda  y las fuentes de trabajo. Cuenta con dos cumunidades extremadamente pobres: Colonia Juan Barnosqui (14 viviendas) y el asentamiento en Derehos de vias de la linea ferrea. Esta última esta compuesta por 40 unidades habitacionales (que realmente no son habitables), de construcción improvisada de nylon, laminas deterioradas, madera podrida y de cuanto material se ponga en el camino y pueda servir para tapar algun agujero. No cuentan con electricidad, agua potable ni drenajes, pues estan instalados en terreno correspondiente a los ferrocarriles de Guatemala. La tierra de San José La Arada es muy productiva; sin embargo la variedad de productos agricolas que se pudieran sembrar, no tienen un mercado fuera de la regio que les permita comercializarlo.

Slide Show Part 2

Valley of the Angels –  is an orphanage in Guatemala founded by the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception Province in 1988. Our Orphanage is located about thirty minutes east of Guatemala City in a small Aldea called San Jose Manzana in Santa Catarina Pinula. Fr. Rocco Famiglietti founded and maintains Valley of the Angels with the help of many generous benefactors, like Rene Abularach, who donated some 14 manzanas (about 25 acres). With Father Rocco’s vision and the work of the Carmelite Sisters and certain benefactors Valley of the Angels is truly a Valley of Angels”. The first thing you feel when you enter its walls is the peace and tranquility of the place. The happiness in the childrens faces and the organization. It seems everything runs by itself. Father Michel gave us a whole bunch of food and we filled Pastor’s truck. Beans!!

Casa Samuel – Jewels for the Future, Inc. (known in Guatemala as Casa Samuel), a nonprofit organization, has opened its doors to provide hope and shelter for these children, who were destined to repeat the cycle of poverty, drugs, sex, and violence in which they were being raised. We plan to expand our facilities to house 125 children and staff and to establish a multi-purpose building to serve the communtiy. We also want to provide medical facilities to benefit the local community.  One of our main goals is to complete processing the necessary legal documentation to legalize the adoption of Guatemalan children into the United States.

Pastor Byron Dardon
Centro de Adoracion
3000 Okeechobee Blvd.,
Loxahatchee, Fl 33470
TEL 561-798-3981  info@centrodeadoracion.org

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