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Ministry Highlight: Guatemala

facts about guatemala We began our ministry in Guatemala in 1976 as a family help program run by missionaries. The Child Sponsorship Program started in 1980, and the Leadership Development Program began in 1997.

We have one main office in the capital city and two satellite offices. We work with over 35,000 children in Guatemala, and we are serving 19 of the country’s 22 territorial units. We have responded to some of the country’s biggest crises including Hurricane Mitch and Stan, the Corredor Seco famine and the Agatha tropical storm.

Compassion Guatemala has established key alliances with organizations such as The United Children Christian Coalition, Healing Waters International and Fuller Seminary.

Country Director

Jose Carlos Prem joined our ministry in Guatemala as Country Director in 2008. Before this, Jose Carlos served in leadership roles in companies such as Kerns and Alimentos Naturales and SCENTIA.

Having earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and an MBA from Rafael Landivar University, Jose Carlos also studied French and German and pursued a Bible teaching degree at one of the largest seminaries in Latin America.

He joined the Theological Latin-American Fraternity and is a Guatemalan delegate for The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization.

Additionally, Jose Carlos is a part of the missions committee and preaching team at his church.

Implementing Church Partners

Implementing Church Partners are local churches with whom we work to deliver our child development program and ministry in the field.

Child Development Through Sponsorship

Your sponsorship of a child in Guatemala provides a variety of benefits.

The 3 to 11 year olds meet after school and they only meet twice a week because of school work. The 12 to 19+ year olds meet on Saturdays because in the public school system, junior high school and high school classes meet in the afternoon.

Leadership Development Program

Complementary Interventions

Our core Child Sponsorship Program, while comprehensive, does not address all obstacles to a child’s healthy development. The Complementary Interventions program was created to work with our holistic child development model to provide additional services, such as our AIDS Initiative, funds for Bibles for All Children, disaster relief [3] and water projects.

Typical Complementary Interventions in Guatemala include: disaster relief, famine relief, potable water, Bibles, nutritional aid for children, scholarships helping students finish high school, entrepreneurship training, medical help for specific emergencies, and vocational training.

Complementary Interventions also benefit our Leadership Development Program students. We offer funds for The Academy Camp, a two-week camp for students who are in the last phase of the Leadership Development Program application process. We also help students in the Leadership Development Program with dental needs.

Highly Vulnerable Children

In Guatemala, highly vulnerable children are usually children who suffer from abuse in their homes, children whose guardians are extended family and can barely afford to provide for the basic needs of the child, or children who are severely malnourished.

For children who suffer abuse, we refer to International Justice Mission [4] for follow-up.

In a few cases, International Justice Mission intervention has resulted in placing the children in Christian children’s homes. For those whose guardians cannot provide for them, the Implementing Church Partner will provide bags of basic food items.

Sponsor gifts also play a key role in providing for basic needs, such as a bed.

For children who are malnourished, we use famine relief Complementary Interventions to provide assistance.