Volunteers come from all over the world, are all different ages, stay for varying lengths of time, and enjoy different opportunities while working with us. The one thing they have in common? The life-changing experience of volunteering with The GOD'S CHILD Project!
Dale, fromTexas, lives inAntiguaand has had a diverse, eclectic career.
After receiving a graduate degree in agricultural science fromTexas A&M, Dale joined thePeace
When the Peace Corp asked him to be a deputy training director inEcuador, he spent the
three years in that position. After, he joined the US Aid-fundedInmaAgribusiness
PrograminIraq, the largest
US Aid project in the world, as a livestock and forage specialist who
facilitated the construction and maintenance of feedlots around the country.
Dale’s work for The GOD’S CHILD Project is the result of a joint effort with
Texas A&M’sBorlaug Institute. He’s the brain behind the garden project atScheel Center.
He planned and built the garden with the help of volunteers,ScheelCenterstudents
and Texas A&M students.
The garden will teachScheelCenterstudents life skills, like growing healthy food. He enjoyed
working with students and staff. He likes walking up Cerro de la Cruz and
She began as a regular volunteer but eventually became the temporary volunteer coordinator at Casa Jackson.Nora came toAntiguato study and visited Casa Jackson, knowing immediately she
wanted to volunteer there. She loves watching the children grow into themselves
as their health improves. People considering working in Casa Jackson, she says,
should prepare to be shocked but also says you adjust surprisingly quickly.
Working at the Project has opened Nora up to different aspects of life and she
hopes to use what she learned in the future as a nurse or working with children
who have disabilities. Nora's favorite place to hang out inAntiguais Parque Central, and when she was here long-term, she
worked atLa Esquina.
the Executive Director of the ScheelCenter six months ago. He left
his highly-paid IT consultant job in Texas following a fateful
three-day visit to Antigua in September 2009. Ron is a man
who, in his own words, has “had many lives.” After high school, he entered the
Marine Corps, where he spent four years. Afterwards, he studied finance,
marketing and entrepreneurial studies at TrinityUniversity.
originally came to Guatemala for a weekend to visit an
old friend, Brandon, who was Director of the ScheelCenter at the time. At the end
of that brief encounter, Brandon and Ron were hanging out in Cafe Condensa when Brandon told Ron that he felt like
God was telling him to tell Ron to quit his job and move to Antigua to take over as
director of the ScheelCenter. Flattered, Ron
laughingly dismissed the idea and flew home, where he had a great career, a
fantastic living situation and a strong circle of friends. Over the
period of the next few months, however, a number of events conspired to make
Ron reconsider the idea of moving to Guatemala, culminating in
a church mass where the focus was a passage in Luke about a rich man
asking Jesus how he could get into heaven. The whole teaching revolved
around the idea of service and trust- that one shouldn't be afraid to take a
leap of faith. With that, Ron knew where he needed to be.
Ron arrived in Antigua, knowing very little Spanish but strong in the
understanding that he was here for a purpose.
Ron is a gym-fanatic and outdoor enthusiast. In
his spare time he plays the alto sax at Sobre
and Ocelot, teaches martial arts at Antigua´s Gym, salsa dances the night away at La Esquina,
dines at Saber Rico and hangs out at Cafe Bourbon with a good book.
If you can't find Ron over the weekend, chances are he's out of town at The Earth Lodge for some rest and recuperation.
Glenn worked 6 out of 7 days in Ciudad Vieja.
54, is CEO of the California
Earthquake Authority, a NGO providing affordable earthquake insurance to
the citizens of California. Glenn is from North Dakota but lives in Sacramento, Calif. He booked a flight to El Salvador when he heard of the disaster, wanting to help Ciudad Vieja. It's not an
exaggeration to say Glenn, a member of The GOD’S CHILD Project’s board of
directors, outworked men half his age in a truly Herculean
demonstration of strength, stamina, and determination.“At first it was like moving a mountain,
but its encouraging seeing progress every day,” he said. Glenn enjoyed
working and joking around with locals. At one point, his
shovel broke and five guys grabbed the pieces from him and fixed it
in no time.Glenn has visited Antigua five times, and considers The
GOD’S CHILD Project staff his family.His favorite spot in Antigua is Reilly's Irish
Astrid, from Germany, is in Antigua with her sister, Miriam. She just
celebrated her 27th birthday here! Back home, Astrid is an orthopaedic nurse but needed a break from work, so she took unpaid leave to come to Guatemala. She enjoys the freedom
and flexibility of working in Casa
Jackson Malnutrition Center, where she says you can really play
with and spend time with the kids. This is a refreshing change for her, as at
home she doesn't have a chance to interact with her patients. She wishes her Spanish was better in order to communicate
better with parents and nurses at Casa Jackson, to find out
more about each child. Astrid likes
Tuesday at Mono Loco
(ladies night... not for the faint-hearted!) and Thursday at La
Sala. For a more relaxed beverage and chat, you'll find her inCafe NoSe...just don't ask for a mojito!
Astrid cleaning Casa Jackson.
Beatrice feeding a baby at Casa Jackson.
Beatrice, 19, comes from “the green heart of Germany,” a heavily forested area. At home, she spends a lot of time walking,
exploring and sitting in the sun, reading. Chances are if she's outside,
she's happy. She has spent two months in Guatemala, the first learning Spanish. When Beatrice isn't hanging out in Antigua's famous
traveller’s haunt,The Rainbow Cafe- where she enjoys
Wednesday’s open mic night- she spends her time working
predominantly in Casa Jackson
Malnutrition Center. Although she had never volunteered in the past, and
only traveled in Europe prior to visiting Guatemala, she has enjoyed
her experience. Her only piece of advice is to be flexible and open to anything. She has had fun volunteering…
apart from the days when the babies decide to throw up on her (this comment was
preceded by a baby throwing up on her). When she leaves, Beatrice is headed to Poland to learn Polish, before
going back to Germany to pursue a career in
advertising or journalism.
Joy, 19, is from North
Dakota and works at Casa Jackson Malnutrition Center, but
also helps at Friday food distributions and Albergue Santa Madre homeless shelter.
She visited a family that was receiving a house through the Institute for
Trafficked, Exploited, and Missing Persons (ITEMP).
Her most memorable moments were her interactions with the daughters of this family. She was struck that neither girl
smiled the entire time, but then gave all the volunteers hugs after
the home dedication ceremony. “I like how the kids are a part of the process.
They don’t just receive help, but also help others and- more importantly- have
the chance to help themselves,” Joy said. Her favorite spot in Antigua
is Cafe No Se because back home there is a bar named I Don’t Know. She also liked riding the zip line at Finca Filadelfia.
If you would like to ask Joy about her experience, e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joy with a student at The Dreamer Center.
Miriam feeding a baby at Casa Jackson.
Miriam, 20, is from
Germany. Before starting with Nuestros
Ahijados, she spent a month learning Spanish at a local school- something
she recommends to get more out of the volunteer experience because you can
communicate with the people you are helping. Miriam spends a lot of time
volunteering at Casa Jackson Malnutrition
Center, feeding, changing and bathing the children. She also tried her hand in other programs and helped the disaster relief effort
in Ciudad Vieja following Tropical Storm Agatha. Super
active back home, Miriam sings in a choir, is part of netball and
volleyball teams, and plays guitar, piano and saxophone. Two years ago her father came to Guatemala and returned with tales of his experience. This inspired both Miriam and her sister, Astrid, to visit. In
terms of places to hang out around town, she is a fan of La Esquina on a
Wednesday night for a bit of salsa action!
56, is an ex-NATO officer from Florida. Nearly a year ago, he came to Guatemala for a two-week vacation. When he returned home,
he sold his business and his house. He moved to Antigua, a place he says he has to be, where he has
been living for eight months. As a Christian, Patrick says he has to
help make a real difference and that means being where people have the most
need. He’s found his niche working at Casa
Jackson Malnutrition Center, especially preparing meals for the children. Patrick is no
stranger to living abroad, having spent 12 years overseas in
the Army working as an evaluator for combat living. He’s lived everywhere from Saudi Arabia to Greece to a tiny island in the middle of the Bering Sea! He has no plans to head back to the US anytime soon.