Funding our Education Center for 80 Kids in 2018

by Integral Heart Foundation Vetted since 2012 Top Ranked Site Visit Verified

The goal of the Integral Heart Family is to give educational and emotional support to those most in need and who otherwise would not have access to such necessities. But education, without values and morals, aren´t enough for us. This is why today we want to share with all of you the story of Saida.

Saida and her family have been an important part of our foundation since 2010. At the time they were living a very difficult situation, both financially and emotionally. One day Mick and I (Debora) went to visit them at their home and brought Teddy bears for the kids, Saida was 5 and Jose 3. This, for us this was a nice gesture, we didn´t really know that they didn´t have any and that these toys were going to be their board of salvation at times of anxiety, and even domestic violence.

In June of this year, Saida turned 13. Also in June of this year the local volcano, Fuego, erupted. This tragedy killed hundreds of people and left thousands without homes or livelihoods. These families, who lost all their belongings, moved to shelters. As part of the outpouring of support, we were in a position to help them on weekly basis bringing them the basics as they awaited relocations to temporary housing.

Saida has been very involved in our work as her mom is today our social worker and school director. Saida helped us in putting together all the items we send to the shelter we are aiding each week. But in the back of her head she always had the children who lost everything, including their toys.

So for her birthday this year she decided that she didn´t want any gifts, cakes or a party. She remembered when she was a little girl, and life was more difficult for her, how she loved to have that little Teddy bear we gave to her. She would hug it and it became her friend, she felt protected and more comfortable when she could have her arms tightly wrapped around it. That is when she thought that all the kids in the shelter should have one toy each.

She asked all of us for money as her birthday gift, went personally to buy the toys as well as cookies and juices, and delivered them, with help of our staff, to all the kids of the shelter. Even some older women came to ask for some toys for themselves. In her own words, and with tears in her eyes, this was her best birthday ever, one that she will never forget.

We are very proud of her, we couldn´t be prouder. But we also are very proud of our donors who trusted us enough to support our work and make these stories of loving kindness possible. She is a great example of what can be done with a little support and love.

Thank you very much for being part of the family,

With all our love,

The Integral Family in Guatemala.

GHT coordinator Virginia with Debora at the school
GHT coordinator Virginia with Debora at the school

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life.

Since September of 2017 we have been collaborating with the Guatemalan Human Rights Organizaton (GHR)(Institución para el Procurador de los Derechos Humanos, a governmental institution that seeks to promote and defend Human Rights in Guatemala.

We have had the pleasure of the full support of Virginia Soledad Pellecer, who is the GHR coordinator and educator for the county of Sacatepequez, where our Integral Heart Family School is located. 

She began giving monthly classes at our school last year to the 30 teenagers who attend our Critical-Thinking program.

But this year, Virigina is becoming an even greater part of our family. She is coming in now on a weekly basis and teaching not only the teenagers but to the little ones as well. She has also started giving talks to the parents of our students.

In these lessons the students are learning to:
• develop an understanding of what human rights are
• appreciate the relationship between rights and responsibilities
• analyze who is responsible for upholding human rights
• appreciate the meaning and significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
• apply the concepts of human rights to their own lives

Virginia has told us that she loves coming and we love having her with us. The kids are learning not only about their individual rights but also about their duties towards other people and including animals and the environment. We feel really grateful for this new addition to our Integral Heart Family.

And as always, a big thank you to all who are helping us to create and sustain this environment for growth, respect, education, compassion and sharing. 

Without all of you this would never be possible.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

(Please see additional photos before with descriptions)

Sharing contact information with students
Sharing contact information with students
GHR in action at the Integral Heart Family
GHR in action at the Integral Heart Family
GHR in action at the Integral Heart Family
GHR in action at the Integral Heart Family
GHR in action at the Integral Heart Family
GHR in action at the Integral Heart Family
GHR in action at the Integral Heart Family
GHR in action at the Integral Heart Family
Licenciada Virginia in class with the little ones
Licenciada Virginia in class with the little ones

Greetings from a warm and sunny La Antigua Guatemala, and all of us here at the Integral Heart Learning Center.

This year at the Integral Heart Family not only means the beginning of a new school year, but also a new beginning for all of us, students and staff alike.

We have rearranged our class schedules to accommodate the new students who were invited in by their peers, and the developments in our teaching-team are clearly making a big difference to everything that is happening at our school. 

Even the walls are brighter, painted with colors, decorated with flowers, happy posters and dedications of gratitude to our donors, cute puppy posters, new lighting, a great new garden with palms, plants, and flowers.

You might think that all of these are just make up, external changes, but they are not. The energy and love that is living and breathing at La Academia is so obvious that you can feel it as soon as you cross the doorstep. There is brightness, lightness, and again, a love that you can perceive. We can tell already because our students are inviting all their friends to join us so they can also experience learning, growing and emotional, physical and psychological safety.

Although we spend the same number hours together, for some reason this year, there is more time for creativity, art, sticky fingers and laughter. That also includes interactive and playful readings in our new library, thanks to a wonderful and dedicated supporter. 

In the photos you can enjoy some these moments with our little ones.

Thank you all who make this possible.

With a smile in our hearts and our own sticky fingers we say goodbye to all of you until the next newsletter and please don´t forget to smile.

Much love, The Integral Heart Team.

Four of our newest students
Four of our newest students
Lupita, another new student.
Lupita, another new student.
Art time for the tots class
Art time for the tots class
Making sheep!
Making sheep!
Saray and Dulce playing
Saray and Dulce playing
Staff development and self-expression time
Staff development and self-expression time
Blanca being an elf!
Blanca being an elf!

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Organization Information

Integral Heart Foundation

Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Debora Morais
Panorama, Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala
$32,329 raised of $40,000 goal
441 donations
$7,671 to go
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