Monday, December 31, 2012

Camp 3 Guatemala

Wow what a heartbreaking yet joyful day. Mariana Diaz, Notre Dame Alum and founder of HANDS Organization in Guatemala, drove us out to our next location along with her brother Jose and friend Diana.

We put on a camp for roughly 130 children in the village of Jalapa (2 hour drive from Guatemala City. The field was very small but the hearts of the children were huge! Boys from the village came to join the girls from the orphanage where we put the camp on.

As usual, each child received a ball, t-shirt and drinks from the camp. One of the stories that broke our hearts was of a 12 year old deaf girl (pictured below with Caitlin). She was "rented" out to local farmers for sex and abuse and her step-father ended up getting her pregnant. She had a baby at the age of 12 and was left in a field, totally abandoned.

The depth and emotion of hearing theae stories and meeting these girls are immense. They certainly put a perspective on our own lives and get us to see the realities of this world that we often turn a blind eye to.

Here are some of the pictures:

Camp 2 Guatemala

Day 2 simply put was a tremendous experience. We were welcomed by Madre Ivonne over at the Hogar San Rafael orphanage in Zona 1 of Guatemala City.

Madre Ivonne is a huge soccer fan and even revealed that F.C. Barcelona is her equipo favorito!

The children were absolutely wonderful and had a passion that anyone would be jealous of. Most of these children were abandoned, abused or simply given up by their families for various reasons. One child in particular was found on the train tracks at the age of 3 barely able to move.

These children, along with the rest we have met in Guatemala and India, exemplify resilience and true struggle. It was absolutely our pleasure that we were able to share the beauty of soccer with them. Here are some photos:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Camp 1 Guatemala

What a way to start the trip! Driving two hours outside of Guatemala City with our new friend and Notre Dame graduate Jorge, we finally made it to a small village called Comapa.

Awaiting us were 300 boys and girls and roughly 20 volunteers from our new partner organization EDUCCA. The small village has a rough stadium that they kindly opened up for us. We are very thankful to our friends at EDUCCA for being so organized and helping out on such a great camp for the children.

Each child received a ball, t-shirt, food, drink and school supplies. Here are some photos detailing the day!