Break The Cycle Of Poverty Through Education

by Friends of Ninos de Guatemala

Dear Friends of Niños de Guatemala, 

The past few months have been an exciting time for us in Antigua and Ciudad Vieja. We´ve been lucky enough to host a number of volunteers from all over the world joining us for their summer vacations, and their enthusiasm is part of what has allowed us to continue to grow as an organization! 

We´ve recently continued construction in our schools, as we´re making space for our students to continue learning and growing. 

This month, we´re highlighting the story of one of our students, Juanito:

Juanito is a 9 year old student in third grade at our elementary school, El Porvenir. He loves to play and is always full of energy. Unfortunately, Juanito’s childhood has been consistently challenging. He does not have a father and his mother works in another town. She leaves for months at a time in order to support her family as a single mother. For the majority of his life he has been raised by his grandmother, aunt and uncle.

Prior to receiving help, Juanito had many problems in school. He often had difficulties following direction and getting along with his teachers. In addition he often quarrelled with his classmates and struggled academically. In order to create a better learning environment for Juanito, the psychology program, social work program and academic coordination team all collaborated to create a plan that gave Juanito the extra attention he needed to succeed in school.

Juanito began with individual therapy sessions, where he was eventually diagnosed with ADHD. After he was diagnosed, the staff worked with Juanito to build a learning plan to find the most effective way to teach him the curriculum while supporting his development. Juanito began attending refuerzo (extra classes in the afternoon for additional help with his school work). They also worked with his grandmother and uncles to assure that he was getting the attention he needed at home to keep up with his classes. They became more closely involved in his life by helping him with his homework and monitoring his behavior. With hard work, extra attention and time we could see the positive changes of Juanito’s behavior and academic performance.

At the end of the year Juanito’s mother will return and be able to provide more stability in the household, and combined with the work we have been doing this year, he will be able to succeed in his future classes. Now his attitude and concentration has improved significantly. He often demonstrates support and encouragement towards his classmates, shows interest in learning, and helps his teachers and peers when they need it. We are already working on a support plan for the upcoming year so Juanito can continue to thrive.

The names and photographs in this blog post have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

The Experience Guatemala Challenge 2016 mentioned in our last letter was a massive success, with teams coming from Antigua and New York City to compete and raise money and awareness for our schools.  We took the teams to stay in a Mayan retreat near the Lake and to Xela for some adventurous challenges after a day of activities with our students in El Porvenir and the Básico.

Thank you so much for your continued support! To keep up to date with all the goings on in the projects and wherever you are in the world, follow us on Social Media.


Dear Friends of Niños de Guatemala, 

The past months have been a busy time for us in Antigua and Ciudad Vieja. Antigua Guatemala is famous for its elaborate festivities during Easter Week (Semana Santa). The processions, vigils, and alfombras (vibrant carpets made with flowers, feathers, sawdust) are used to celebrate Easter and draw people from all over the world. Many of our students have been actively part of this festivities which ties the communities closer together.

During March we also celebrated the International Women's day. We are very proud to have equal numbers of boys and girls throughout our project. Our social work department supports our community and makes sure that we minimise drop outs amongst our girls, especially in middle school, where education for women is hugely lacking in Guatemala. It also works with families, students, and staff to provide resources in order for them to reach their full potential. Once a month the families attend “Escuela de Padres” which consists of workshops regarding safe and effective parent child communication along with other important topics to create the best learning environment possible.
Our psychology department strives to provide workshops, programs, and therapy that empower and ensure positive development for the students and families. For example, Autoayuda is a monthly workshop that discusses cases of violence and abuse, then provides skills to empower and increase women's self-esteem.
We also work very close with women of the community through our Community Centers which are open to all members of the community around the schools, not just parents of the students. We hold weekly workshops on baking and recycling, with the long-term aim of providing an income for these individuals.

From April 24th to 30th 2016, Niños de Guatemala will be hosting a group of roughly ten people for a challenge based on The Amazing Race and the Dutch television shows Peking Express and Wie is de Mol. Over the course of the week, contestants will be given different cultural tasks, from painting a chicken bus to recreating a traditional Guatemalan dish. Each activity will be scored, and on the final day, the winner of the challenge will be announced. The aim of the Challenge is to raise money that goes directly towards our organization.

Thank you for your support ! 

Children get ready for class
Children get ready for class

Dear friends of Niños de Guatemala, 


Last year has been an incredibly successful one for Niños de Guatemala. During November we had a medical camp run by volunteering doctors from the Netherlands that took care of over 900 children from Ciudad Vieja and El Porvenir. 

We also have seen our second grade of students graduate from Nuestro Futuro, and seen the inauguration of a whole new middle school. The "Centro educativo Basico, Nustro Futuro" is now ready for the new school year starting in January 2016. 

We have forged even closer ties to the community of Ciudad Vieja. Our students participated in competitions of citizenship, art and soccer with our schools from the community. We have expanded our community centre to include even more activities for the families of our students. 

This year we hope to get all of our children sponsored. This will take a huge effort from everyone at Niños de Guatemala, so if you or anyone you know is interested in investing in the lives of one of our students, direct them to or click thelink below to learn more. 

We want to thank you for your support in 2015. We hope you can join with us  this New Year to continue to help Niños de Guatemala grow and continue to break the cycle of poverty in our communities. 


Lunch at Nuestro Futuro
Lunch at Nuestro Futuro
Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebrations

Friends of Niños de Guatemala,

This month has been a very exciting and busy one for Niños de Guatemala. We have received great support from both large organisations and individual people, had wonderful celebrations with our students and community, and been joined by creative and talented staff in our office here in Antigua.

            On September 15th we celebrated Independence Day in Guatemala and our students took part in parades with all of the schools of Ciudad Vieja. Each of the classes represented a different part of Guatemalan culture and heritage and you can check out all of the photos here. On the subject of photography, we had a volunteer from the Netherlands – Bente Mars – who taught a photography workshop with students at El Porvenir. The kids took some amazing shots and learned a great deal about the subject. She also kindly donated 9 digital cameras to the organisation so her work can continue with other volunteers in the future.

Late last month we received a donation of $50,000 from PepsiCo International that is going towards our Nutrition and Health Program at Nuestro Futuro. They are also sending a team of volunteers to the school to run a careers workshop with our older students; we’ll have updates on how it went in next month’s newsletter. Long-term supporter Pablo Alvarez and the organisation Grupo Alza were able to donate nearly half a tonne of “Plataninas” to provide our students with a snack every day for six months.

In the last few weeks several new staff members have joined us in our Antigua office. Brian Tyler will be taking over management of the Básico project, Matthew Meehan has re-joined the office as Communications Officer and Ambar Atta will be coordinating our service teams. In our social business Devon Wilson has taken over management of Cambio Spanish School and Lea Ritter is the Operations Assistant. A new group of people who are passionate about Niños de Guatemala’s mission, and who will use all of their abilities to better the lives of our community.

Thank you for your support!

Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebrations
Before and After Torin
Before and After Torin's Beard

Niños de Guatemala is continuing its growth trajectory with new teachers, events and successes!

Our schools are running our full range of programs. This year, we’ve been lucky enough to find two great English Language teachers. With these two new teachers on board we can gladly boast to have a 100% Guatemalan staff at all of our schools!

Since our last report, our schools have been busy implementing their afterschool programs. Our Psychology and Social Work department have begun implementing the Crianza Con Carino program for the year. The focus of this afterschool program is to work with parents on non-violent communication and emotional expression with children. 

A women’s group, that our Social Work Department facilitates, successfully lobbied the municipal government to pave the roads near our school! While this may seem like a small deal, it’s going to make life much easier for our parents and students to get to and from our school, especially in the rainy season!

At the office we’ve been organizing a number of fun new events both online and in Antigua. Our staff at the office had the bright idea of creating videos telling people about our programs, but beforehand, they all ate a Habanero pepper! We used the videos to promote a recent online fundraiser we held to raise funds for our Teachers’ supplies.

One of our past Volunteers, Torin Murphy, “sold” the rights to what he does with his enormous beard to the highest donation pool online. In the end, the people demanded he shave! Check out the pictures below. Also, the good people at the Lucky Rabbit hosted us for our first of the year in Antigua!

To find out more about what we’ve been up to in Antigua and at our schools, follow us on Social Media and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Thank you for supporting Niños de Guatemala and our students’ future!



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Organization Information

Friends of Ninos de Guatemala

Location: Antigua, Sacatapequez - Guatemala
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Lea Ritter
Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala
$8,674 raised of $20,000 goal
200 donations
$11,326 to go
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