Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Post Ixtahuacan

It has been a while since I have logged on, but I wanted to share the trip to Ixtahuacan.

The trip started at 4am because I went to pick up a few co-workers then headed to the meeting point. There were about 80 people who volunteered and we headed the long 4 hour trip to village.

When we arrived many children and their families were waiting for us.

Estuardo, Paty (the President) and me.
It's such a neat experience to be able to give to the children and have the parents an opportunity to pick up a few clothing items.

The trip started 10 years ago after a huge storm hit the area and destroyed their homes. They are all now doing well and many have their own businesses.

The president of the community has asked that we get to know a new village in hopes to be able to help them as well. On December 14th a few people made a longer drive to meet the children of this new village. Over 600 children showed up. The leftover clothing and snacks where for them.

I would like to thank the people who donated for this cause. I know that God has taken note because He cares for the children.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ixtahuacan, Guatemala

"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done." Proverbs 19:17

We are now entering a new season, the season of giving. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and people in the states are preparing to celebrate with family and friends while indulging in a delicious turkey dinner. They all give thanks for what they have and share a special time.

What am I thankful for? I am thankful for life, love and freedom. I can go into detail, but I will spare you my thoughts. Instead I would like to share with you what I have learned about loving others while living in Guatemala.

On December 5th Hope Worldwide Guatemala will be making their annual trip to Ixtahuacan to serve the indigenous communities. More than a 1000 people come to participate in the activities. Last year was the first year that I attended and I was dumbfounded seeing so many children in their beautiful indigenous attire with their dirty cheeks chapped by the cold weather. We had to separate the children by age and there were close to 100 children in each group. It was a little overwhelming, but it was such a beautiful experience seeing some of them overcome their shyness once they realized that they could receive a gift for participating.

The best part was seeing their little faces lite up once the pinatas were taken out. It was a little chaos trying to control that many children in front of candy. Though I am anti-candy, it was so cool seeing that level of joy.

This next trip we are expecting more families to come and participate. We try to make sure that all of the children leave with a small toy. Hope Worldwide Guatemala is trying to make sure that they have enough funds to buy all that they need. I am trying to help. I am currently taking monetary donations to help them reach their goal. Would you like to help? You can donate HERE 

So far I have gotten a few donations and I am super thrilled to see how God is going to move in the hearts of many when we arrive in Ixtahuacan.

Stay tune...

Friday, October 23, 2015


As I sit here and wonder about life and how everything is so fragile I have come to the conclusion that life is short. 

A few weeks ago there was a tragic situation that happened nearby. A side of a mountain fell apart due to the storms we have been having and the mud covered homes of which approximately 600 people were missing. At an instant many people died however they were able to rescue very few people who lived on the top of the hill. Everyone was in shock and people started to work to be able to assist the surrounding communities. It was so amazing being able to see how people came together to help their own. 

Two weeks ago I was able to have coffee with two members of the church. They shared with me that there was a need that they could not provide for. A single woman in the church has been having a lot of problems with one of her kidneys. She was able to see two different doctors and they both pressed that she needed surgery as soon as possible because the kidney was getting worse. I prayed and  asked for help. I was able to receive the funding for her to get the surgery that is needed. The same week that I received the news that the money was going to be provided, I found out of another situation in a different city where the teenager may need a kidney transplant. She has been receiving dialysis, however this is not a long-term situation for her at this point because they live so far away from the city. 

The church also has a ministry of widows and I have been aware of situations where a lot of help is needed. 

I have a few friends in California who are starting a business and they are going to be launching their debuts this weekend. Juse and Jessica are going to be donating a portion of their profits to help the needs of the people I come across. I'm super excited to see what God is going to make out of this. 

Look them up on Instagram @stateofwild

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Christian American School

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

Just in case you have not been in he loop, I got a job! It all has been through a lot of prayer and once again God has answered in about a month's time of prayer and fasting with my boyfriend. I knew that would answer my prayer, I just didn't know that it was going to be so soon.

My class. I like owls
Circle Time

I have been working at CAS for the past 2 weeks, of which one week has been with the children. I was super excited decorating my classroom and preparing lesson plans with my coworker. The first day of school the children looked a little scared and one of the kids started to cry and refused to enter the classroom. I got flashbacks from when I used to work at Apple Tree and it was super natural to calm him down. I got to his level, asked if he wanted a hug and he said no. However, he started to get close to me and put his head on my chest. I hugged him and told him that I knew it was tough and he felt sad. I rubbed his back and I said that I was going to count to 5 and after I finished counting, we would go inside because all of his friends were waiting for him. When I finished counting I stood behind him and helped him inside the classroom. Within 5 minutes he was really happy especially when it was his turn for the children to sing to him, welcoming him to class.

The first two days I felt a little stressed because I have never been a teacher with kids all to myself. I have only done therapy (early intervention) with their parent present. By Friday I felt like I have been doing this for a while. Little by little I m getting the hang of it and I'm starting to know the children and whom they should not sit next to. I have one kid who works best when I am next to him encouraging him, I have a little girl who loves taking her time with coloring the small details and another boy who pretends he is sick when it's time to work. I am loving them very much! They brighten my day as well give me green hair at times. One thing I have learned working at Apple Tree is to document. I have an agenda where I am documenting all that is happening like when a child hits another or didn't want to work. I fill it up with details to make sure I have something to look back to if there's a problem. The best part about working at CAS it's being able to pray with the children and talk about Jesus.
P.E. with the kids

I will say that I really miss the children at the Hogar. I can't wait to be able to get in the rhythm of work and make time to visit them. I really miss their hugs and their sweet words like Anthony saying he loves me and having at least one teen wanting to talk about their emotions. Soon I will be back!

Friday, August 28, 2015

One year

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9 NIV

A year and two weeks ago I arrived in Guatemala with 2 fifty-pound bags and a carry-on. I was embarking on an adventure, but was not sure how it was going to plan out. I was honestly scared, insecure, but there was something powerful in me that kept reassuring me that I was meant to be here.

Many things came my way that forced me to get out of my comfort zone as well as teach me so much about myself. 

Besides living at the Hogar Esperanza y Futuro, I also started to teach ESL through Hope Worldwide Guatemala. I have had so much fun with my 3 classes. I now have the challenge to write curriculum for students in ESL. 
ESL Child class

I took a trip back to the states to visit family and friends. I had good time to reflect, pray and ask myself some deep questions. Looking at my savings account, I knew that I would only have less than a year left to live in Guatemala without extra income. After a conversation with my boyfriend, we decided to fast together so God could give me clarity and for His will to be done with my residency in Guatemala so that I can have a job. 
Visiting the elderly hospice in Tecate, Mexico

This week God made clear many things and without looking for a job, other than asking a friend from the states how she landed her teaching job in Guatemala for the new school year, I received an email from a local private Christian school director asking me to come in for an interview. The day of the interview I knew in my heart that I had landed the job. I went to the interview in jeans and tennis shoes. I didn't have a resume or any letters of recommendations. I prayed on my knees prior to leaving the house and I told God, "If this is from you, I will get hired despite my attire and the lack of paperwork. I leave it in your hands." 

This morning I received a "congratulations" email from my new boss. I was so happy and at the same time I knew I already had received it. 

The sad part of all of this is that I will no longer be living at the Hogar. My goal from the start was to live there for a year and that's how long I had been there. Yesterday I packed all my stuff and left with a broken heart. I can't even express how I felt, but I knew God was preparing a new path. I will be able to go back and do the things that I had planned, like assessing the babies and toddlers to make sure that they are growing in their development according of their age.

God has been so good to me and I know that He will continue to take care of me on this new adventure.

Saying good-bye

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mountain Top

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

After a few days of meetings with the ESL teachers in Honduras, I was finally able to site see. 

Yesterday morning Glenys took me along with another friend who lives across the street to climb to the Coca-Cola sign half way up a mountain. The start was great, but half way up I started to not feel too well. The heat, humidity and altitude was not agreeing with my body. There was a point when I would have wanted to just turn around and go back to the car. 

Glenys was with me the whole way and she kept stopping with me. Once we had passed the halfway mark the road was not as steap and it was actually a lot easier. 

As we looked at the city from above it was quite refreshing to have been able to accomplish what we had set forth to do. We found an area to sit and we all prayed together. As I was praying I was reminded of the very first time I attended church. The sermon was about a mountain top and how it's sometimes difficult living life as a Christian. We climb our mountain and we fall, hurt ourselves and sometimes it's difficult to continue. I remember the minister saying that we need to dust ourselves off and continue the walk because we will team a harvest if we do not give up. I will admit, it was a beautiful view from above. 

I have days that I want to give up and go home. Especially when there are problems, even when it doesn't involve me. I have always ran away from problems rather than facing them. 

Being in Honduras I have learned a lot regarding teaching ESL, but I also have learned a lot about myself. I'm excited to go back home, see the children and continue in the path that God has put in front of me. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

adventure: Honduras

Boarder of Guatemala and Honduras
I am currently in San Pedro Sula, Honduras for a training. The main ESL instructor is here and I decided to come and be able to get some advice as well as observe the classes that are being offered at church here to better my abilities in my class.  I will admit, I miss my girls at the hogar and the younger children.

I got on a 8am bus from the capital in Guatemala thanks to my good friend Karla. About an hour before arriving to San Pedro Sula the bus broke down and we had to wait for a smaller bus to come get us and take us to our final destination. After arriving I waited for Jeannette to pick me up (The main ESL instructor). Her and her husband along with their 2 children took me to the church service. I probably knew about 2 people and it was nice to see some familiar faces. I met my host, Glenys and after service she took me to her home. I met her husband and two young children.

Honduras is a very warm country, but I do not feel uncomfortable since I have been in air conditioned rooms. Glenys has been an amazing host and she always is offering me food or water.
(Left to right) Glenys, Jeannette, Fernanado and me

Yesterday was an adventure. Glenys is an ESL student and her English is very good. So good that she is now assisting the teacher. Glenys went with me to the meeting I had with Jeannette and after the meeting we didn't had a ride back home so we took a mini-bus back to her house. I was a little apprehensive, but I obviously did not have a choice. Honduras a very dangerous country as well.

We were able to get in the front seat and enjoyed the ride. There was a lot of traffic and the driver was swerving through traffic and at one point he got on the sidewalk to cut through traffic. I held on to Glenys for dear life! I was in disbelief, that it was happening. I told Glenys that what the driver did is called "off roading." We laughed and she kept saying that it was an Indiana Jones adventure.
Tuk tuk
Once we got in the neighborhood we took a motor bike to her house. In Guatemala the motor bikes are called tuk tuk's. It fits only 3 people in the back, but I have seen 5 people riding one before.
Glenys and I in the tuk tuk after dark

What have I learned? Gosh, so many things. I have been praying so much for God to guide me through the path that I am on. What does the future hold? Where is He calling me to be? Am I still walking on the correct path and with the right people?

The conversations I have been having, I have come up with something big about myself; I sometimes do not trust and most of the time it's God whom I do not trust. Why? Because I'm afraid, afraid of the future, of what I cannot see or control.

The things that I have questioned like my relationship, where I am currently living and many more things are because I allow the fear of the unknown to shake my inner core. People might look at my life and not think that about me. I mean who in their right mind sells it all, moves to a different country, travels by themselves to another dangerous country and says they have fear???? Well, me hahaha

I am doing new things at the hogar. I started a mommy and me group with the teens and their children. I want to give more of me. I think part of it was a step towards not fearing on stepping over toes. I want to teach, but I also need to learn. I am super thankful for the opportunity to share my knowledge with them. In return, they are teaching me so many more things about life.

I want to trust, I want to be secure and allow myself to walk the path that God has set forth before me. I guess for now all I can do is continue to pray, fill myself up with His word and walk this journey. 
Somewhere before San Pedro Sula, Honduras

pajama party

It's 6:30 am and I have been awake since 5:30 with very minimal sleep these past two days. Don't get me wrong, it has been quite an adventure because I have been having fun with the four boys in the house. There has been many concerns for them and one thing that I have noticed is that they are being left out and that's why they act out. These past 2 night I have slept in the room with them since we currently do not have a nanny assigned for that room. We had a "pajama" party and they had a great time. I told them stories, sang some songs and prayed together. They are super rambunctious boys, they kick each other, fight and yell, but they are the reason the home is alive.

Quality time is what they want. They desire it because the ratio of child to adult is a big gap. I have been so occupied with the teens that God has been turning my head to see the 4 brothers. I pray so much for guidance on how to love them and God has shown me that it's through special times like last night. I want to be able to do things like this more often and come up with other fun activities with them. I once heard by a professional that it's more traumatic for a child after a traumatic even than it is for an adult. This is because the child has not fully developed their frontal cortex of the brain and they have poor coping skills. I see these boys and I see it. I see how they don't know how to properly cope with what they have lived prior to coming to us. Please be praying for them.

Monday, March 30, 2015


I  was captivated by this film that we saw the other day at a workshop that was held by the government agency that oversees the different hogars in Guatemala. I was able to grasp just a little bit more as to why the children at the orphanage act the way they do. Sometimes their misbehavior is because of the turmoil that's inside of them. I did not see or experience what they have seen or experienced. My heart has been so overwhelmed, not knowing what to do. I don't know how to help. All I have been doing is praying and asking God to help me to love them through their actions and defiance.

I hope that this video can also help you the way it has helped me; to see the children here in the hogar a little differently and a bit more of compassion.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

EDUSI - Helping others out of poverty

Living here in Guatemala I have had the amazing opportunity to meet so many people who truly capture the essence of love. I'm not talking about the emotional love that people first think about, I'm talking about the verb, the action of love. Mathew 22 says that we must love our neighbor the way we love ourselves.

I met Professor Erik when I came to Guatemala. He works at a nearby private Christian school. He has a mission that God has given him and that is to help the women of the small town of Santo Tomas to get out of the cycle of poverty. How does he do this? by providing education, healthcare and job training. The most amazing part of this is that the word of God is being preached.

Once a month there are workshops that are held in the community hall of Santo Tomas. Erik organizes them and looks for speakers who will present a specific topic to inspire the women. There are over 70 women who regularly attend the workshops.

Recently, Erik was being charged a fee to use the community hall and he also had to rent chairs. After a lot of prayer he was able to use a house in town. He recently renovated it and he is getting it ready for the next meeting with the women. There's one small problem; since he is renting the house he needed to figure out a way to have chairs donated instead of renting them each time. Since the house is smaller that the community hall he will need to split up the women into groups depending on the area whee they live and host the workshops 3-4 times a week.

I have a friend in California whom I met when I would sell jewelry at events. She is a super talented person. When she heard that we were in need of chairs for the meetings she decided to do a fundraiser to help us out. She made three different style bracelets and for each one she sells she is going to donate $2 to our cause. This is amazing because I believe that God will bless it. If you are interested, CLICK HERE for her virtual store.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New year, new goals, same mission

2014 came and went like it was a short visit! It was such a great year because I saw so many miracles and I stepped out on faith for the first time in a very long time. I have been reminiscing on things that filled my soul, burdened my heart as well as things that brought joy to the inner being of who I am becoming.

The year started off with so many prayers and guidance. In February I started dating a man filled with love, compassion and who has the desire to serve those in need. After a lot of sacrifice, I had to sacrifice a little more to see a prayer come true, which was selling my car in order to pay off school loans. This was difficult because I had worked so hard to have it. Yet I knew that it was to fulfill a greater purpose.
In August I made a huge change in my life; moved to a different country to serve the children and teenagers of  Esperanza y Futuro.

I have been a witness to so much suffering, triumph and faith. I am ready to see where God takes me in 2015

After some prayer and bible study this morning, I have found a scripture that will be my theme in 2015, which is to continue to serve others, but with more sacrifice and love. To allow my heart to give even more to those who are in need. Gosh, I don't even know what that really means, but that's something that I desire and I feel pulled to do through His Spirit.

I will be very honest, I am so sad in so many ways. I deeply miss my family. I miss my mom's hugs, my dad's work complains, my sister's joy, my brother's lame jokes, my sister-in-law's conversations, seeing my niece and nephews, my Sunday morning talks with my friend +Jamie Deno , deep Bible discussions with friends every Thursday, seeing the children at my job at Apple Tree, taking care of my cat and my independence. I know something very well, even with tears in my eyes, and that is that God wants me here. My mission is not complete in Guatemala. He is pushing me to do His service. 

So here I go, 2015 will be another year of service. One thing on my list is a car to get around and volunteer in the mornings at other orphanages or organizations (still praying for a car to be donated, or the rest of the money to be donated to pay for it). I found an orphanage that has children with special needs. I hope to be able to volunteer and serve the children with the experience I have obtained working at Apple Tree. I am also looking to see where I can work and get paid so I have a little bit of income to fill up the gas tank and do the things that God has prepared. All for His glory!!!

Isaiah 58:6-11 (NLT)

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
    lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
    and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
    and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
    and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
    and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
    and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
    ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
    and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    giving you water when you are dry
    and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like an ever-flowing spring.