We enjoyed the opportunity to not only play with the kids, but to leave our mark with volunteering in the kitchen, in the garden, with the special needs, Montessori and my favourite… the construction site. There is no end to the help needed and nothing more rewarding than to give it.
In 1954, a boy was arrested for stealing from the poor box of a small church in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. The young priest in charge, Father William Wasson of the United States, was unwilling to press charges against this “thief.” Instead, he asked for custody of the boy. One week later, the judge sent him eight more homeless boys. By year’s end, 32 boys were in residence and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ (NPH), Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters,” was born.
335 children are at NPH Guatemala, providing a permanent family and home for orphaned, abandoned and other at-risk children who live in conditions of extreme poverty. Each story is different and many completely heart-wrenching. I was amazed of the resiliency, at the apparent happy faces and incredible warmth and welcome feeling they gave us. It didn’t take long to feel like home to me. The love is unconditional and the appreciation is vast.
“Through the principles of love, security, sharing, work and responsibility, the children begin to thrive. A careful balance of these five principles helps the children succeed and live in harmony.” – NPH
After completing our painting project of the bathroom windows
A Work of Art
The visitors houses are built by Canadians
This was one of my most favourite views
Northfield Racquet Club in Waterloo donated tennis balls and several were used for the kids to grip crayons to enjoy colouring for the first time
Just outside the grounds, a sweet little town with a delicious bakery and good beer
The little-ones put on a performance for us on the last night, and in turn, we gave our own
Having way too much fun
Beautiful Sandra from Toronto Ontario
BBQ’ing our last supper
Judy & Kathryn volunteered in the kitchen
Built by Canadian students
The kids clean their own clothes by hand and do many chores. They begin their day at 5:30am (chores), then school at 7am and their school day ends at 1:30. Some have jobs within NPH and others have more studies. A few live on campus, but leave in the morning to go to university.
This soccer pitch was donated (the sod & lighting)
Boo (Nathan Ingram) is head of NPH construction. From Guelph, he originally came to NPH as a chaperone for a high school group, with his dad. He instantly fell in love with the people, the culture and the country. He currently lives in the small village of Parramos, just outside the NPH grounds.
Kathy & Pedro
The kids were fascinated by cameras
squatters have made their home across the river from NPH
I was presented on my birthday with these beautiful flowers, grown on the NPH grounds. I was also surprised with fireworks and a gorgeous chocolate/raspberry cake. Treated like a queen!
NPH has a full sustainable farm with cows, chickens & goats
Peter & Nathan Ingram gave us a grand tour of the NPH grounds
Avocado Tree – our meeting place each morning
And an added birthday greeting
Always carried a smile
Our amazing cook
Continually cracked me up!