Located just southeast of Mexico, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. Its spectacular mountains boast a wealth of natural resources and stunning biodiversity. For centuries, this land served as the core territory of the renowned Mayan civilization. Following two centuries of Spanish colonization, Guatemala gained its independence in the early nineteenth century – only to endure another 150 years of political instability and civil unrest.

Additionally, this area is prone to devastating natural disasters such as earthquakes; volcanic eruptions; and hurricanes, which cause mudslides and flooding. Despite more recent economic growth and successful democratic elections, Guatemala still struggles with widespread poverty, illiteracy, crime, and high rates of unemployment and underemployment. The nation’s capital, Guatemala City, is no exception to these maladies.

For these reasons, our affiliated project Santa Isabel Ana Seton is not only vital in ensuring that children receive an education and are provided with basic necessities, but it also provides important skills training programs for our sponsored and unsponsored children’s families so that they can learn new skills to help generate income.

Sisters providing for children in need

Santa Isabel Ana Seton, located in Guatemala City, is named after a North American nun who was canonized in 1975. The center is now run by the Sisters of San Vicente de Paul and Santa Luisa de Marillac, who tend to the needs of impoverished families living nearby. Additionally, since Guatemala’s public education system suffers from overcrowding, numerous teacher strikes, and a general lack of school supplies, the Sisters also partner with a local private school, the Escuela Santa Maria, to ensure that children in attendance at the center are receiving an education. Together, the school and the center strive to provide sponsored and unsponsored children with basic needs and a sound education.

In addition to providing support to children through our sponsorship program at Santa Isabel Ana Seton, Children Incorporated has also established two skills training programs there for our sponsored and unsponsored children’s parents.

New skills for a better future

In addition to providing support to children through our sponsorship program at Santa Isabel Ana Seton, Children Incorporated has also established two skills training programs there for our sponsored and unsponsored children’s parents: dressing making and tailoring, and a chef and culinary program. Since the implementation of the programs a few years ago, there have been over forty graduates from both. The graduates have reported that they feel confident that their new skills will provide them with the opportunity to earn additional income or to obtain more lucrative jobs so that they can better provide for their families in the future.

Before attending the chef and culinary program, one of our sponsored children’s mothers had been selling nachos from a small vending cart. Now that she has graduated from the course, she is expanding her business to include empanadas, mole, lasagna, pizza, some pastries, and other elaborate dishes she did not know how to make before. She feels that the new additions to her menu will help her earn more money for her family!

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN GUATEMALA?

You can sponsor a child in Guatemala in one of three ways – call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in Guatemala that is available for sponsorship.