Guatemala Aid Fund

Supporting successful Guatemala-run programs to eradicate poverty and malnutrition. Creating futures while preserving land and indigenous culture.

aka Guatemala Aid Fund   |   Arlington, MA   |  www.guatemalaaidfund.org

Mission

Guatemala Aid fund invests in programs focused on eradicating the root sources of poverty and family disintegration in Guatemala. Education, health and welfare and job training are at the core. Programs include; malnutrition prevention, sustainable agriculture and land protection, child protection and indigenous language/culture preservation. Programs serve children, families, and communities that wish to improve their lives and futures by participating. Specific projects have included classrooms, counseling centers, libraries, clinics, forest preservation, ecotourism development for economy and job building, organic agriculture and solar energy. This is not aid that creates dependency, it is an investment in someone’s future towards independence in their own country.

Ruling year info

2005

President and Founder

ms Bethany Eisenberg

Main address

12 Wollaston avenue

Arlington, MA 02476 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-1574176

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (L12)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

Forest Conservation (C36)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Guatemala is the 4th poorest country in the World. Approximately 50% of indigenous children are malnourished. Abandoned and abused children have no access to education, and indigenous children often to not have access to free education after 5th grade. Education for children and job training and parenting support is necessary for parents to change the cycle of poverty and family disintegration. Paying jobs are needed to create food security and eliminate malnutrition and eradicate the cycle of poverty and child neglect. Our experience has shown us that most Guatemalans wish to stay in their own country and not migrate to other countries, but they desperately need education, that leads to jobs. For abandoned and/or abused children they first and foremost need a place to call home, food, love, respect and dignity and educational support to secure self sufficient futures. Adults thrive with counseling, community projects that create jobs, and education for food production and parenting.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Hogar de Ninos Fatima (Fatima Children's Home)

Fatima's is an emergency child protection and educational shelter in Guatemala where abandoned and/or abused children are lovingly cared for in a family home environment. The average stay for children is 8-11 months, but children in need of a home can stay as long as needed. Education and life skills are a priority to support long term self sufficiency. Whether short term or long term at the home, or returned to families, children receive a continuum of support so as to provide as few barriers to education as possible. This may include providing school supplies and healthy food to the caregivers/family as well as counseling. Community engagement helps with funding and supporting their programs and activities. They want the community to be a part of the solution to eliminating family disintegration in Guatemala as a result of poverty. Jobs and on-the-job training are offered through the hiring of the Guatemalan/local workforce and community members in the home.
In addition to the people, the home has a commitment to the environment and sustainability. They incorporate environmental stewardship and sustainable practices into the home and share things such as recycling programs in their area. Often being the leaders and teachers. The basis of care is Love, Respect and Dignity for those in Need. They provide medical and dental care, psychological counseling, school leveling, nutritional support and parenting classes to promote safe and responsible parenting when re-uniting children with family or relatives, or creating new families. The dedication to creating healthy futures for children, adults and communities is highly respected as one of the best programs in the country.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Indigenous peoples
People of Latin American descent
Health

The Association to Eradicate Poverty (Associación Erradiquemos la Pobreza or AEP ) develops and manages community based projects supporting the rural poor communities in San Jose Chacaya, in the Solola Department of Guatemala. Programs work towards the elimination of root causes of poverty, lack of access to education and malnutrition by supporting local schools, and providing job training and nutritional support. AEP was established in 2015 as a rural outreach program based on the Association of Hogar de Ninos Fatima Directors desire to prevent children from requiring emergency care as a result of poverty. The AEP program has built relationships with municipal governments, indigenous leaders, and Guatemalan universities as they have continued to expand their core educational, counseling and nutrition programming to include environmental protection and cultural preservation goals in Sololá, a department in Guatemala within the threatened watershed of Lake Atitlan. AEP and their sister origin organization are well known for integrity and project follow-through, resulting in deep trust within communities, governments, families, businesses and donors. This allows them to complete their wide range of interconnected projects ranging from child welfare and education to environmental projects with strong community support. Education, food security and resource protection are all difficult in Guatemala even during the best of times. Their holistic approach identifies root problems that contribute to poverty and resulting hardships that put children and families at risk, and they create solutions for realizing permanent change rather than perpetuating the status quo. Pedro de Leon is the Director of AEP and a Guatemalan attorney that manages operations and programs full time. The US-based Guatemala Aid Fund has been a key partner in the planning of many AEP sustainable projects.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Children and youth
Adults
People of Latin American descent
Health

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to help Guatemalan-run, Guatemalan-employed, community-supported programs with a strong focus on education and sustainability that help Guatemalans live, learn, work, and realize futures in their own country. We look at your donations as investments in futures for Guatemalans, as well as protection of their land, culture and people. Just like a scholarship you are passing your great fortune on to others that need funding to help secure a future in their own country. See the multi-phase project and existing successful programs on our webpage www.guatemalaaidfund.org

If you are like us at the 100% Volunteer GAF Organization, we feel that we have been blessed with a life that includes a home, access to school, clean water and opportunities for work and a self supporting future. We have seen firsthand in Guatemala that most if not all of these things are out of reach for much of the indigenous and general population in Guatemala. Being the 4th poorest country in the world, with severe malnutrition of greater than 50 percent of the indigenous children and minimal opportunities for education and employment, Guatemalans are fleeing their country. Most do NOT want to leave their families, and the land they love, but they do not have free high school, or meal support or food stamps, and many cannot provide for themselves or their families. They want an education, they want jobs, they want to stay. We at GAF have chosen to support the Association to Eradicate Poverty and the Fatima Children's Home child protection, education, and family support and outreach programs. The not only run child protection programs for abused and abandoned children until they can be reunified with family or adopted, they are committed to supporting long term education for children in their rural schools program. They invest in not only the child's basic needs, but also include psychological and medical support, extended family support and parental training courses to permanently change root causes of child abandonment. The Solola projects include plans for an organic farm, eco-cabins for sustainable income sources, as well as the purchase and preservation of native lands including two indigenous ceremonial sites, and native wildlife and forest habitat.

Thank you for considering these Guatemalan Run programs for your Charitable Giving!

Our strategies are focused on supporting strong, financially sustainable, and environmentally conscious programs that result in better lives for children and families so they may stay and build self sufficient lives in their own country. We partner with strong, organized and successful locally run and community supported programs that we know personally.

This includes sustainable programs and project management such as:
economic development
solar energy
skill building/job training
sustainable agriculture
product repurposing
matching fundraising
community engagement (in US and in Guatemala)
teen awareness of giving back (in US and in Guatemala - next generation of giving back)
strong project management and reporting for specific campaigns
constant updates and personal meetings and visits
changing scopes as needs change
empowering children, volunteers, employees, parents and communities to change their lives, reinforcing that everyone has something to offer, no matter what your situation is, where you live, or what you do. We call it the circle of giving. Someone who may seem to have "nothing" really has something to give. Time, love, language, enthusiasm. It is so inspiring.

Guatemala Aid fund is 100% Volunteer Non-Profit dedicated to helping abandoned children in Guatemala by supporting Guatemalan run sustainable programs focused on long term EDUCATION, early childhood care, and continuing support for adolescents into adulthood to maximize the probability for self-sufficiency and productive lives. We support successful, in-country, local run programs that have shown consistent proven results. They are resourceful, organized and educated, and receive community support. We are in continual contact with the directors and are updated on budgets, projects, future plans, and are integral in planning. Our board members have backgrounds in engineering, environmental preservation, languages, marketing, international education, biomedical and native guatemalans. We take the lead from the Guatemalan Directors on what is the most beneficial way to support them in their programs. We are organized and dedicated.

All money raised is sent directly to the Programs via tracked wires, and we have direct and regular contact as well as in-country visits and stays. Integral goals of our partner programs include use of the Guatemalan Work Force, sustainable energy and environmental practices, preservation of indigenous languages and cultures, and psychological well being. The specific Programs we partner with as well as current or pending projects that we support are described on our website: www.guatemalaaidfund.org

Progress:
One or our biggest accomplishments has been learning to listen, and hear from our very knowledgable partner programs what is most helpful for them to be successful in their goals for their communities. They know what is most needed, most efficient, most helpful and what will bring the most benefit to improving the lives of the children and families in Guatemala. We listen, and then decide how we can best respond to provide meaningful, useful and direct assistance.

In material terms, we funded education for abandoned children, secured medical care during emergencies and routine healthcare, provided vitamins and funded parenting programs. In 2019 we contributed to the construction of a parenting center to support keeping families together and breaking cycles of child neglect.
We have supported the delivery of medical equipment, supplies, linens and medication.
Provided specialty medical devices and emergency funds for operations for handicapped and children in emergency shelter care..
Continually raise money for the psychological counseling, therapy, education and skill building for abandoned and abused children.
Work as a partner in evaluating and deciding on paths towards financial sustainability through projects in Guatemala such as farming, eco-cabins for generating income, as well as programs for job training and continuing education for abandoned and abused children.
We have contributed to the installation of solar panels at 2 locations, contributed to the purchase of much needed antibiotics during emergencies and during normal operational times.

The currently in progress 10-year plan includes expansion of the extremely successful practices at the Fatima Children's Home in Guatemala City to the Solola Region. The plan has 5 major components and include 1) the construction of a Community Center including a library, clinic, classrooms and shelter for abandoned children, 2) construction of Eco Cabins for paying customers and sustainable income, 3) development of an organic farm 4) construction of a home and skill center for mothers with their children that are victims of violence and 5) a plan to purchase and protect the entire larger 50 acre property to preserve existing significant archaeological sites, 3 active indigenous ceremonial sites, and native animal and forest habitat. Much of the mountainside forest in this area has already been destroyed.
Thank you so very much for your interest in the current programs we support, and hopes to expand their good work into the future, and with permanent preservation of land included. Thank you, Sincerely the Guatemala Aid Fund Team

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Local Guatemalan Community Members Teachers in Guatemala Directors of Community Programs in Guatemala Child advocates in Guatemala Child Psychologists in Guatemala Parents in Guatemala

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We had a wash water station designed for a local village in Guatemala. We surveyed residents on their customs for water use and found that a public and open wash center in the way the original design was thinking would not be widely accepted in the particular neighborhood where clean water is needed. Modifications to the clean water access program are currently underway to provide what they most need in a way that it will be most used. We received feedback that more emphasis on keeping children in school was needed. By having the children "earn" assistance for their families by consistently attending school it alleviates the pressure on the family in terms of the cost of school, and the loss of income that a child might get from working instead. Attendance has increased.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    The local directors have forged deep relationships with the communities and people that GAF provides support.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Guatemala Aid Fund
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Guatemala Aid Fund

Board of directors
as of 8/9/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Marielle Allor

Guatemala Aid Fund

Term: 2019 - 2024


Board co-chair

Martha Eisenberg

Guatemala Aid Fund

Term: 2019 - 2024

Bethany Eisenberg

Guatemala Aid Fund

Josie Zeeb

Guatemala Aid Fund

Misal Bali

Takeda

Marielle Allor

Mary Jo Larson

Brandeis University

Martha Eisenberg

Pedro de Leon

Hogar de Ninos Fatima

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/01/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/01/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.