The Hope for Tomorrow children enjoyed a week of vacation from school this month. Our volunteers joined forces to plan a week of activities and excursions for the kids. Every morning started with VBS which included a bible story and craft to teach the children of God’s love and care for His creation. In the afternoons, they had various activities planned for days of fun.
The first day of vacation was termed girls’ day. Amelia and Lidia went with our volunteers to see Pixar’s Inside Out, which made them all laugh and cry. After the movie, they returned and took all the girls over to the new property for “Beauty Salon” where they made bracelets and did each others’ nails. Even baby Ashley got her nails done.
Day two of vacation the kids took a trip to the park they normally play at. However, this time was special, as they got to go play in the carrousel park next door with rides and games. The kids were so excited to finally get to play in the carrousel park they see almost everyday but rarely get to play at. They loved playing the games to win tickets and buy prizes. Then they would get on the rides and their smiles seemed like they would last forever.
Day three the kids spent all day in their PJs, watched movies, and had a lazy day at home. The volunteers popped popcorn and baked cookies for the kids to enjoy during their movie marathons. Then, after dinner they all went over to our new property for a bonfire and s’mores. Although the rain tried to stomp out the fun, our volunteers kept roasting marshmallows and didn’t let it ruin the night. When all the s’mores were gone, the kids laughed and played and danced until it was finally time to return home and go to bed.
Day four the kids had a very special trip to the pool. They loaded up the van early in the morning and drove to Aguas Calientes, a beautiful heated pool with a park and zoo attached. The kids swam all morning and probably would’ve kept going through the night had they been able to. But, they took a break for lunch, which was a delicious barbecue the caregiver’s had prepared at the park while the kids swam. Then, after lunch, they watched the animals in the zoo and conquered the giant slides on the playground. when we loaded up in the van to head home, the kids were falling asleep in their seats.
The final day of vacation the kids traveled to Antigua to take part in a class our co-founder Jennifer was instructing. A few of the kids spent their morning with Jennifer’s students, while the rest toured the city. The kids participated in lots of fun activities with Jennifer’s students and all came away smiling with their bags of goodies and crafts they had done that day. The other kids got to travel the ruins of a monastery and take a trip to the top of a hill to overlook the city. After the morning activities, we all met up and had a fun lunch out at McDonalds before taking our happy, exhausted kids home for the day.
We are so blessed to be able to share in these special moments with the kids and were so glad to see them smiling and enjoying their week of vacation! See all their pictures from their week here.
The second week of June we had the pleasure of hosting a great team from Brookdale in St. Joseph, Missouri. Their first day with us, the team held a picnic lunch in the backyard of our new property. Then, they began their days of hard work renovating our home. The group continued work on our big project for the summer, tearing down the old front wall of our new property to make room for a new one that fits our needs. They worked hard to continue digging away a hole for our water pump to move to and they also installed toilets and sinks to finish our preschool bathroom. Over at our current home, they put a coat of fresh paint on our walls to help brighten up the house.
When their hard days of work were done, they played board games, colored, and loved on our children. Their last day they held a big celebration for all our kids. Since Leticia and Carlos’s birthdays fell in July, the team bought a piñata to celebrate them. They also had a pizza party and brought presents from each of the kids’ sponsors. The kids had a blast and were so thankful for all the special moments they shared with this great team! See photos from their week at Hope for Tomorrow here.
Hope for Tomorrow kicked off the summer this month with a great group of volunteers from the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington. During their week of service at Hope for Tomorrow they began projects at the new property as well as spent the afternoons leading activities with our children. Everyday you could see Christ in the fantastic group of girls as they came smiling and willing to work.
The group began work digging up the old wall in our front yard. They worked hard and dug two trenches up to their knees in order to knock the wall out. They also began clearing a hole in the front of the house for our new water pump that will allow us to have purified water at the new property. Another project the girls took on was the new preschool bathroom. They were able to set up the plumbing, paint the walls, and lay the new floor to create the beginning of a beautiful space for our preschoolers to use. After each hard day of work, the girls would head over to the children’s home and spend time with the kids. They made masks and bracelets, played games, performed plays, and taught the kids bible stories.
Thanks to the Diocese of Lexington, we were able to start our summer off great! Their hard work and time invested in our kids will be remembered and carried on for years to come. See pictures of their hard work here.
Muldraugh Baptist Church visited Hope For Tomorrow at the beginning of this month and brought with them a spirit of faith that was evident through their work all week long. During the week, not only did the group involve children in evangelical and spiritual activities, but they also worked on multiple projects including building a shelf and cabinet unit for our living room, painting several rooms in the new house, and doing VBS activities with the kids every afternoon.
We are so incredibly thankful to have hosted such an amazing group of individuals. The work that they did will remain a part of this home for a very long time. Each time the children open the doors of the new cabinets, or play with the puppets from the puppet show, or sing songs from their new Children’s Bible Songs CDs, we will all be reminded of the great time we spent with Muldraugh. See pictures of their trip and projects here.
We recently had the pleasure of welcoming a great group of students from the University of Kentucky to Hope for Tomorrow Children’s home. They came down with our co-founder, Jennifer, to spend a busy 10 days with our kids. During their time, their main focus was on our preschool students. Each of the UK students paired up with one of the preschoolers and observed them throughout the week. They also performed evaluations on the students of Hope Preschool to gauge where each student is performing. At the end of the week, the UK students met with the caregiver of each of the kids and informed them of the areas in which their child excels, the areas where their child needs assistance, and a few goals for their child. The UK students also worked with our preschool teacher, Delmy, to organize the Hope Preschool classroom.
After their mornings working in the preschool, the group spent time playing with the kids doing tons of fun activities. From going to the pool to playing parachute, there was never a dull moment. One of the favorite memories was the 4th of July party. Although a day early, we brought everyone together at the new property for pizza and fireworks. The kids’ eyes lit up as they watched the fireworks show and played with sparklers. They were still talking about the party days afterwards! Go here to see pictures of our fantastic week with the group from UK.
June 16th our first team of the summer arrived from First Christian Bowling Green Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky. While they had planned to begin construction work on the new property, we ran into a small road-block when we didn’t get our building permit in time. Consequently, we shifted our efforts to focus on construction at our caregiver Blanca’s house. Everyone had good spirits, despite the change in plans.
In the week they were here, the team worked hard on the construction site and spent time at the children’s home doing activities with the kids. They began their week of construction with the intentions of fixing Blanca’s roof. However, as the week progressed, they all agreed they wanted to see the project finished as soon as possible. Since they couldn’t stay another month to finish it themselves, the team generously came together to donate the funds to allow a construction group to continue working to put up the walls and finish the house. Blanca was extremely excited to receive the news that her house would be finished sooner than expected!
Along with their construction projects, the team also invested their time in our kids here at the children’s home. Their first day at the home they gave each of the kids a cross to paint and watched their creativity bloom. Every day they colored, had tickle wars, danced around, and had a blast with the kids. We loved having this team to kick off our summer here at Hope for Tomorrow! Check out pictures from their trip here.
I enjoyed the days that I had the opportunity to spend with the wonderful family that is Hope For Tomorrow. I had the privilege of experiencing a plethora of beautiful moments throughout my stay here, including: sharing a birthday celebration with Carlos; attempting to teach Juan Jose and Diego how to Salsa dance; playing peek-a-boo with Leticia; coloring pictures to bring to the preschoolers at the YMCA in Southern Indiana; a movie night with Amelia and Lidia; singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” a likely record-breaking amount of times; shopping with Edwin and Miguel; cooking with Bethany; playing soccer with Rosa, Saraí, and Carlos; worshiping at church with the children; and visiting Antigua.
I am so thankful for everyone here at Hope for Tomorrow, from the caregivers, to Kenneth and Diana, to the other volunteer, Bethany; they all came together to ensure a successful and fulfilling experience throughout my stay in Guatemala. Although I was only a part of the children’s lives for a few days, I am blessed to report that they have made an outstanding impact on my life. I will continue to recount these memories as I head home and will forever keep the Hope for Tomorrow family in my prayers.