Posts Tagged ‘Guatemala’

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

Los Pinos Graduation

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

“The elementary school graduation ceremonies for grades one, six and nine was conducted recently at our Los Pinos Children’s Village campus. The ceremony and excitement were just too much for this one little fellow captured in this photo. ICC congratulates all the graduates for their accomplishments.”

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

A photo of one young Los Pinos graduate who found the graduation ceremonies a bit tiring.

Graduating can be tiring work

Another Big Steel Box of Love

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

It just wasn’t big enough. We filled it till there was no room to spare but there were still so many needs remaining for the Guatemala children’s village. So we’re going to do it once again and try to cram the stuff that was left behind into another very large metal box and ship it to Guatemala.

Even though not all the items we needed to send were included in the shipment, everything we did send was deeply appreciated and put to use. In some cases within minutes of being unloaded from the container. E.g., the refrigerators were a huge blessing and no time was wasted in getting them installed in the homes.

Residents of the Los Pinos Children's Village unload the most recent container load of goodies.

Residents of our Los Pinos Children's Village unload the container full of goodies they recently received from ICC HQ and ICC supporters.

Even with all the we did send in the last container, there are many needs still to be met at Los Pinos. A few examples are good quality used sofas, a brush hog with PTO, mechanics hand tools for auto, truck and farm repair and even more refrigerators. As always, financial contributions to defray direct costs are appreciated.

Residents of our Los Pinos Children's Village place the goods from our recent container shipment into storage awaiting distribution

Residents of our Los Pinos Children's Village place the items they received in our recent container shipment into storage awaiting distribution.

So we’ve started the process of shipping a second container to Los Pinos in January, 2001. Which means that once again we need your invaluable contributions so we can meet the needs of our Los Pinos Children’s Village. Please contact Doug Congleton here at ICC HQ to let him know how you can help. Here’s Doug’s Email. Here’s our phone number: 800.422.7729. Thanks for all you do for “His Kids!”

Young men from our Los Pinos Children's Village carry a stack of chairs from our recent container shipment into storage.

Thanks to Joel Carpio, our Los Pinos administrator, for the photos.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

A Small Church With A Big Heart

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

In 2006, ICC began a special sponsorship campaign called “One Church, One Child.” Since the start of this program, many churches, big and small, have partnered with ICC in providing for the care of orphaned and vulnerable children. This initiative continues to be a blessing for ICC’s children.

An exterior view of the Portales, NM, SDA church.

The Portales, New Mexico, SDA church.

Recently, our attention was drawn to one particular church that has a big (and growing) heart for “His Kids.” This church of 22 members, most on fixed incomes, is located in the small town of Portales, New Mexico. In January of 2007, this church joined ICC’s One Church, One Child campaign. Accompanying their most recent sponsorship donation was a note which read:

“Because God has blessed our group we are adding funds for two more children. So now we will be paying for eight children each month instead of six.”

The ever expanding generosity of this church merited further investigation. What was this church like? What caused the members to continue to expand their support far beyond the original scope of only sponsoring one child?

Interior view of the Portales, New Mexico, SDA church.

The congregation of the Portales, New Mexico, SDA church during services.

One of the church members, Merlene Olmsted, provided insights into how the church’s involvement with ICC has grown over the years. She said that the church decided to sponsor two children at the beginning. “We didn’t even know how it would go,” Merlene recalled.

As time passed, support increased. Merlene continued, “We would be going along and the church treasurer would say, ‘We have this much money, and we’re way ahead. Why don’t we sponsor more children?’”

About once a quarter, Merlene shares with the church news or information from the Que Pasa newsletter, ICC’s website or something one of the sponsored children has written. Recently, at an evening board meeting after one of those presentations was made, the treasurer indicated that there was $1,000 in the sponsorship fund for the children and there was only a few months left in the year. The board decided then to sponsor two more children bringing the total number to eight. That is more than one third of the church’s membership! With these latest additions, the church now sponsors three children in Congo, two children in the Dominican Republic and one child each from Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
Int’l Development Director ICC

Strong Enrollment Continues For ICAP

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Dr. Alejandro D‘Oleo, ICC’s Director of Education for Central American projects, recently prepared a report showing enrollment statistics for ICAP, otherwise known as Instituto de Capacitación Adventista del Petén. This is a boarding school for secondary studies in Guatemala. Here are some particulars:

Total Enrollment – 423

Male students – 248
Female students – 175
High school or college preparatory students – 26
Junior high school students (Grades 7-9) – 75

Dr. D'Oleo and graduates of ICAP

Dr. Alejandro D'Oleo (fourth from left) with ICAP graduates in 2006.

Students in Specific Areas of Study

Agriculture – 97
Auto mechanics – 93
Accounting program – 47
Teacher Training – 44
Home Economics – 30
Adult education for a GED – 11

The ICAP campus lies next to our Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala. ICC has operated this school since 1991. During the past few years, enrollment has steadily increased. This testifies to the tremendous program that is being offered to young people in that country.

ICAP administration building

ICAP administration building

The school year in Guatemala lasts from mid-January through late November. ICAP’s graduation weekend this year will be November 26-28.

German Embassy Donates To Los Pinos Bakery

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Note: There will be an update to this post in the near future.

A few months ago, Anabela Alejos, director of ICC’s work in Guatemala City, sent out letters to various businesses and embassies asking for support of the children’s village in Peten. The German embassy responded that they would like to help. On Thursday, September 9, Anabela visited the embassy where she was given a check. The amount was €9,666 Euros which is about $12,275. The funds are to be used for purchasing equipment for the children’s village bakery.

Anabela receives the donation from an official of the German Embassy

Anabela receives the donation from an official of the German Embassy