Work Play Love – Volunteers
Why I Became a Hero:
Having lived in Guatemala for a year and a half, I saw first hand many of the problems Guatemalan families and children face every day. I have witnessed the extreme poverty in rural areas and how living below the poverty line often results in poor nutrition, a lack of education, little or no medical care and shoddy living conditions.
I wanted to elevate these beautiful souls and help them create a better future for themselves and their families.
The Work, Play, Love Family:
The staff, volunteers, partner organizations and other Hogar Heroes are truly in it for the right reasons. I see how much they truly care about giving these children a better future. Hogar Heroes encourage these little ones to set goals, learn skills and go back to their villages ready to make a better life.
Working with the Children:
I’ve spent a lot of time with the children at the Hogar in Guatemala. Despite their hardships, the children at the orphanages are always smiling. They love playing with you, reading, jumping rope, singing, laughing – all the happy things a child should experience.
Personally, I love when the children help teach me Spanish. The language barrier never matters. They patiently wait while I repeat a word until I get it right, and later we can all laugh about my pronunciation!
It’s all about being in the moment, when you’re with those little ones. Being in Guatemala with the children we are helping is a rewarding experience that changes you and touches your very core. When you leave the Hogar, your life has been changed forever. You’ll never forget those faces, smiles, and giggles because they now have a permanent place in your heart.
I have been so blessed to be part of the Hogar Hero Program.
WPL – More Than An Experience – The Lasting Impact
I don’t think there could ever be just enough preparation for a trip like this one and I knew that going into it but was ready with an open heart and a empty camera for whatever we encountered. I have come to believe that I will continue to learn about ‘love’ and ‘how to love’ until the day I die.
The love of an orphan is so pure and raw. The ways that they share that love astound me and have made me think how much more I could be loving even daily in my own life. They often times reflect hearts of unconditional love and affection. Conditional being their circumstances that they have overcome with the ability to still pour out love on those that they have known a mere 5 minutes, to those they have known for many years. Over the week I spent working, and playing I did a whole lot of learning about loving. It’s a different part of love, one of it’s many colors, sizes and forms. I get choked up just thinking about it. It’s one thing to know about this kind of love, it’s a completely different to experience it and have it impressed upon your heart.
I’ve worked with Kim to produce a mural in Guatemala in January 2014. It was a really fun experience to work with the kids at the orphanage. It was a really positive environment and such a privilege to get to interact with the people you are actually helping. The experience has influenced me to be more of a giving and altruistic person.