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Charity Spotlight: Guatemala Conexions

Since 2001, a small group of Canadians has been partnering with local Guatemalans who are changing their country. Guatemala Conexions have helped with orphanages, seniors’ homes, AIDS hospices, building projects, schools, computer labs, scholarship programs, disaster relief, English training, mobile medical clinics, and much more. The group grew out of the explorations of Hallmark Retirement Communities in Abbotsford, BC, Canada, starting with trips to help in the Antigua area. Stan and Grace Hindmarsh, the founders of Hallmark, wanted to make a difference in Guatemala, so staff, residents, and family members joined them on their journey.

While in the Antigua area, they were painting the faces of children for AIDS awareness, singing with seniors in an orphanage/hospital, and helping build homes. This opened doors to microloan projects, sewing machine distribution, nutrition programs, computer labs in schools, and medical clinics.

The group aimed to help empower local change-makers, giving them the tools to sustain their projects, empowering them to become self-supporting.

The board members have traveled to Guatemala numerous times. They are all volunteers, with no fixed office, or red tape. Today, they primarily support the work of three Guatemalan partners:

Candelaria and Gregorio Garcia, Spanish school owners, who lead a mentorship program in Panajachel, developing at-risk teenagers into the leaders of tomorrow. They call their foundation “Forging My Tomorrow.”

  • Guatemala Conexions supports with funds for scholarships, English language immersion, computer training, and leadership practicums where the teenagers serve as literacy mentors in their villages, helping 200+ children.

Dr. Francisco and Carina Mendez Puac, a doctor in San Pedro, who donates much of his time and effort to local Indigenous patients.

  • Guatemala Conexions supports with funds for clinic construction, equipment, and medical supplies.

Massimo Pigoni, local businessperson, who coordinates community development in the village of Chujulimul.

  • Guatemala Conexions supports with funds for classroom construction, water system improvement, or other projects the village leaders propose.

Other important connections for them are the Walton International Scholarship Program, the English Access program via the American Embassy, Casa Maria Seniors’ Home in Antigua, The Summer English Institute in California, and the Casa De Fe recovery hospice in Antigua.

Donations to Guatemala Conexions are receipted through the Multi-Nation Missions Foundation, which charges 5% to manage receipting and Canadian tax reporting, as well as record-keeping accountability for expenditures. The other 95% goes directly to the projects of partners.

To donate now, visit multinationmissions.org and designate “Guatemala Conexions”. Help would be much appreciated, as funding comes solely from friends and family.

Source: Guatemala Conexions