Thank you for your past support of the Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons (ITEMP)! Without people like you we could not fight human trafficking and child labor in Guatemala and around the world. Your support not only helps us to prevent human trafficking and exploitation, but also helps us to rescue and provide rehabilitation to trafficking victims and potential trafficking victims.
Your generous contribution allows us to help many different types of victims - including Jose, who is now flourishing here in Guatemala. Jose is a young man who was able to leave the streets and return to the classroom thanks to supporters of ITEMP like you. Jose comes from a broken home and was just 15 days old when his mother abandoned him and didn’t want anything to do with him. At the same time, Jose’s father decided to travel to the United States to search for better opportunities and left Jose with his sister. Jose's sister did not have the resources to take care of both of them so his grandmother took over and worked very hard to give Jose and his sister a good life.
As the years passed and Jose grew up it became harder and harder for his grandmother to take care of Jose. She could no longer cover all of the costs for the family since she was unable to find stable work due to her age. Jose then decided to study in the mornings and work in the afternoons to help his grandmother support the family. This proved to be very difficult because his classmates made fun of him for working shining shoes.
Jose worked in Antigua, Guatemala’s central park where he met several people older than himself who became negative influences; teaching him to fight and smoke and leading him to other dangerous situations at just thirteen years old. As time went on, Jose still attended school occasionally but he preferred working and paid little attention to his studies. Soon, ITEMP learned about Jose’s case and decided to accept him into the program in order to give him a better quality of life. The first thing that they asked him to do was to quit working and allow the program to help him economically so that Jose could focus on his studies. At first Jose refused to quit working because his grandmother was sick and the family didn’t have enough money to buy her medicine.
ITEMP placed Jose in the Scheel Center Technical Institue so that he could continue his studies in a structured environment. He didn’t like to attend class at first but little by little he got used to his new school and began thriving. In addition to an education, ITEMP also provided medical care and psychological assistance which have helped Jose get where he is today. Jose's grandmother also no longer needs to work because of the economic help that the program has been able to provide. Currently, Jose is 17 years old and will be finishing the 7th grade this year. Thanks to ITEMP and your previous contribution, Jose is no longer exposed to the dangers of working on the streets in Guatemala at such a young and impressionable age and is no longer at-risk of becoming a trafficking victim. Instead, Jose is receiving an education that will help him to find a better paying job when he grows up.
Jose´s case is just one of many that ITEMP has been able to take on thanks to donors like you. ITEMP wants to sincerely thank you for your support of ITEMP. We hope you will consider sharing stories like Jose's in order to help us raise awareness of human trafficking in Guatemala and also share how donors like you can make a difference.
Director of Benefactor Services
Asociación Nuestros Ahijados de Guatemala, ONG