Our Partner Sites
Hogar Miguel Magone
Foster Home for 60 Boys
El Aguacate, Mixco, Guatemala
Located in the volcanic mountains between Guatemala City and Antigua, Hogar Miguel Magone is a privately funded home for more than 60 boys between the ages of 2 and 16. The Hogar houses orphans as well as children who have been abused by their families and removed from their homes. The director, Karen Rodas, has spent more than 15 years building and enhancing this home by providing food, shelter, clothing, health care, psychological counseling, English classes, tutoring services, and vocational training. Karen’s programming is a long-term solution for equipping these children with the skills necessary to lead fruitful, healthy and productive lives. Karen and her husband, Estuardo, raise nearly 100% of the Hogar’s funds through donations from humanitarian organizations.
With both funds and volunteers, Tree 4 Hope supplements Karen’s work. We run three ongoing sponsorship programs for Hogar Miguel Magone. Two supply nutritious food for all of the boys at the Hogar, as well as some in the surrounding village, and the third supports those boys who take music lessons. Along with music, we also pay the psychologist’s salary, providing the boys with two critical therapeutic outlets as well as opportunities to learn cooperation and self-discipline. Each January, we raise money for vaccinations against pneumonia and influenza, and our volunteers have completed projects in areas as diverse as construction, medical clinics, English and vocational teaching, counseling, murals, music, martial arts, and dance. We look forward to many more years of service to this wonderful orphanage.
Hogar Maria Auxiliadora
Foster Home for 20 Girls
El Aguacate, Mixco, Guatemala
In May 2014, Karen and Estuardo opened Hogar Maria Auxiliadora, a girls’ orphanage, as a counterpart to the boys’ orphanage Hogar Miguel Magone. Presently, they have 20 girls, with plans to expand to 30. All of Tree 4 Hope’s programs, including sponsorships, donation drives, and volunteer work, have been extended to serve Hogar Maria Auxiliadora.
El Centro de Ancianos
Community Center for 60 Elderly, Impoverished Mayans
Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala
The Elder Center is nestled in Santiago, one of twelve villages surrounding Lake Atitlan in Sololá province. Alongside her small staff, director Bernavela Sapalu feeds and provides health care coverage for 65 elderly Mayan women and men from the village. With no social security programs and a history of civil war which killed thousands of husbands and sons, Guatemala suffers from a high proportion of poor, elderly women with failing health but no caretakers. The Elder Center targets exactly this demographic, providing a place to gather, socialize, and receive care. Bernavela dreams of building a nursing home for her elders in the future.
Tree 4 Hope has teamed up with Sharing the Dream, the NGO funding Bernavela’s staff, to support the elder community. Our elder sponsorship program funds meals for the elders three times a week and ensures they can continue to receive health care. Additionally, Tree 4 Hope pays for celebratory activities for the Center on Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Christmas, and we finance miscellaneous emergency needs, such as funerals, as they arise. During most Tree 4 Hope trips, volunteers serve the elders a meal and deliver food and medication to homebound elders.
La Limonada, La Mandarina, and El Limón Schools
Community Education Centers for Families of Gang Members
These four schools were all founded by one woman, Tita Evertsz, in three of the most dangerous and desperately poor neighborhoods in Guatemala City. In addition to terrible sanitation, spartan living conditions, and extremely high unemployment, ten rival gangs vying for dominance ensure a perpetual state of fear in these communities. One day in 1994, confronted by a gang and fearing for her life, Tita knelt on the street and prayed for the gang members and their families, asking for healing of the entire community. Taken aback, the gang members began to pray with her. From that moment, Tita knew she wanted to take greater action on their behalf.
The earliest of her schools, La Limonada, was founded in 2000 as a community education center, in a neighborhood also called La Limonada. The neighborhood’s 60,000 residents, crammed into a steep ravine, are mainly Mayans who fled the countryside during the 30-year civil war. Tita and her staff provide food, education, and community development programming to La Limonada residents, promoting self-worth in an abuse-ridden environment. The second of Tita’s schools, Mi Casita, is for special needs students. Between La Limonada and Mi Casita, Tita serves over 175 children and their families.
In 2008, Tita opened another school called La Mandarina, modeled after her school in La Limonada and named after the adjacent neighborhood in which it opened. Then, in the summer of 2014, Tita opened El Limón, a third vocational school likewise named after its location. La Mandarina currently serves 150 children and families, and El Limón already serves 65.
Tita is a close friend of Tree 4 Hope’s founders, the Crists, who initiated a relationship with La Limonada by providing blankets in 2004. Today, Tree 4 Hope sponsors several of Tita’s teachers and collects school supplies as needed. We support all of Tita’s programming because it is our dream to keep Guatemala’s children and families safe and on the road toward a bright future.