In May of 2016, we started a new program to reach the children living in the area surrounding the city garbage dump. Every Monday afternoon, around 80 children gather at the school for "Club Exploradores," a program that teaches biblical values and bible stories. The program also gives the children an outlet to just be kids- to play games, to win prizes, and most importantly, to be loved.
In January of 2016, we started Project VALOR, a sponsorship program that gives the children living in the community surrounding the city garbage dump and other poor areas in Puerto Barrios an opportunity to go to middle and high school. There is not a secondary school in walking distance, so in order to go to secondary school, families have to pay for bus fees and additional school expenses. Most families in the area we work cannot afford these expenses. As a result, the students stop going to school after they graduate elementary school and get very low paying jobs. Project VALOR provides sponsorships for these children to go to school. We also hold a tutoring program twice a week where the students receive help on their homework, eat lunch, and have a devotional time.
Our weekly visits to the orphanage is one of our favorite times of the week! The children just crave love and attention, and we love bringing the joy and love of Christ with us to them. Whether it is holding babies or playing with the older kids, we are grateful for this opportunity to love on these precious children of God.
Puerto Barrios is home to one of the only children's hospitals in Guatemala. As a result, families travel from far distance in search of adequate healthcare for their ill children. Our team visits the hospital and offers prayers and support for the families, reminding them that the Lord is the ultimate healer and that He loves them. Oftentimes, the team brings coloring books and activities that the children enjoy.