It all began with just one student.
Our founders, Sharon Smart-Poage, Dwight Poage and Patti Mort were living and working in rural Guatemala where they saw the great need of aid for impoverished families in rural areas. They began fundraising to enable local students to attend school and this eventually turned into our Student Sponsorship Program. Not only were students in need of assistance, but there was also a great need for medical and family support, especially in the destructive wake of Hurricane Stan in 2005. Already impoverished families lost their homes and many were left with just the clothes on their backs. The founders were committed to finding solutions for those who needed it most, and soon donations began trickling in from generous supporters.
They saw the suffering endured by indigenous families caused by inadequate medical care, lack of access to medicine and doctors, insufficient resources to pay for treatment. From this was born the Family Aid Department, and we have since developed a holistic 360-approach to supporting families in need with school sponsorships, medical aid, construction projects, trade schools and feeding programs.
In June 2007, we received our official 501(c)(3) declaration from the US Internal Revenue Service and have since grown exponentially in size and fervor with the mission to ensure the most vulnerable rural communities of Guatemala have access to basic education, health and shelter.