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  • Lise Ranselaar

My volunteer journey at Caras Alegres

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

And what a journey it was! I all started back in the Netherlands but ended up in Xela in Canton Xeul with a lot of very cute kids. I learned a lot from this experience and wouldn't have missed it for anything else.

I all started when I was able to get some time of my work to go travelling again. Volunteering was always something that I really wanted to do, so this was my opportunity. Via a Dutch organisation I gained contact with Petra from the company Do Guatemala and she arranged my program here in Xela. First I was supposed to do 3 different projects. However I liked it at Caras Alegres so much and they needed a lot of help, so I decided to go to Caras Alegres only. Besides working with the kids, they also needed help with their website, fundraising, social media and because I have experience in marketing I was able to help also with these tasks. In the morning I did office work and in the afternoon I helped with the kids.

The afternoon program is one of the biggest projects of Caras Alegres and also the project I helped out with most. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays kids from the community can come to Caras Alegres. The goal is to have a fun afternoon so the kids can be kids again. This is very important because a lot of these kids are in bad home situations. Sometimes they have been abused or there is a case of violence. But mostly a lot of the families are very very poor. I have visited some of the families and it is heartbreaking what you see there.... They literally have no money to buy food and their homes are in the worst conditions. For me it was heartbreaking to see how the kids of Caras Alegres live and it makes me realise how good my own situation is.

All of this drives me to give as much as I can to the children. I do this by being here of course and play with them and have a fun afternoon. I bought some toys and I also helped with the fundraising campaign. All the money from this campaign will directly go to the children in the form of toys, psychological help, education and of course food. That's why it is so important to have a fundraising campaign. But besides that you can also really make a difference by being here with the kids and play with them. It is really amazing to see that they are really happy when they come to caras alegres. So after reading this blog you think "I want to help out" that will be great! Just contact us and hopefully we see you soon.

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