2022 was an eventful year for us. At the beginning of the year, we started to enroll the first children in our Guardian Angels program and distribute school supplies and food packages to them and their families. During the first few months, we were already able to give 50 children access to education. Throughout the year, we were facing a lot of challenges but also spent many beautiful moments working on our projects.
Joshua needs surgery
In spring, we received the first bad news from one of the students in our Guardian Angels program. Joshua’s parents informed us that he was suffering from kidney failure and that although his treatment would only cost the equivalent of about 300 francs, they did not have the resources to pay for it. So, we decided to help him and cover the cost of his treatment. Joshua was cured thanks to a small surgical procedure and has been healthy ever since. That was the moment we decided to include health care coverage in our Guardian Angels program.
A new team member
In July, Elisa started her volunteer internship in the field of multilingual PR with us. Together with Michelle, she is currently studying Applied Languages (with a focus on English and Spanish) at ZHAW School of Applied Sciences in Winterthur and will complete her internship semester at The M Story by the end of January. She gradually took over social media communication on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook and wrote posts for the blog on our website.
Lesli was shot
In August, we got the second piece of bad news – Lesli was shot in the head in a small supermarket shooting and was hospitalized. Since only emergency care is free in Guatemala, not even x-rays were taken to see if she would suffer permanent damage or where the bullet was lodged. We also decided to give her the money for the x-rays and removal of the bullet as a first step and then continue to see what further treatment she would need. Miraculously, the bullet was removed without any complications and Lesli did not suffer any permanent damage. Today she can already attend school again and play with her friends.
More than 100 families without access to food
At the end of September, we were informed that a landslide had occurred after heavy rains near Vuelta Grande, a remote village with an exclusively indigenous population just outside Antigua. Due to this landslide, all roads leading to the small village were buried and the inhabitants were cut off from basic services; the village could only be reached by a half-hour walk. We immediately launched an appeal for donations, through which we were able to generate enough donations to deliver the first food to the village just a few days later. In total, we were able to support more than 100 families with the most important everyday products and food in this exceptional situation.
Día de los Niños in Santa Bárbara, Suchitepéquez
On the first Sunday of October, Elvia and Michelle, along with other volunteers, went to Santa Bárbara to spend the whole day with the children. In doing so, they wanted to give the children a very special experience, that’s why they did not only prepare many different activities for the children, but also cooked a delicious meal on site for more than 50 children.
Collaboration with a Maya family in San Antonio
From the end of October, we started our collaboration with Sandra and Olga, two women who run their own business producing beautiful textiles from handmade Mayan woven fabrics. They lovingly, and with the help of their entire family, made the small bags for our Christmas gift set. With our order of 500 small bags, we could guarantee their financial independence for at least six months. With this, we hope to contribute to the support of the local population.
Visitors from Switzerland
At the end of November, Barbara (Michelle’s mom), Timo (our photographer & videographer) and Elisa made their way to Guatemala. After Timo, Barbara and Elisa had already heard so much about the projects and Guatemala, they were very excited to finally visit everything on site. During their visit, they did not only gain insight into all the projects but were also able to immerse themselves in the culture of the country and get to know all the other local staff.
Santa Claus in Santa Bárbara
During the Swiss team members’ visit to Guatemala, we took the opportunity to surprise the children in Santa Bárbara and not only spend the day with them, but also give them Christmas presents – new backpacks and cases for the upcoming school year. We even had Santa Claus with us who gave the gifts to each child individually!
A very special Christmas present
In mid-December, we started delivering our gift sets to ensure that everyone received their gift set before Christmas. With the sale of the gift sets, we were able to raise a total of 13’973 CHF, which will now go directly to the expansion of our Guardian Angels program and benefit the children in Santa Bárbara.