Integral Heart Foundation

Our mission is to change culture from the inside out through person-to-person sponsoring and educational programs that include the development of mind, body, spirit and emotions. We see our work as the beginning of a multi-generational movement whose leaders are empowered to preserve cultural beauty and diversity and to embrace personal responsibility in a global context.
Feb 19, 2014

Philosophy is not a Luxury

Homework for the holidays
Homework for the holidays

The school year began and all of our bright students returned to our class. The main school holidays in Guatemala last for three months from October to January and we wanted to make sure that they used some of their time away from class in deep questioning, reading, and thinking. To do that, we assigned them a unique homework assignment.

We asked them to read “Philosophy Is Not A Luxury” by teacher and philosopher, Jeff Carreira, and to write a one-page report of each of its 12 short chapters. This book is based on the philosophy of the American Pragmatists and has many deep points.

We were greatly honored when over 70% of the class returned with very extensive reports on the book. They loved the book and many of them asked us if they could keep it in order to read it again.

The most amazing story was that of Emily, whose face, attitude, smile and self-confidence had improved so much that we hardly recognized her from last year. In her own words: “This book to me was like talking one on one with a therapist. I learned that I am not who I always thought I was because others convinced me that I was a different person. Now I want to work at knowing myself and I know that with my actions and choices I can choose to be whoever I want to be.”

We are very excited about this New Year and all the new possibilities that it opens. As part of this program we are already working on an invitation of a very well known teacher to visit us and our students later in the year as part of our Wisdom Speakers Series. We are also planning to expand the curriculum and will be offering more books of great depth to our dear students.

The Integral Heart Foundation is deeply grateful to all of you, our donors, who make this work possible and as always, we are open to all your suggestions, comments and ideas.

Much love to all of you,

The Integral Heart Foundation Team

This is Emily
This is Emily
Dec 3, 2013

2013 in review

Liz with the Panorama sponsored kids
Liz with the Panorama sponsored kids

A very warm hello from Guatemala,

Before we get started with our report on this project let me first say that, today Tuesday 3rd of December, starting at 12.00pm (noon) Eastern Time,Microsoft will be mathcing all donations to us (up to $1,000) by 100%. So just after that time, not before, and no later than 12.30 or 1PM (because the matching funds will eventually run out) please click the donate button for this project and help our education/sponsorship programs get matched well and good!

And, now the report. It’s often difficult to summarize a year in a few short paragraphs. We tend to like to incorporate stories and make it more than just a numbers game J. So we will our best to keep it brief, informative, as well as from the heart.

Our sponsorship program has 2 main objectives. First and foremost, to allow the children to study, as education is the primary focus of Integral Heart Foundation.

But along with that, we strive to create a connection between the sponsor and their sponsor child. The form of help that allows the students to keep studying varies from situation to situation as well as age range. We now have 60 sponsored kids and teens from the ages of 3 up to 21. Generally with the younger ones, the aid is in the form of food and/or school supplies. This helps the family be able to afford for their children to go to school.

The older students, the ones who are studying at a higher level of education; the sponsorship goes directly towards their studies as almost all schools charge a monthly tuition. Without this extra help, these students would not be able to continue studying and pursue their educational goals and dreams. This help, coupled with the Critical-Thinking/Philosophy classes are allowing these adolescent and teenagers to thrive. Most of them are opening their minds and doing very well!

The personal connection comes in the form of notes, cards, and emails. As well as sending updates on the students progress in school with their report cards. And when possible, skype chats to have as close to a face-to-face interaction as possible.

As of the end of this year we have 34 families that have at least one sponsored child, some have two, and some three. Our total number of sponsored children, adolescents, and teenagers is 60. We estimate that the number of family members that are also benefiting from the sponsorship is well over 100. It is hard to get an exact number as often there are numerous members of the extended family living in the same house.

Liz Flinn, our Director of Programs along with her co-worker, Family Liaison, and Guatemalan native, Marisol Hernandez, we stay in touch with the families, get them the supplies when needed, visit their homes regularly, and often are a listening ear for the mountain of struggles that come along with living in poverty. When appropriate we offer counsel, more than anything we try to help them see that they have the power to change things if they so choose.

Additionally, for the first 8 months of this year, we operated a preschool program that served fourteen children. But after the first year of operations we struggled to find new children to attend and as well, to find sufficient funding to keep it open. So at the end of August of this year we had to close the doors. The families were very sad, the parents saw the same improvements in their kids that we did. They were behaving better with other children and at home. They were well nourished and the parents knew that they were in a safe place and well cared for while they were working. Fortunately, we do have at least one sponsor in all the families so we are maintain contact with them and providing them with a monthly food basket.

Liz also spent some time this year getting to know other organizations and exploring partnership opportunities, because right now we don’t have our own facility and so we have been exploring the use of other sites.  We are very grateful to Ixquic Spanish School which has allowed us to use their space for meetings with some of the families as well as provide a weekly place to hold an English class for 2 of our sponsored students and also to Iglesia Del Camino for allowing us to use their space for the CT/Philosophy classes. We also had a donation from a private donor who wanted to show some Charlie Chaplin movies in a soup kitchen for homeless people here in Antigua. The donation was for the use of our projector and was able to help out in our sponsorship program. I will be continuing to seek out partnerships and opportunities to better serve our families.

Thank you so much for all your support and we look forward to a wonderful future,

From the San Andres sponsorsed families
From the San Andres sponsorsed families
The San Mateo moms and grandma!
The San Mateo moms and grandma!

Links:

Nov 21, 2013

Angelita's Tutoring Starts in January

JC will be Angelita
JC will be Angelita's tutor in 2014

A huge thanks to you all for the success of this fundraiser for Angelita's tutor!

Angelita just passed the equivalent of her junior high-school level. In 2014 she will begin the next level of her education in the public system here in Guatemala. Thanks to the great response received to this GlobalGiving micro project she will have the extra help needed to overcome the issues she has had with some school topics and she will also gain a step in her self-esteem and self-confidence.

This fundraising effort also gave her a great boost since she knew that we were all standing behind her desire to educate herself and not get caught in the trap so prevalent in Guatemala; that of getting pregnant at 15 or 16 and ending up living a life just like the past generations. With her schooling and tutoring she now has a chance to rise above this culturally conditioned norm.

Juan Carlos, who is in the final year of his training to be a certified Guatemalan high-school level teacher and who is one of the superstarts of our Critical-Thinking/Philosopphy program of the past 3 years will be her tutor. He, too, is very excited about the opportunity of teaching. He will be tutoring Angelita, and two other girls in need from our sponsorship program every Saturday (except holidays of course) in 2014.  

They will begin in January and we already have a location in Antigua, donated by a local Spanish school, where the classes will occur.  Because of your generosity we will be able to provide a location, teaching materials, meals for the teaching days and a salary for the tutor for 2014.

Thank you all for your donations and for empowering Angelita’s future.

Angelita, second left, seen with family & Debora
Angelita, second left, seen with family & Debora

Links:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
  • $25
  • $55
  • $125
  • $350
  • $10
    each month
  • $25
    each month
  • $55
    each month
  • $125
    each month
  • $350
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Integral Heart Foundation

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Integral Heart Foundation on GreatNonProfits.org.