Posts Tagged ‘Guatemala’

New Children At Los Pinos

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Guatemala — Los Pinos

If you were to visit the Los Pinos children’s village I think you would be impressed by the various agriculture initiatives and industries on the campus. They are working hard to provide some of the income they need for their expenses.

A thriving chicken house provides eggs for the needs of the children. The extra eggs are sold in the village. We’re hoping to expand the dairy in the near future, again to provide for the needs of the children and have some extra for generating income.

The Los Pinos children’s village has also taken in several new children, thanks to the support you’ve given. In order to better accommodate these children, we’ve been making some much needed repairs to a few of the homes. This includes such things as installing new floors and windows and repairing bathrooms.

A photo of Anselmo

Anselmo

You may not realize it, but bringing in new children has a vitalizing effect on the entire project, much as it does within our own family. Having new children spreads an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm around the campus.

We recently shared the story of little Anselmo, one of the newest children at the Los Pinos children’s village. I had the opportunity to meet him recently. He really stood out as a special kid. He always had a smile on his face, was very sweet and affectionate to all of us. I could see that he was adapting very well there and seemed to be very happy and comfortable with his new family. He came over to me many times and hugged me with a big smile.

When Anselmo arrived he had a lot of bruises, but, in spite of that, he is not aggressive. In his house he protects the little kids, even though he is also a little kid himself. It’s wonderful to see how quickly kids like Anselmo adapt and begin to enjoy their new family. Kids who’ve never known a real family can now experience

A Letter From ICAP

Friday, August 30th, 2013

ICC’s presence in Guatemala includes not only the Los Pinos Children’s village but also the ICAP secondary school. This school has expanded and developed into a wonderful institution that benefits ICC children those from the region.

We recently received the following update from Dr. Alejandro D’Oleo who is ICC’s Director of Education.

My dear brethren and friends,

May the peace of God be with you today and always.

This is to inform you about the latest news about ICAP. I’m pleased to inform you that God has performed a great miracle for ICAP. The Nursing Degree program was approved to start in 2014 with the support of San Carlos University, even though not all of the documentation has been completed that we are working on. Also, we are working on starting to offer as of 2014 a few other degrees which were approved by the MINEDUC (Ministry of Education).

Our school had a good showing in its participation in the Science Olympics, obtaining first prize in biology. They also participated for the first time in an academic activity carried out by the Guatemala Adventist Union at a national level, and they managed to get second place with a very small margin – they almost got first place. In another area, our band has been representing ICAP in several events. Right now they are participating in an activity for bands in the capital city of Guatemala, and they are preparing to participate in the civic activities which will soon take place in this department (province).

However, sadly, not all the news is good. The day after we got the good news regarding approval of the nursing program, two of our graduating students who had just completed their social service work were returning to ICAP by motorcycle, and they had an accident near the Blue Lagoon (on the road from Poptun). One perished in the accident, and the other is in delicate but stable condition in the hospital. This situation has created a very sad atmosphere at ICAP, especially because the young man who died is from the Miranda family who have been a big support to the institution.

Please, I ask for your prayers for ICAP. The enemy is working against our institution. Every year around graduation we have had accidents that bring pain to the ICAP families. However, we have nothing to fear of the future than that we forget the way God has led ICAP in the past.

Thanks very much for your prayers.

Sincerely,

Alejandro D’Oleo
ICC Director of Education and supervisor of ICAP

Water Emergency

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Water. It’s often taken for granted when you turn on the faucet anticipating a clear stream of liquid to refresh, to cleanse, to invigorate. Nothing satisfies thirst like water, and when a problem in the supply system interrupts the flow of water to our ICC children it becomes an urgent problem that requires immediate attention. This is what happened at ICC’s Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala. The children’s homes and facilities draw water from two wells, and recently the children and staff were totally without the use of either of them.

The well behind the bakery has a broken pipe inside, and the workers can’t get the pump out. The problem was immediate, and our administrator had to solve it quickly. The pump motor on the other well burned out, and the shaft is broken.

For a very short time, water was shared from an emergency well at ICAP, the secondary school whose property is next to Los Pinos. However, this was only a temporary solution.

The cost of purchasing a new pump for the second well is $1,543. Our administrator, Joel Carpio, had no choice but to purchase the pump and quickly put it into service. Once again, water flowed through the system and our children and staff had the supply they needed.

Problem solved? In one sense, yes, and in some years, it may not have mattered too much if Joel had to use operating funds for this out-of-budget purchase. But this year it matters very much because the summer months have seen donation income decrease significantly at ICC. This has put a huge strain on all our projects as we’re not always able to send operating funds at the time they are needed. ICC project administrators like Joel are trying their best to keep the essential operations moving along, despite the hardships. When something like the broken wells occurs, it causes added strain to the budget. In this situation, Joel had to use money from his already depleted operational funds which are desperately needed to provide for the care of our children.

I’m writing today to make you aware of this situation. We need your prayers. We need our Heavenly Father’s blessing from the “windows of heaven” so that Joel is able to have sufficient operating funds to provide for the daily care of the children. If you feel the nudge to assist Joel please let us know. You can also send your donation marked “Guatemala Need.”

Thank-you for your continued interest and support of ICC’s children and projects around the world. It’s the ongoing, consistent support of our faithful supporters that makes this ministry for orphaned and abandoned children possible. Without you, we’d not be able to care for them. So, in a sense, it’s our supporters who put the “care” into International Children’s Care. May God richly bless you for your care and support of the children.

In His service,

Kent Greve
International Development Director

Los Pinos Receives Juicy Donation

Friday, July 6th, 2012

We received a message recently from Anabela de Alejos, our development coordinator in Guatemala, about a donation made to our Los Pinos Children’s Village. Here is the story as related by Anabela;

ICC’s Hogar Los Pinos project in Guatemala has people that love the work we are doing for the children. When they hear something about a company or any organization making donations, they call and recommend Los Pinos.

The truck load of orange juice and citrus punch from Ajemaya, S.A. destined for ICC's project Los Pinos and Orphan Resouces.

The truck load of juice donated by Ajemaya, S.A. to ICC Guatemala, the Los Pinos Children's Village and Orphan Resources

One of ICC’s friends in Guatemala heard about a company called Ajemaya, S.A. This company was looking for associations or social organizations to whom they could donate orange juice and citrus punch. ICC’s friend immediately thought of our children and made a referral. The company contacted us and offered to give us 24 pallets of their product if we would be willing to distribute it where needed.

Unloading the juice donated by Ajemaya, S.A. to Los Pinos

Unloading the juice donated by Ajemaya, S.A. to Los Pinos

We partner with an organization here in Guatemala called Orphan Resources. They have given us various gifts-in-kind that have been a blessing to our children. It was a pleasure to be able to work with them in distributing this donation. Because of the large supply, we were able to distribute juice to other facilities that help orphan children. Our Los Pinos children’s village received 9 pallets. Another 41 orphanages also received a supply of juice. We are very thankful for this company because they chose to share their product with our children.

May God bless all of our donors. With your support we can help many children who need it.

Anabela de Alejos
Development Coordinator
Hogar Campestre Adventista Los Pinos

Sarahʼs Story

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The following is a personal account from Sarah Johnston. Her story was featured by Alcyon Fleck in the July 2012 edition of ICC’s Que Pasa Newsletter.

This is my story about how the Lord has been with me through the years. I was born in 1980 in a Mayan village in Guatemala. There was a civil war going on in Guatemala at that time. I was still a baby when a battle took place in my village in which many people were killed. I was on my mother’s back when a bullet took her life and wounded my feet.

This is all I know about the family I was born into, and the people of my village. In spite of the tragedy God was looking out for me, even though I did not know Him at that time. God sent a nice man who loved children to find me and a little boy. He took us to the military hospital in Guatemala City.

At the hospital they gave me the name “Mercedes Lopez.” The little boy and I did not stay at the hospital for long because the general that found us knew of a lady that loved children and had an orphanage in Guatemala called Los Pinos. The general called Mrs. Fleck and told her to come and see the two children he found. She did come to the military hospital to see us. I was about ten months old and stood in my crib when Mrs. Fleck saw me. The boy’s name was Lazaro, and he was even years old. He had a wound on his head and his hand.

In the limousine on the way to Mrs. Fleck’s home I sat on her lap and Lazaro sat close beside her. Not knowing where I was going I began to scream in terror and clung to Mrs. Fleck’s neck so hard that she could barely breathe. Mrs. Fleck was so nice to me and the boy. She rocked and held me until I went to sleep. In the morning Mrs. Fleck took us to the “Los Pinos” [children’s village] in Guatemala.

Sarah's First Days at Los Pinos

Sarah (in the yellow dress) not long after she came to live at Los Pinos

Juana, one of the ladies that worked at “Los Pinos,” took me to a house where the house mother could handle another little one. I do not know how long I was at “Los Pinos,’ but I do know that God was still looking out for me. Little did I know that God already had a good Christian family for me. This family lived in Vermont on a farm. They had two older children and a little baby boy, but the mother was praying that God would give her a little Indian girl. So when she found a little picture with a story of me in the Adventist Review it touched her heart, and she knew I would fit in the family if it was God’s will.

But it took nine months until they got me, even though they thought I would come at Christmas. It was a good thing I did not come at Christmas because Christine, the mother, had an operation in January and it took her a long time to heal after the operation. When she tried to do so she had a terrible headache which made it impossible for her to stay up or eat sitting erect. After much prayer the Lord urged her to exercise in the snow crawling around crying out for God’s help to be fit for her children and Sarah.

Sarah Lisa was the name they chose after they were told of Mercedes. In God’s time, exactly nine months later, the three year old came and “mommy” was well enough to receive her girl. Roger, the father, had almost traveled to Guatemala to pick me up since they were told to do so by the orphanage, but as it turned out he did not need to since Mrs. Fleck had another girl to bring and brought me up with her. Christine bought a pretty pink and white dress and shoes and mailed it away to Guatemala for me. And then they waited at the Boston airport until the plane I was on arrived. They found me with the pretty dress. I looked like a doll. Christine ran and picked me up. I looked surprised and they were surprised at how small I was.

Sarah After Joining Her New Family

Sarah after she was adopted into her new family

My new family was prepared for crying and a sleepless night as we all slept in a hotel. But I slept and their one and a half year old baby boy slept also. On the long trip home we stopped to get some food, and that is when they found out that I had the biggest appetite a tiny girl could have. I ate until all of the food was gone, and Christine wondered if maybe she gave me too much. Eating was something that I knew how to do. The next day my mom was shocked at how my little tummy got so big. Then she discovered that I had eaten five big pancakes. All night my mom worried that I may be sick, and yet I lived through it. I clung to my mother’s neck as she carried me up into the bedrooms, and I would not let go until she put me into my crib.

My mom was a good mother. She loved me and taught me about Jesus, but sad to say, I wasn’t always a nice little girl or have Jesus in my heart. I used to get so angry at my mom and brother, and I also stole. What made it worse was that I lied to my mom. It made her sad and Jesus, too, but thank God my mom did not give up on me. She did a lot of praying for me, and God answered her prayers. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was sixteen and was baptized.

I used to wonder why God spared my life and not my mom’s, but now I know why, because He wanted to use me to tell others of Him. I really do like children and they like me. My mom did some babysitting, and I helped her with the children. When I was twenty-eight, I helped take care of three foster children. I enjoyed it a lot. I sang Jesus songs with them and read stories to them. They enjoyed it, too. I become an aunt when I was seven and a half year old. I do not mind being an aunt, because I love my nieces and nephews. The only thing is that they all grew big and tall and I stayed short. But that’s OK.

I left home when I was twenty-nine and went to work up at Laurelbrook Academy. I worked at the nursing home doing different things. I also worked in the garden with some of the students. I also worked at the day care. I enjoyed doing that. I also helped out in Sabbath School with the little children.

Sarah Today

Sarah as she is today

Now I am thirty-one and married, and I know God will still use me as long as I am willing to be used. It does not make any difference how big or small or how old you are or what your background is or was. He can and wants to use you to help others to be ready when Jesus comes. May my story be an encouragement that God does work things out in our lives for His good. One of my favorite Bible verses is “All things work out together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

May God bless you,
Sarah Johnston

Dawn With Christ at Los Pinos

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Recently we had an early morning of prayer on Sabbath where we all participated from 4 am to 6 am. This is part of our spiritual enrichment program. It was interesting to see the participation of each home. We prayed for the requests of each one and for ICC, Rick, Sharon, the sponsors, the projects and much more.

Praying in the church

Residenst of Los Pinos gather to pray together during Dawn With Christ

Los Pinos residents gather to pray together during Dawn With Christ

Los Pinos residents gather to pray together during Dawn With Christ

Joel Carpio
Administrator Los Pinos Children’s Village

ICC Guatemala Experiences ‘Family Week.’

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

ICC is on a mission to create homes and families for children who have neither. Since 1978, ICC has been creating happy families for orphaned and abandoned children around the world. We often speak of our “ICC family” which includes children, caregivers, donors, administrators and staff in various support offices. At ICC we celebrate family. And what a unique family it is!

One of the special events on some of our campuses each year is “Family Week” which is designed to enhance and strengthen relationships among family members. Joel Carpio, administrator of ICC’s Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala, recently sent a report about the Family Week they celebrated earlier this year. Here is what he said;

The goal [of Family Week] was family integration and unity. The families of the teachers and the administrative team were distributed among the families of the eight children’s homes to support and participate with them.

The activities were both religious and secular (sports). They did dramas, songs, dramatized songs, etc. And in each activity both the children and adults had to participate together.

During the recent 'Family Week' at ICC's Los Pinos Children's Village, one of the families put on a skit involving chickens.

During the recent 'Family Week' at ICC's Los Pinos Children's Village, one of the families put on a skit involving chickens. And a wedding. And a very large pot.

It was impressive to see the acting talent, the participation and the ingenious ideas that the children and young people had and their desire to help their home win the prize. It was a week that we greatly enjoyed, not only the children but also the adults. And even though it was tiring for the adults (the children never seem to get tired!), we enjoyed it so much that it turned out to be good therapy to relieve stress.

One thing that was especially interesting was to see how the relationship between the parents and the children improved, leaving to one side the differences or problems that happen in the home. And that was the goal—that the staff members be integrated to take advantage of the opportunity to promote family unity.

You really needed to have been there to understand the happiness that this week produces. I don’t think there is any comedian who could make us laugh like we did seeing the acting and talent of the children and young people and the creative ideas that they came up with to do things.

One of the activities that was enjoyed the most is the rally. This is an athletic event with skills, coordination and a lot of enthusiasm. This took one whole afternoon. There were ten stations with a judge at each one which oversaw an activity in which the whole family participated. All members of the family had to participate and do the activity correctly in order for the judge to sign off their sheet so they could run and find another station that was empty in order to do another activity. The family that got all ten signatures first won the event. It took about three hours to complete this event.

Families crawl through the mud during Family Week at ICC's Los Pinos Children's Village in Guatemala.

Rally participants crawl through the mud during Family Week at ICC's Los Pinos Children's Village in Guatemala.

This year we had a breakfast competition. One Sunday morning all the homes were given a spot on the campus where they organized and decorated an area where they made a stove, a work table and a dining table. Each home made its menu and they weren’t allowed to take anything that was prepared ahead of time. Again the ingenuity of each person came out and we really enjoyed this event. We had to have a big appetite to enjoy everything that was prepared, and it wasn’t easy to be a judge of this event!

One of the tables and meals from the breakfast competition during Family Week at ICC's Los Pinos Childrens' Village.

One of the tables and meals from the breakfast competition during the recent Family Week at ICC's Los Pinos Children's' Village.

Besides these activities, we had brought special speakers to give motivational and educational talks which were of much interest to everyone during the week.

We have other special activities during the year, including Courtesy Week, Young People’s Week, Week of the Child and also two Weeks of Prayer. But some would say their favorite week is Family Week!

You can see in this report and in the pictures of happy children that family week was a special time to nurture and celebrate families. It also shows that your support of ICC is not about charity—it’s about family!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

ICC Students Win Olympiad

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

On September 30, students from ICAP, ICC’s boarding academy in Guatemala, placed first in the Guatemalan National Agronomy Science Olympics. The event was held at the Adolfo V. Hall Institute in the city of Retalhuleu.

This nation-wide contest is conducted by Guatemala’s National School of Agriculture and involved the participation of fourteen secondary schools from throughout Guatemala which offer agricultural and forestry programs.

Image of the official poster of the Olimpiada de las Cienceas Agronomicas 2011

Official Poster of the Olimpiada de las Cienceas Agronomicas 2011

Our students from ICAP scored a total of twelve points during the competition and judging. They received one gold medal, four silver medals and a bronze medal. Their score placed our students first among all the participating schools. Congratulations to our ICAP agricultural students for their first-place finish in the first annual National Agronomy Science Olympics.

Our students accomplishments in this competition are further evidence of why ICC places such a high value on the Christian education our children receive at each one of our projects. It is through their education that our kids learn the value of both the individual and team effort it takes to achieve success and become a positive contributor within their culture.

Thank you for all you do for “His Kids” that helps to provide not just an education for our children but a home, a family and a second chance at the life our kids truly deserve.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

ICC Student Wins First Place in Speech Contest

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

For the past few years the local court in Poptún has conducted a contest for area schools. The court chooses a topic associated with the law, and schools send a student participant to give a talk on the chosen topic.  First, second and third place awards are given. This year one of ICC’s boys who attends ICAP won first place with his presentation on “Femicide” (killing women with or without a reason). This gave him the privilege of being a “judge for a day.”

The student from ICAP who won the speaking contest and the judge in who's court he was an observer

The Los Pinos student (on the right) who attends ICAP and who won the speaking contest. The first place prize was spending the day in court observing a judge at work. The judge in who's court he was an observer is on the left.

Monday, October 3, was his day to be at the court. He was a spectator for all the hearings that occurred that day. What a blessing it is that our ICC young people are learning and achieving skill in public speaking! And what a blessing that ICC Los Pinos continues to be as a refuge for children in desperate need of love and protection.

Los Pinos Inaugurates Bakery

Monday, April 4th, 2011

On Monday, March 28, the children of Los Pinos as well as staff members and dignitaries, were able to celebrate the opening of the Los Pinos bakery. The objective of this project is to produce and sell baked goods to the local market. This will provide revenue to support the program of care for children at Los Pinos.

The organization, Food for the Poor, contributed to the remodeling of the bakery building. The German Embassy in Guatemala provided funds for bakery equipment. Items purchased with this donation included 1 oven with a capacity of 14 trays, 1 mixer with a 20 liter capacity, 1 mixer with a 20 pound capacity, 100 trays, 3 racks with casters, 2 stainless steel tables.

Equipment that is used in the Los Pinos Bakery

Equipment, purchased with a grant from the German Embassy in Guatemala, used in the new Los Pinos bakery

The German Consul, Mr. Markuz Graetz, attended the opening ceremonies. Also present were the Municipal Mayor, Mr. Angel Kilkan; the Carpio’s, directors of Los Pinos Peten; Anabela Alejos, director of ICC Development Department in Guatemala; Los Pinos school staff; office staff; parents and all the children.

Joel Carpio welcomed all those present and gave introductory comments for the ceremony. Then Mr. Kilkan spoke. He said that he admired the social work that Los Pinos had done for a long time for Guatemalan children. Then Mr. Graetz spoke. He enjoyed the special recognition from the 7th grade class who wrote “THANK YOU” in the German language. The children in first grade shared a typical song, and at the end of the program, a boy gave special thanks on behalf of all the children.

Anablea Alejos, Joel Carpio, Markuz Graetz

Anablea Alejos, Joel Carpio, Markuz Graetz

After the first part of the program was finished, Mr. Graetz cut the ribbon to officially open the bakery. Participants enjoyed refreshments of bread produced in the bakery and Jamaica juice. Before leaving the campus, the Mr. Graetz asked to see more of the children’s village. Before visiting, he thought there would be only a small facility for the children, and he was impressed by the size and scope of ICC’s work.

Joel Carpio took him on a tour of the gardens, pineapple plantation, papaya plantation, and the chicken house. Mr. Graetz was amazed to see how the staff are using the natural resources. Joel also took him for a visit to one of the children’s home. Mr. Graetz was impressed with the Los Pinos project and said he would welcome another project proposal.

Markuz Graetz and Joel Carpio inspect the Los Pinos pineapple plantation

Markuz Graetz and Joel Carpio inspect the Los Pinos pineapple plantation

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC