This is where it all started, at the base of the San Felipe slums on the edge of colonial Antigua, Guatemala.
In 1991, Patrick Atkinson returned to Guatemala, where he had worked for many years during the height of the country’s bloody 36-year long civil war. He started The GOD’S CHILD Project in direct response to a group of children he had helped raise in a group home who now saw themselves out on the street with no options and no family.
The GOD’S CHILD Project, or La Asociación Nuestros Ahijados in Spanish, has grown from humble beginnings in a rented farmhouse to its current capacity: serving more than an estimated 12,000 Guatemalans annually through four locations and continuous outreach services into some of the poorest communities in Central America.
- The Dreamer Center is GOD’S CHILD headquarters in Guatemala and is a constant stream of activity.
- Five minutes away, in a quiet residential area, Casa Jackson Center for Malnourished Infants nurses tiny infants and children back to health.
- Further down the highway in a gang-ruled neighborhood of Jocotenango, the Scheel Center International Technical and Training School is showing troubled youth a better solution to their problems than violence and drugs.
- Lastly, near Antigua’s main bus terminal sits Santa Madre Homeless Shelter, an oasis for the homeless.