The David A. Plastino Scholars Program allows University of Delaware students to have life changing experiences, such as the bike trip I will be embarking on this summer. At the dinner held for this year's and last year's scholars, Mr. Plastino told us that one must "learn, earn, and return". This summer I will definitely be learning, but I would like to return by raising money for the Hogar Abierto (Open Home) in Guatemala.
The kids and a guide cooking in the Hogar Abieto in Guatemala.
Last summer Kris and I worked in Guatemala for 3 months as volunteer trekking guides for an amazing organization called "Quetzaltrekkers." We led 1-3 day hikes in the Guatemalan highlands with this non-profit trekking company, I also was the financial manager, managing every quetzal (Guatemalan currency) from our hikes.
Quetzaltrekkers Guide Tee Shirt
The money we raised funded 85% of the operating budget for a school EDELAC, or Escuela de la Calle, for 220 children. If that wasn't enough, we also provided 100% of the funding for the orphanage "The Hogar Abierto (Open Home)" for 17 kids!
We developed close relationships with the kids at the Hogar as we ate dinner with them every Tuesday, played soccer with them every Wednesday, and when there were extra spaces on the hikes, we took them out on treks (which was so much fun!).
Luis and Henry from the Hogar playing in the Fuentes Georginas (thermal pools) after a long hike.
Me (Rina) and Wilson on the trek to Lago Atitlan
We were able to see how the money that we raised changed the lives of these kids; they were given a safe home off of the streets, food every night, an education, psychological care, and health care. I often think about these kids and how they were given the opportunity for a better future through the financial support of Quetzal Trekkers http://www.quetzaltrekkers.com/guathome.html.
We are dedicating our bike trip to the kids at the Hogar Abierto.
These kids beat the odds every day.
The girls hanging out after dinner at the Quetzaltrekker's Office
We would be so grateful if you could support us in our effort to
"Bike for the Kids", to provide support for the kids
of the "Open Home",
The Hogar Abierto.
(this is a semi-complicated process because it is difficult to send money out of the country even to a 501(c)3 non-profit so QT uses Omprakash to help facilitate the donation process)
You can make a tax-free donation through Omprakash. Please select Quetzaltrekkers from the drop down menu to earmark your donation (very important).
As a side note, we will be tracking the money raised through our bike trip. If you chose to donate, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the amount donated (if you feel comfortable doing that) so we can track our progress on the blog!
Kris and Rina reaching for the stars!