Here’s what past volunteers have to say about it.
"Going to Guatemala with Tree 4 Hope has definitely been one of the greatest experiences of my life. As a teacher, I was obviously drawn towards working with the kids at the orphanage. While at the Hogar, I had the opportunity to work with some of the most loving kids, one being my chistosa, Tatiana, whom I now sponsor. At the Elder Center, I met the strongest women ever. Their courage and perseverance, even under the most difficult circumstances, has instilled a sense of power and pride in me as a woman and an active community member. I have formed so many amazing relationships with people because of my service trip to Guatemala. I am forever grateful for the wonderful opportunity and can't wait to go back in January!"
"When I came back from Guatemala, I did not know how to put my experience into words. It was the most profound lesson in giving I have ever experienced. Picture this: it was a beautiful, sunny day at the Elder Center in Santiago Atitlán. We were washing the feet of the elder women. Looking up, I noticed five of the women were laughing and sharing stories with each other. It was as though we were in an upscale salon instead of sitting on the concrete floor of a courtyard in a modest village in Guatemala. While the women smiled and talked they had no idea of their poverty, their troubles, and losses in life. In that moment, I was able to give an experience like we have in our world. That moment gave me the greatest gift I could ever receive: perspective."
Jim and Karen
"The boys at Hogar Miguel have a special place in our hearts. One particular occurrence in 2011 is especially meaningful to us. Our team had taken on the responsibility of managing the orphanage while directors Karen and Estuardo and their staff enjoyed a well-deserved vacation. We were sleeping in the Grandes’ (boys aged 13 to 18) dorm and were about to turn out the lights. One of the boys jokingly asked if he could have a good night hug. Karen gladly gave him the hug, and then, like dominos falling, all of the boys wanted a hug. Remember these are teenaged boys.
The Elder Center at Santiago is also a very special place to us. The elders lives have been difficult, to say the least. Being able to serve them lunch, participate in an activity, and in some cases visit their homes has been a very moving experience for both or us. They are strong and resilient people, deserving of our love and respect."