Casa de Sion is a charitable program based in Guatemala, and is part of Safe Homes For Children, a 501(c)(3) non-profit org. We help improve the lives of Guatemala’s least fortunate children with nutritional, educational and medical initiatives. You can help us make an impact in these poor Mayan communities through your donations and volunteerism.
Mother's Day Plea: Two Stories on Why We Want to Open an Orphanage/ Part 1
Many of you will remember Juan and his two boys, Juanito (on the right) and Erwin. Juan came to work several years back as a guardian and field hand, and it was soon evident that Juan had some serious mental health issues. He worked at a snail's pace and was perfectionistic to a fault. But he was malnourished and pitiful and it was hard not to want to help him. His presence at our facility on the weekends gave us security and his two boys obviously needed some structure in their lives. They had been living on the streets of Guatemala City. And that's what we were doing: helping kids (and adults that were really only kids). These boys
The boys did not seem to have a mother and were lacking many of the love pats a mother adds to a child's life. I tried to add some of the things to their lives that a mother would have made sure they had. It was hard tho as Juan did not cooperate. I wanted routine. I wanted discipline. I wanted cleanliness and a healthy diet.He wanted none of these. He loved them in an easy way as long as it required no effort. We got the boys in school next door and we didn't know it at the time, but this was probably the highpoint of their lives. As if often the case with abused and neglected children (and adults), with the security (meals and a paycheck) of their new life we started having problems. We decided that Juan was probably autistic which accounted for the fact that it took him a month to do a two-day job. And part of it was plain old attitude. Dominga complained of missing food from the locked kitchen. Then volunteers began complaining of money missing even from locked rooms. We knew the latter was Erwin who could charm the socks off anyone. We had several "come to Jesus" talks which didn't do any good. Several times Juan was absent without notice for days at a time and his one redeeming factor--security--was useless.
After endless warnings, we eventually had to let him go, which was a heartbreaker for us, and he moved to Panajachel where he had been going to church and had engendered similiar sympathies among many of the members. Months later he wore out his welcome there as he had with us and he and the two boys were on the streets again. Roy, our accountant, had an old house he let them use and we gave them a monthly allotment of food--part of our fast offering. In time they left that house and were living on the streets again but with a more lavish lifestyle that scared us. It looked like the two boys were doing prostitution.
Recently, the two boys disappeared for a week and Juan finally went to the police. When the boys returned, the court got involved. Juan did not have proper paperwork and the boys were sent into an orphanage, which will be their last best chance for a relatively normal life. This story is not that uncommon with the rampant malnutrition that causes serious and permanent damage to the brain. This and several other stories that we'll publish over the next few weeks are causing us to rethink opening the orphanage. While it was one long battle for us with the government, the winners were the kids.
We also need a mature couple to make a commitment to the running of said orphanage and our other projects among the poor Mayans of Guatemala .
Money for the orphanage project can be donated with the donate button or sent by check to