Centers we minister in...
There are about one hundred special-needs children under the age of eighteen, some with HIV. As they are very strong young men, at times, they do get physical. However, because they are so full of love and no expectations, the children in Guirola love to have one-on-one time to get to know new people.
They really enjoy doing activities, like dancing, singing,paint,even just ride in their wheelchairs outside the cafeteria! They always have a smile on their faces and when they don’t it’s very easy to create one by talking with them and listen to them even if you don’t understand most of the times, just the fact that they have someone there listening to them or just sitting right next to them makes their day a little bit better.
You can be in a sad,angry,anxious mood but the minute you walk into this center you learn to put everything aside and just enjoy the time with them, it’s such a reminder of how lucky we are to be In the position we are and to have what we have.
Most of the HIV kids tend to sit aside or just isolate themselves when we visit, because they suffer rejection during their lives, and they think everyone it’s gonna reject them, but it’s the opposite, we want to show them love and get to know them better. That’s a very challenging situation, to win their trust and to let them know that we are happy to visit them and to know then DESPITE EVERYTHING
After they turn 18 they’re transferred to one of the other centers called ‘’San martin’’ which we visit as well. So during the years, you’ll see some kids here at guirola and a few years later they might be in san martin
Needs: Bibs and baby wipes for the ones with movement disorders, shoes, underwear, socks, onesies pajamas, soccer balls, baby wipes. (AGES FROM 11-17)
There are about twenty-five kids from twelve to eighteen years old, they love sports mainly soccer but will play some other sports like basketball or volleyball. They like card games and interacting with visitors. We usually try to do some sort of snack/pizza activity with them.
This center it’s pretty awesome, the boys here love to play soccer and talk with you, some even like to dance but soccer games are the main thing here. At first they can be shy or distant but as the time goes by they get closer and they open up themselves to you, when you get there you look at a bunch of boys who are very capable of a lot of things, they’re just lost and they’re figuring what to do with their lives, they need to remember that God loves them despite the things they might have done before or the decisions they’ve made.
You will end up EXHAUSTED after a day here because of the soccer game, and running around with them but its totally worth it. Most of the boys go to ‘’Cambia tu Vida’’ which is a program to help them finish their school in a short time, teaches them different things that might help them when they get out of the center, some of the boys we have in the Boys transition house have been in this center before they joined our program.
Needs: school supplies, jeans, socks, boxers (no tighty whiteys), t-shirts, shoes, tennis shoes, soccer balls. (AGES FROM 12-17)
“The happiest place on Earth” About 80 people in this center all special needs adults over 18. They love to dance, love stickers, band aids and handcrafts. They L-O-V-E music. We will sometimes go house to house when they are not allowed or can’t go out of the house and sing to them. This may be a step out of your comfort zone, but it’ll be totally worth it.
Well what can we say about san martin…you will end up with your feet hurting by dancing all day long, by playing soccer with them, by moving the wheelchairs to take them to the crafts station, they love face painting. They’re so pure and they show you love with no borders, they are such a GREAT example of how the lord wants us to be, to have the faith of a child, to be happy as a child and to believe as a child. Despite everything you are always gonna see a smile in their faces.
Get ready to dance with them and let me tell you, they’re wonderful dancers and they know every single song we play, it’s a wonderful time to spend with them and fill their
with joy and love at least for one day, face paint it’s a go to for them, they love it and there is this special boy who always asks for a face paint similar to someones tattoo, even the smallest details they really appreciate them and wants to be like you for that moment. And they’re gonna remember you FOREVER, they might not remember your name but the moment you come back next time and they see you coming out of the bus they are gonna run to you and hug you, and they’re gonna tell you ‘’I remember about you’’.
Needs: Adult diapers, wipes, shoes (adult sizes) Overalls (adult sizes) Pajamas, clothing, soccer balls. (AGES FROM 18- 99+)
This center has approximately under 200 kids all ages. They love sports like basketball, soccer, skateboarding, handcrafts, face painting and a lot more. Also, in this center we’ll work with Teen Moms and their babies. They have 8-12 teen moms ranging 12 years old up to 17 years old, some have babies, and some are still pregnant. We sometimes get the opportunity to feed and love on the babies and toddlers and other children in the center.
Here you’re going to get to know bunch of kids, from toddlers to teen boys and girls, they are full of energy most of the times they love face painting and crafts, but they also LOVE snacks. They like to dance as well, you get to play with them, talk with them, hug them and show them love, sometimes it’s hard for the tias to give love to all the kids because they’re in charge of a lot of kids at the same time, but the day we get to visit them its special for them because all of the kids get to talk with someone, to be loved by someone and to have the attention of someone at least for a day.
One of the sweetest places to visit, there you will meet a group of strong beautiful teen girls that have possibly one of the hardest but greatest jobs: being a mom at a very young age. Here we have the cosmetology academy which was founded by sus hijos and has a very special story, this program its going to help the girls to learn cosmetology skills so that when they get out of the center, they can apply for a job outside and be more independent.
Needs: Clothing all sizes and ages, cloth-diapers, shoes, flip flops, baby ointments, baby stuff, school supplies (in January mostly) and lots of toys.( AGES FROM 0-17)
This is always a tough one. We work with 2 sectors in the Girls Prison that house about 85 girls. And In the young men prison, we work with over 200 young boys. They have committed crimes ranging from robbery to murder, most of them are gang members and all need Jesus.
Starting with femenino, at first having the idea of going to the girls prison might be a little intimidating but when you get there and you get into the prison you get a whole different perspective of what you thought it was going to be like, the girls are very respectful and very arranged to listen to you most of the times, they love to play soccer, there are some toddlers which can stay with their moms until they turn 4 years old.
They need to be reminded of Gods love towards them, his mercy and his forgiveness, sometimes they feel trapped inside, and they think that they can’t be forgiven for what they’ve done before, but we know they can, so our job is to remind them about it and let them know that they are loved not only by us but by Jesus, that they can be forgiven and they can make a decision that can change their lives and help them be better every single day. They can be very distant and closed at first but as the time goes by they get closer and they open up themselves more to you.
Needs: Socks, bras, underwear (men and women) flip flops and soccer balls. (AGES 18-22)
CIPI, Love Garden, Cambia tu Vida, Los Pequeños Hermanos, Children’s Home, Puerta de Amor, Hogar Infantil de Zacatecoluca, Marillac, Mi Casa, SOS.