Over the past few months, my sister Heidi and I have fundraised for a project called Nuevo Amanecer outside Antigua, Guatemala in a town called San Andreas Itzapa. Nuevo Amanecer was founded in 1989 by Manuel de la Cruz and his family. Manuel's first daughter was born with a serious heart condition that needed immediate surgery, but the family was not able to pay for the surgery. They began to seek help from the community, and the community contacted one of the best heart surgeons in Guatemala, who performed the surgery for free. The Cruz family felt the need to give back to the community after all they did for the family, so they started Nuevo Amanacer. The family noticed there were a lot of issues in the community with poverty and substance abuse, and they felt that by providing more educational opportunities and support for the youth of the community, they could combat such problems. 24 children are served through Nuevo Amanecer to include a small lunch, educational support, cultural education, and English classes.
|One of the children working on an art project|
|Here we are about to leave Maximo Nivel (my former workplace) with our van loaded full of goodies|
|All of us with all the donations and the Cruz family, who runs the after school project|
|The courtyard and kitchen area|
|Beautiful view from the roof|
|Part of the upstairs classroom space|
|Upstairs classroom space|
|There was even ice cream!|
After a small lunch and tour of the two Nuevo Amanacer facilities, the children performed a few dances for us.
|At the end - we all danced!|
And after we all danced, we said goodbye..
Spending an afternoon with the Cruz family and children of Nuevo Amanecer was truly a wonderful experience! The afternoon was full of joy, happiness, and sharing. The gratitude and joy they felt about the support they received was truly beautiful. The family literally was overcome with emotion and tears upon seeing all the donations and the cash donation for the construction project. This is a wonderful place and all of you who helped them out can know your donations are going a long way to make San Andreas Itzapa a better place through educating the children.
Additionally, we made a financial donation to Niños con Bendicion another after school project. This project focuses on providing healthy food to the children, teaching them English, helping with homework, and teaching them native dances and songs. They are trying to preserve some of the Mayan culture that is all too quickly fading from Guatemala by teaching the songs and dances to the children.
|To get there - we took a chicken bus (retired US school bus but with a new paint job)|
|The children dancing and playing marimba|
|Other children watching through the quilt (made by mothers of the children)|
|And afterwards - snack time|
|Blowing kisses to say thank you!|
Huge thanks to all of you who helped impact the lives of so many in Guatemala through your donations! If anyone is interested in continuing support for Nuevo Amancer or Ninos con Bendicion, please email me at email@example.com.