La Asociación Nuestros Ahijados de Guatemala
"Nuestros Ahijados is an educational development organization dedicated to "breaking the chains of poverty through education and formation." Since our founding in 1991 by Patrick Atkinson we have grown to twelve distinct programs dedicated to sustainable and permanent changes.
Through Clinics, schools, social work, micro-finance, homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation, and human trafficking advocacy, The GOD´S CHILD Project is able to get to the underlying causing of poverty instead of merely treating the symptoms. With currently 5,000 worldwide who now have a chance with The GOD´S CHILD Project, the work continues to succeed in the way it has succeeded for twenty years.
Children who were once homeless and abandoned are now professional adults with families of their own because of the chance that The GOD´S CHILD Project gave them. We don´t like the word impossible, so we don't use it. And with every success story we are motivated to continue our efforts of putting broken lives back together.¨
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 Albergue Santa Madre / Santa Madre Emergency Shelter, an oasis for the homeless.