The first time I ever stepped foot in Guatemala was in 2006. I was a high school student and ready for an adventure in my first ever cross-cultural experience. Along with my fellow youth group members, we hopped into an old Mitsubishi microbus and rode through the traffic of Guatemala City. Our first stop in Guatemala was a school for impoverished children in Antigua, Guatemala called “Escuela Integrada.”
Since then, Escuela Integrada has gone through multiple transitions, including new funding agencies, different board structures, a change in local leadership and staff, different physical locations, and much more. The school has faced extremely difficult times—having to dismiss staff members, facing the death of students, experiencing financial turmoil, and even approaching the point of almost having to shut its doors.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve seen and experienced all of this, and been involved in some of the most critical decisions for the school. What I have also seen, however, is God’s extreme faithfulness.
During the difficult times, I would have never imagined that every single child at Escuela Integrada would receive a tablet to use for their studies from home, or that we would be able to distribute 3,411 food bags to the families amidst a global pandemic. We never thought it was possible to conduct 493 counseling sessions virtually. Even during our second year of at-home learning due to COVID-19, God had a plan for Escuela Integrada, and has held this beautiful school so closely in His hands.
GRACES has been fortunate to be part of this success.
In 2022, there will also be transition! Escuela Integrada moved to a new, bigger and better physical location in Jocotenango, where many of our families live. GRACES also partnered with another local nonprofit, Ahava Ministries, to facilitate our after school program (formerly Proyecto Capaz). This partnership allows us to provide assistance in education and spiritual growth for an additional 100 students in Guatemala, without increasing our costs.
Additionally, our GRACES staff grew with the hiring of a Sponsorship Coordinator, bringing our team to a total of four part-time or full-time employees.
We are thankful for God’s faithfulness, and we are thankful for your faithfulness in supporting us in 2021. Truly, it takes a team of people—the local staff, the local board, the GRACES staff, the GRACES Board of Directors, and you, our committed supporters—to make everything we do possible.
Thank you for being on this journey with us and for helping us achieve our mission to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to the children of Guatemala.
Hannah Nadeau Girón
Executive Director of GRACES
GRACES served more than 200 students through Escuela Integrada and Proyecto Capaz
10 out of 15
students graduated from junior high in 2021
3,411 food bags
distributed while the students learned from home
of distance learning provided due to the COVID-19 pandemic
24 teacher scholarships
given through the GRACES Gratitude Program
Arely, a 9th grade student at Escuela Integrada, passed away in July due to complications from COVID-19
Escuela Integrada moved to a new school building
Merged Proyecto Capaz with Ahava Ministries
another locally-run nonprofit, to manage the after school program
GRACES administration costs