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.
Mar 29, 2016

The Story of Jessica

Jessica all smiles as usual!
Jessica all smiles as usual!

Jessica is a very special girl and she is near and dear to our hearts. We have known her since we began our work here in Guatemala in 2010. She was a student in one of the schools where we used to teach and do volunteer work.

Her case has always been particular since she has suffered her whole life from a serious heart condition that ended up in an open heart surgery.

This of course affected her school performance as she was always physically weak and also because of her constant hospital stays. As a result Jessica was several years behind her normal school year.

But she wanted to study and most importantly to be a normal child with a normal childhood. Her mom, a single mom of three children, was always by her side but she couldn’t afford the kind of special attention Jessica would need in order to catch up with her studies.

We found her a sponsor and send her to a special school; we also helped the family with monthly food baskets. Even though over the years her sponsors stopped supporting her, we never gave up on her and carried on with her support.

Today, years later, she is a normal teenager, with a new sponsor, and she is attending to our new school as well as her normal studies. We are very proud of her and the efforts her mom did for this wonderful soul.

Thank you so much to all of you that make this work possible and so awesome. We really appreciate your hearts and willingness to help other human beings.

Jessica five years ago
Jessica five years ago
Jessica recently with her sister Guadalupe
Jessica recently with her sister Guadalupe
Jessica
Jessica's mom and sister at our new school.
Feb 12, 2016

La Academia - The Beginning

La Academia
La Academia

It's been over 5 years since we first started our work in Guatemala. At the end of last year we had 3 different classes; Critical-Thinking for Teens, Teacher Training Program and our Homework Study Program, all going on in 3 different locations. It was time for us to get our own place.

Finally, and with great thanks for your help, we have the pleasure of opening our own school.

It will be called “La Academia” in honor to Plato’s Academia.

La Academia will be home to our Critical-Thinking (CT) Programs for Teens, which will be expanding to 2 days per week and our Teacher-Training Program with their classes in English, Spanish, CT and psychology. It will also be home to our homework study program for 10-15 year olds and for the future pre-school and junior sponsorship program classes. All of the staff are Guatemalans! How cool is that!!!

Our students, staff members and friends are helping out in cleaning, painting, carrying and doing anything needed to make this dream materialize as soon as possible.

We are also working with our sponsored families, inviting them to view the new school because, now that we have our own space we will be adding programs for our junior sponsored students.

We plan to open the first week of March. Standby for more news and photos.

Thank you to all of you that are making this possible.

We are still short about $5,000 for our first year so please help us sustain “La Academia”.

We will have 5 teaching rooms, office and dining.
We will have 5 teaching rooms, office and dining.
Loading up the desks
Loading up the desks
Staining the book shelves
Staining the book shelves
The Junior sponsorship kids visiting
The Junior sponsorship kids visiting
Dec 14, 2015

Fatima's Progress

Fatima 2011 (and Mick Quinn co-founder)
Fatima 2011 (and Mick Quinn co-founder)

Fatima is a lovely little girl who lives in San Mateo Milpas Altas, Guatemala. We have known her since 2011 and she is one of the long term sponsored children of the Integral Heart Foundation. She always was really shy, but curious, and she is a good example of what we hope to achieve by beginning a lifetime relationship based in sponsorship and education with the children of Guatemala.

Fatima has been sponsored by Christy and Vegar (last name omitted). She is one of our few students whose sponsorship has never changed; her godparents never stopped supporting her. And, for this, her grandmother, Dona Debora, is very grateful and always reminds us when we see her how important this help has been over the years for Fatima and her siblings.

Fatima, who was four years old when we first met her has already gone through some significant losses that have made her even more introspective. Her dad died when she was 3 years old. At that time her father, her mom and two siblings had been living in a house given to them by her dad’s parents. However, a year after his death her dad’s parents decided that they needed the space and that the family had to move out (unfortunately this is a common practice in Guatemala).

So Fatima’s mom moved with her three children to her own parent’s home. The kids were taken care of by the grandparents while she (the mom) went to work every day to earn what little she could to provide for them. Then, two years later Fatima’s grandfather died. This was an even worse loss for her and he had become the father figure for her, and now being a little older, she could understand and suffer this loss even more.

Since the beginning of our work with her family, our social worker Marisol, who herself is Guatemalan, visits them at least once per month and also delivers their food baskets. This constant support we can give because of your donations also means that Fatima is less shy and more open.

Then, just two weeks ago, after Debora and Mick visited her home with visiting teachers Renata and Kirstie, Fatima came to our “Wisdom Speakers Series” class with the rest of our Philosophy/Critical Thinking students and she had a great time.

Dona Debora, her grandma, was thrilled as she told us that she herself is getting older she doesn’t have the same patience as she did before to take care of the kids. She told us that sometimes she locks herself alone in a room in order to have some peace. We are very grateful to their sponsors for allowing us this opportunity of knowing and caring about this lovely family and giving some space to Dona Debora.

Our goal for next year is to be able to have our own space in which we can accommodate the younger sponsored children every day with classes, games, activities and learning experiences, all of these kids who currently stay at home or play on the dirt streets for long hours. Many families are in the same situation as Fatima, the parent(s) have to work and the grandparents take care of them, but as Dona Debora said: “ I am not getting any younger and the kids are growing and I need to rest”.

Thank you all for such an amazing year and for all the opportunities you allow us to provide on your behalf here in Guatemala with these beautiful families.

Much love to you all and have wonderful holidays.

Debora, Mick, Marisol and all the Families at the Integral Heart Foundation.

Fatima and her sister 2012
Fatima and her sister 2012
Fatima and her mom and sister 2013
Fatima and her mom and sister 2013
Fatima 2014
Fatima 2014
Fatima with Grandma 2015
Fatima with Grandma 2015
Fatima with Marisol and her sister 2015
Fatima with Marisol and her sister 2015
Fatima in meditation at Wisdom Speaker Series 2015
Fatima in meditation at Wisdom Speaker Series 2015
 
   

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