Dulce is a 6-year-old girl living with her parents and three sisters in a small community in Guatemala. They lived in a small home built of cinderblocks with a tarp for a roof. They went to a Buckner Family Hope Center in 2012 in desperate need of help. Her mother was cleaning homes and her father was unemployed because of his drinking and violent outbursts. They could not afford to eat. Their home was heavy with sadness and short on hope.

Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has a high number of children involved in sex trafficking. About 75 percent of the population falls below the poverty line, making it difficult to provide for daily needs. 

Buckner Guatemala offers ongoing ministry in the areas of foster care, preventative health care, child care, residential care and social services. Because of the Family Hope Center in their community, Dulce and her family were able to get the help they needed. She and her sisters have shoes that fit their feet so they can go to school and her father has stopped drinking, got counseling and is now working to support his family. Recently, Buckner volunteers built her a new home.

When you travel to Guatemala with Buckner, you will meet and work alongside families like Dulce's. You will hear their stories and minister to them, and they will leave an indelible mark on your soul. You will pray for them long after you leave Guatemala. The Buckner ministry is unlike any other.

In Guatemala, we provide:

Family Hope Centers
Buckner Family Hope Centers are child-centered, family-focused places where families go to find hope, support and empowerment in their community to reach their fullest God-given potential. The key to the Family Hope Center’s success is found in combining effective programs and passionate people to help families that are experiencing poverty, family issues and lack of services.

Our programs seek to engage through family assistance and community events; equip families through education, financial empowerment, child and youth development and spiritual development; elevate families through family coaching, counseling and spiritual enrichment.  

Foster/kinship care
Buckner manages a foster care program in Guatemala that places children who cannot live with their parents in temporary, loving homes. Buckner Guatemala was chosen by the government to pilot the official foster care program in Guatemala and received an almost $1 million grant to implement the program. Buckner Guatemala works directly with Guatemala’s Child Protective Services to identify and train in-country foster families. Buckner also manages residential homes that allow foster children to live with other children in family-like structures that are designed to care for children in the home of unrelated family.

Foster group homes

In Guatemala, the current option for a child abandoned or removed from their home due to abuse or neglect is to be placed in an orphanage. There are thousands of children who live in orphanages in Guatemala.

Children may live in Buckner foster group homes until they can be reunited with their family, or until they turn 18 and are ready for independent living. The children live in a family environment in the foster group home. They attend school, receive tutoring, counseling, life skills training, spiritual development, medical care and the love and support of live-in house parents. On the weekends, they enjoy activities like baking, cake decorating, and English classes. The classes are fun activities for the children, but also teach them skills that will help them be self-sufficient in the future.

Do you want to make an eternal impact in the lives of families like Dulce's? If you're ready to change the world one life at a time, visit our trip calendar to see when you can go. 

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