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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Castro’

Good News from Doc Castro

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Doc Castro and Children from Dorie's Promise

By Kelly Shank –

Doc Castro offers a comforting hug to a child.Recently we shared a behind-the-scenes story about our medical staff, Doc and Mirna. This week we’d like to share good news about a few of our children, as well as an update from Doc about our home.

According to Doc’s evaluations, approximately 30% of our children have a condition that requires specialized care beyond our norm, ranging from mild developmental delays and emotional health concerns to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Cerebral Palsy. Our holistic care model is helping us identify and meet the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of each child.

Doc is excited to share that 2017 was a great year for our children. Aside from the chronic conditions some of our children endure, the general health of our home is excellent and we’re focusing on maintaining our children’s health to help them heal mentally.

Updates about Josue, Mario, and Lester

Josue is a very brave and resilient boy. Not many little boys would still be smiling after visiting the doctor as many times as he has. We’ve shared about his medical concerns before but this time we have good news. Although he suffers from congenital intestinal and urinary defects, his updated care plan and recent procedures have finally stabilized his condition. We are hoping this new treatment plan will help him avoid a more invasive surgery in the future.

As a child with autism Mario faces many challenges. This year was especially difficult as he transitioned to school. At the beginning of the year he struggled with paying attention, learning, and behaving in class. Thanks to our staff and his teachers Mario has made tremendous progress. His teachers made changes in his class to accommodate his needs and our Special Mothers are spending time in the evenings helping him keep up with him classwork. He was much more successful and happy at school once we found a better way for him to learn.

Both developmental delays and chronic respiratory issues have affected Lester his entire childhood. Several years ago we were able to enroll him in a school that better fit his learning style and this year he finally experienced relief for his health problems. He had surgery earlier this year that alleviated many of his respiratory issues and helped him avoid the frequent infections he previously experienced. He’s much happier and doing better at school because he’s healthier.

Looking forward to 2018

We are so lucky to have Doc Castro on our team.Building on this year’s success, in 2018 Doc will concentrate even more on improving the health of our children by teaching about healthy lifestyles, nutrition, and advanced care for our special needs children.

We are committed to maintaining the health of our children while also meeting the needs of new children we welcome into our home. It’s a delicate balance between protecting the health of those currently living in our home while also fulfilling our desire to help additional children. Plus, as more of our children approach adolescence we’re facing a different set of needs and concerns. We want to make sure our teenagers are healthy, both mentally and physically, as they approach adulthood.

Today we’re celebrating children who have seen great successes this year. If you would like to help us continue expanding our health care program so we can celebrate even more healthy kids please consider giving a one-time gift for Medical Care (please mention Medical Care in the comment when you give online) or becoming a monthly sponsor. Your help makes all the difference in the lives of our children.

Three Lives Dramatically Impacted By Medical Care At Dorie’s Promise.

Monday, April 24th, 2017

DOctor Castro is a beloved member of the team at Dorie's Promise

By Dr. Francisco Castro (Medical Director) –

Second of two parts

In my last blog, I talked about our success last year with the child care program at Dorie’s Promise. Today, I want to relate personal stories about three children whose lives have been impacted dramatically by Forever Changed International.

Doctor Castro checks on Josue

Doctor Castro checks on Josue after a surgery in 2015.

The first is Josue, who will celebrate his fifth birthday on July 3. His life started out with little promise after his mother abandoned him on the street just two days after his birth. A firefighter rescued him and took him to a hospital in Guatemala City.

Through a physical exam and imaging tests, a pediatrician discovered serious birth defects that required urgent surgery.

When Josue arrived at Dorie’s Promise, he still had a colostomy bag in place. We prescribed antibiotics, laxatives, special fluids and other measures, including reconstructive surgery, to correct his condition.

We later discovered that Josue suffered from urinary tract malformations, urinary infections, and kidney damage. After several operations, we discovered his bladder was not functioning. He needed another operation.

This brave, resilient—and loved—child will continue receiving antibiotics, urinary tests, and check-ups. Though he will need multidisciplinary medical interventions, thankfully Josue has the promise of a future.

Efrain is 13 years old and has been diagnosed with a condition associated with severe intellectual disabilities and physical abnormalities. Among them are blindness, small hands, and partial convulsions.

Other health problems he suffers from are chronic bronchitis, recurrent upper respiratory infections, and breathing difficulties. Efrain has received continuous pediatric care to address his needs since arriving at Dorie’s Promise in 2005.

This has included neurologists’ and geneticists’ assistance, physiotherapy, and pediatric surgeons’ interventions. He receives physiotherapy daily and a weekly visit from a specialized therapist.

This intervention delays, and improves, stiffness in Efrain’s joints and spine, and paralysis of his limbs. A cataract on his left eye was successfully removed in 2011; he now uses glasses.

Doctor Castro checks Lester.

Doctor Castro with Lester in 2010.

Last year Efrain underwent two successful operations by pediatric surgeons at Hospital Roosevelt in Guatemala. They corrected abdominal and adenoid problems, and removed his tonsils.

Nine-year-old Lester has been at Dorie’s Promise since before he turned two. He arrived chronically undernourished, which left him with short stature and a low IQ. He also suffered from chronic asthma, rhinitis, and middle ear infections.

Due to Lester’ s lack of progress in hearing and speech development, and upper respiratory infections, I decided to operate with a pediatric surgeon’s assistance, removing his tonsils and adenoids.

The operation last October was successful. Lester’s speech and respiratory problems (infections and allergies) are expected to improve gradually, enhancing his quality of life.

Stories like these demonstrate the value of your gifts to children at Dorie’s Promise. You are literally helping save their lives!

Personal and Medical Reflections

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Personal and Medical Reflections by Dr. Francisco Castro Medical Director

By Dr. Francisco Castro (Medical Director) –

First of two parts

Dorie's Promise Medical Director Dr CastroEvery year at Dorie’s Promise has been a special one, and this past year was no exception. During 2016, we provided shelter for dozens of kids, but much more than that as we met many other prerequisites for a happy life.

Our goal is to fulfill children’s needs in four basic areas: physical, safety, affection, and spiritual life. These are the most important needs to take care of as soon as an orphan arrives. Then, we seek to reinforce them in an individualized and continuous manner during their stay at the home.

Improved self-esteem and education are our other primary goals. Of course, we want to care for children’s mental and social aspects of health as well.

Most of the children remained at Dorie’s Promise throughout the year, although some returned to their immediate families or relatives. Only a few were adopted by Guatemalan families. Others came to us for the first time, from other homes or families, or from at-risk situations on the streets.

Many arrive in poor health, with most suffering from acute and chronic physical illnesses. Twenty percent of our child population come with special needs and permanent neurological damage.

In most, we found negative psychological and spiritual conditions because of abandonment, abuse and lack of love. Without exception, these kids are coming from backgrounds of poverty, which is the common denominator.

Dr Castro gives Silvia a check up at Dorie's PromiseThat doesn’t surprise me, since nearly 60 percent of Guatemala’s population lives in poverty and 43 percent of children under five are chronically undernourished.

Because of my experience and extensive reading, I have concluded that Guatemala needs more children’s homes providing the kind of care that Dorie’s Promise delivers. Foster care is still a weak, idealistic social program and adoptive families few in number.

Culturally and economically, adoption hasn’t been viable for many families or social programs. To recruit, maintain, follow up, and train families to do so means a huge financial commitment, or at least better organized, collaborative communities.

Our programs are not perfect. I am aware that there is a need to reinforce financially our health and psychological programs, as well as education, arts and sports. In addition to Special Mothers improving their love and care, we need the presence of more men to improve role examples and gender identity.

Yet, despite our imperfections I am pleased to say that—thanks to our friends in the U.S.  and Guatemala—Dorie’s Promise and FCI have successfully provided a good home to many children in need.

They have achieved happiness and have a much brighter future. They could have otherwise been lost to an unjust and dangerous environment. We appreciate your support.

Vision, Hopes, And Dreams…

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Education at Dorie's Promise is tailored to each child.

By Heather Radu –

Our staff has never been in a better place. For years, we have had to spend a lot of time working on the daily operations and staffing. We have had staff come and go … in my opinion, the mix of personalities and talent was just never exactly right to give our children and the home the kind of care and attention they needed.

Today all that has changed. This is the best I have seen our operations run in Guatemala since the day we started. These changes in our home have allowed me to be able to engage our team and talk and dream about the future.

Those are the hopes and dreams and ideas I want you to read about.

Dr. Castro continues to work with us and make sure our children get the best possible health care.Health Care

Dr. Castro continues to work with us and make sure our children get the best possible health care. I am completely confident in his abilities in this area and look forward to his partnership for many years to come. As you know, we decided a few years ago that the mental health of our children was also a priority. We have made significant investments in this area and will continue to do so. As the children get older, we are seeing an even greater need for this kind of therapy. We must continue to be focused on mental health issues so that our children can really grow and thrive.

Education

We are spending a lot of time and energy on finding the right schools for our children. Last week we had two 6th grade graduations — Jennifer and Ingrid finished elementary school. When I heard Ingrid received her diploma, what immediately came to mind was the little girl who came to our home seven years ago. She had never studied. She was afraid to even think about the idea. But today her world is totally different. She has dreams, she has goals to reach. I am confident there will be a day when we see her becoming a professional. Some of our children, like Ingrid and Jennifer, have the ability to go on to college. Others are going to need to be focused on a technical track. Our tutor is helping each of our children and identifying things they love, talking with them about their hopes and dreams. Join me in continuing to pray for them and their education. Our goal is to put them each on a path that amplifies their natural abilities and allows them to be successful.

Brayan, has been learning to play the guitar, and two weeks ago he had a performance at his school. Extracurricular

Giving children the opportunity to expand their horizons is huge. And extracurricular activities are the best way to do that. Brayan, for example, has been learning to play the guitar, and two weeks ago he had a performance at his school. He did so well! The audience loved his performance. His teacher complimented his natural talent. Giving our children exposure to activities like soccer, tennis, and martial arts teaches them discipline as well. It allows them to interact with adults outside the home and learn respect. It also teaches them hobbies that are popular in Guatemalan culture — ones they will probably use with their own children and grandchildren.

English

One of the best things we can do for our children is to teach them English. This is one of the key factors for being financially successful in Guatemala. Our children are always exposed to English with our mission trip guests. Ana is our star right now. She has been taking some English courses at school. Paul, a volunteer who teaches English, is coming to Dorie’s twice per week and is surprised at the interest and capacity that Ana is showing to learn English. We want to give all our children the opportunity to speak English, learn it, know it, and internalize it. Our team believes this is possible for all our children.

International Exposure

Nayeli is a first example of giving one of our children international exposure. She is currently studying in the United States, and we are learning more and more about how to do it in the future. Our children, from their earliest ages, get a chance to interact with Americans and Canadians. Being able to send them out of Guatemala and give them a bigger picture of the world is very important to our team.

Ana is our star English student/Our Board believes, and I hope you do, too, that by helping our children in these ways, we will be opening up a world of opportunities to them.

These are the hopes and dreams of our staff in Guatemala City. These are things we can do together, and what I believe God is calling us to do. 

Your generosity will be used to help all our children grow and thrive and become the people God created them to be.

If you’re like me, you see each one of them as more than just an orphaned child. You see their value and their purpose. Thank you for being part of their lives!

This December, please help us with a special gift for the children. Before the years out, we need to raise around $30,000. In order to raise that amount, it is going to take all of us— you, me, everyone we know. Please share this update with your friends. Spread it on social media, email it to your church mission committee,  print and give it to your grandmother— get the word out.

Help us reach this year-end goal!

Mario Making Improvements with Special Care

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

 

Please consider sponsoring Mario today — let’s continue to see his life forever changed!

Mario has been making great improvement.

By MJ Zelya –

Mario came to Dorie’s Promise in 2012. He was at a low weight after being born prematurely and had physical and neurological issues.

Once he turned 1, Dr. Castro found some abnormal arm movements and diagnosed Mario with a tic after seizures were ruled out.

Dr. Castro told us, “After observing and following up Mario’s behavior, I concluded that he was presenting a neurological syndrome called Gilles de la Tourette. As he has difficulty tolerating the noises of the children in the home, his eye contact was almost nonexistent, and he showed a repetitive obsessive behavior pattern, I suspected Mario was suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome, a common associated sign. Then with a neurologist and some psychological assistance, we confirmed the diagnosis.”

Mario started special psychological therapy that emphasized developmental stimulation and socialization behavior. He also receives personalized attention from our Special Mothers and staff — they follow specific instructions to help him cope socially at Dorie’s Promise and to help stimulate his speech and his fine and gross motor and social-personal development.

Mario has improved while he’s been with us.

He now likes to jump and can balance on one leg, catch the ball, and even imitate animal movements. He enjoys finger-painting, playing musical instruments — especially the piano — and likes to drawing large lines. He is friendly, shows affection, and smiles more often!

Among other things Mario's language has taken a huge turn for the better.Mario’s language has taken a huge turn for the better: he imitates animal noises — cows, dogs, pigs. He communicates what he wants or dislikes with phrases like “I am hungry,” “I am tired.” And he can tell when someone is being funny, or if someone is angry.

Special Mother Marleni Marroquin says, “He is such a cute boy. He likes to play with puzzles; he loves to go out and walk with the kids around the neighborhood. When we see other people out and about he tells them Good morning or Good-bye. He can count from 1 to 10 and also knows colors and shapes. He is not a picky eater — his favorite foods are meat with veggies and fruits. He is even potty-trained — no more diaper! He is a loving boy who smiles all the time and shares with our kids, staff, and visitors.”

The improvement in Mario’s development is thanks to people who support Dorie’s Promise — friends like you make it possible for Mario to receive such special care. As he gets older, he will of course continue receiving all the training and therapy he needs, as well as medical follow-ups. Please consider sponsoring Mario today — let’s continue to see his life forever changed!

Good Health & Relationships at Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Doctor Castro and some of his "patients"

By Dr. Francisco Castro –

Lester takes a listenWe believe that good health depends on dynamic but stable relationships among biological, psychological, social and spiritual factors. A comprehensive and integral health system should become involved in attending to such factors.

Our system utilizes four health strategies; health promotion (via education of Dorie’s Promise personnel), disease preventive, treatment and rehabilitation.

We keep a close eye on the children’s growth and development through regular check-ups, depending on child age and health, it allows us to get a baseline when a child arrives and then allows us to accurately gage outcomes from our interventions.

During the first few hours after a child arrives at Dorie’s Promise we give them a thoroughly physical and mental examination and a preliminary clinical impression is determined, follow by a plan for their health and development.

Hans, happy and healthy at our home.

Hans, happy and healthy living at our home.

A child may be put into quarantine for a few days, under close observation and gradually be adapted to the homes environment. In the meantime, we are able to get test results and treat them for any preexisting conditions. This system, of quarantine and gradual introduction has been successful in preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases. It’s been many years since we’ve had a major outbreak.

One boy, Hans came to use this year after being hit by a car. He suffered some head trauma, as well as suffering from other problems being related to having lived on his own, on the streets. Dental cavities, lice and scabies are common malady’s see when children first enter our home.

The program also watches out for personnel whom could bring in infectious diseases, diagnosing and treating or giving recommendations. We also have been able to serve missionaries that become ill when visiting our home. Occasionally also serving other children´s homes that ask for pediatric assistance and advice.

We work hard to promote a healthy lifestyle for personnel and children, so almost every activity at Dorie’s Promise has a potentially positive impact on integral health. In that respect activities are assessed to help avoid accidents, food safety is reviewed to prevent food borne illnesses, and healthy food and physical activities are promoted. All children are in need of good health education and training for them to take care of themselves, live and work an independent life.

Doctor Castro and his nurse with several of the children from Dorie's Promise.25% of our children suffer more complex and chronic illness that require ongoing treatment. They will need our program to provide continuing access to pediatric, psychological and specialized professionals to help them.

Dorie’s Promise through its health program has been blessed with a good relationship so far with Guatemala´s private sector healthcare, Ministry of Health officials and medical teams working at the leading public/teaching hospitals and their pediatric and specialties departments. These hospitals, clinics and laboratories are willing to continue supporting us, most of them giving time and services without any financial demand from us.

Thank you to all of our homes donors and sponsors who provide for our children. We are only able to offer this excellent healthcare because of your help.

Meet Dulce: A Living Miracle

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Dulce is a Living Miracle!

By MJ Zelya –

Dulce as a baby.

Dulce as a baby.

Dulce (Age 3) is a very special girl with special needs, I call her a Living Miracle. She found in our ministry the care and love she needs in order to have good health and proper development.

She was found on the floor of a bar, rescued by people that found a small baby alone and crying. When she was taken to the hospital, doctors said she was born premature and in her condition she had little possibility of living. Her life certainly began with struggle. Twenty days after Dulce arrival at Dorie’s Promise, she developed viral pneumonia, then a week later began having seizures. Yet today it’s amazing to see her active – walking around, climbing wherever she can, crawling, and sometimes fighting with the other children like a normal kid does.

Doctor Castro gives us this report about her health:

Dulce at age 3 is behind in her development, but with love and care she is improving.

Dulce now, age 3.

Dulce special health needs include a developmental delay, growth retardation, seizures, congenital heart disease (variety or TAPVC) without heart failure, chronic bronchitis, gastro-esophageal reflux, and she is prone to respiratory and lung infections.

“After further investigation (brain CT scans, chromosomal studies) follow up and some consultations with a neurologist, and a geneticist friend of mine, we were unable to find a specific syndrome to explain her physical features, growth deficit and developmental delay. I concluded that she needed a developmental stimulation plan and close pediatric follow up,” says Dr. Castro.

At 8 months of age, Dr. Castro discovered that she also had a heart murmur that seemed abnormal. He asked a pediatric cardiologist to check her and after clinical and ultrasound studies, a new abnormality was found; Dulce was suffering from a congenital heart disease, Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venus Connection (TAPVC) – three out of the four pulmonary veins were connected to the right atrium instead to the left one. Also called inter auricular communication.)

In TAPVC, the blood does not take the normal route from the lungs to the heart and out to the body, instead, the veins from the lungs attach to the heart in abnormal positions and this means that oxygenated blood enters or leaks into the wrong chamber. Dr. Castro continues to watch her health and growth progress closely, and she sees specialists as needed.

Dulce going for a walk with the help of her special mother.

Walking with help from her Special Mother.

Her Special Mother Ismelda says, “Dulce has been progressing. She can stand by herself and take a few steps with help. She is starting to eat solid food, and loves it. She expresses what she needs, mimics others and claps.”

Dulce is a loving little girl,” says Gabby , our children development coordinator. “She loves to hold my hand and kiss it.”

With the extra medical care Dulce needs, sponsors are very important to meeting all of her needs. Sponsoring a child like Dulce, at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala is different than sponsoring a child at most other organizations.  Why?  Because we own our home.  The children live there 24 hours a day – 7 days a week in a a safe, nurturing environment, with healthy, well-balanced, delicious meals, as well as safe and well-maintained facilities, on-site health care and education. When you sponsor a child at Dorie’s Promise, you are giving life and investing in the future of a child.

Sponsor Dulce Now

Meet Efrain (Age 10)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Efrain with his Special Mother at Dorie's Promise.

By MJ Zelya-

EfrainEfrain after his eye surgery has been living at Dorie’s Promise since 2005. He is now 10 years old. He was abandoned by his mother because of her economic inability to take care of him.

Efrain is very attentive to his surroundings. He loves it when the Special Mothers sing to him. Efrain knows he is loved and cared for, and the Special Moms and other children make him a very happy boy who constantly laughs.

Janet, the Special Mother who takes care of him, says, “The movement in his legs and arms has improved. The therapy he is receiving has helped him a lot. He looks happier, and he can reach his foot and hold it with his hands. It’s so exciting to see how flexible he is now.”

His favorite meal is the sweet porridge, and he loves to drink milk — lemonade too.

Dr. Castro says that Efrain is a boy who is kind, patient, and content. In addition to his developmental delays, he has a genetic defect, which is only present in some of his cells. Otherwise he would not have survived until now. It does cause him to be small in growth, blind with cerebral Efrain is a boy with a big heart, a patient nature, and a gentle spirit.palsy (muscle-joints spasticity), and have seizures. As part of the syndrome, he has a cataract in one eye and a coloboma (a sort of hole in the eye) in another. One eye cataract has been operated on; hopefully he is beginning to distinguish some shadows. Due to all these problems, Efrain is confined to a wheelchair.

Our nurse, Mirna Yuman, has recently taken a physiotherapy course with the intention to provide better care for Efrain. The outcome has been astonishingly positive; in just one month of this extra personalized therapy Efrain is able to keep he own head up better and is stronger, while his limbs and back are more flexible. He has received from our Lord a special gift, what Doc Castro calls “the gene of happiness.”

Efrain behaves as if he is conscious of the good care he receives, and we believe that he knows how much he is loved. He needs your love too. Efrain is only 40% sponsored. Sponsorship helps pay for the extra medical care and personalized attention that is required to give him the best care. Sponsor Efrain today and become a part of the family that cares for this special child!

A Report from Doctor Castro

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Doctor Castro with children from Dorie's Promise

Some reflections on my experience as a physician and pediatrician at Dorie’s Promise, serving orphans and battered, abused, neglected Guatemalan children:

In my youth I was attracted to, and still am, to three different fields of study: anthropology, architecture, and medicine. I learned, in fact, that the three are related to each other. They are centered on the needs of the human race, such as the need for cooperation between people working together in order to achieve an ultimate goal.

All three fields are in a constant search for knowledge and practices that can improve people’s lives, but above all, the three are based on the idea of the common good of the people. I visualized myself helping and caring for children, so I decided to study Pediatrics in Guatemala and England.

Luis gets a check up.Working with children in a pediatric practice has transformed and utterly touched my life.

Every moment I have spent serving children has made me more conscious and aware of the true miracle of life.

Children are the light of the world — they are a fount of energy emitted onto others, especially people who are in direct contact with them and, ultimately, those people are the primary beneficiaries of this positive energy.

After my decision to retire from academia, hospital life, and private practice, a position at Dorie’s Promise was offered to me, and I saw this as a good opportunity to continue serving children. So I accepted and have been serving at the orphanage for more than eight years.

Guatemala is a poor country where many children need attention and good care. I truly feel God has provided me with direction, proper guidance, and the strength to continue as a doctor and health adviser serving the children of Dorie’s Promise — not only visiting them as their pediatrician, but also being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our nurse assistant and administrative personnel plus the Special Moms, I have been privileged in the task of watching the children’s growth and development closely, coming up with early interventions to prevent and cure almost 97% of their health needs. In regards to the other 3-5% of their health needs that I am not able to directly provide, I have been able to use my resources and medical contacts for expert second opinions and intervention.

Our health program has been blessed by having great leadership for both our home and non-profit organization and coworkers that believe in our work, who are committed and passionate for service. This has allowed us to improve and maintain efficient and effective health Doctor Castro checks up on a child from Dorie's Promiseinterventions, based on Christian principles. Dorie’s Promise is always concerned about the children’s safety, fulfilling their needs by providing them shelter, their basic physiological needs, integral health, security, affection, self-esteem, learning, and a beautiful and harmonious home.

The children have suffered through a few very dangerous infectious outbreaks in the past: large Rotavirus gastroenteritis, adenovirus pneumonia, eye and skin infections, and parasites. But I can proudly say that since 2006, and with great thanks to our health system, home improvements, and preventative measures, our children have not suffered anymore infectious outbreaks and have been protected from these always-potential threats.

So what’s in store for Dorie’s Promise in the future? We will continue to work with these beautiful and amazing children through the support and dedication from U.S. supporters and our dedicated Christian missionaries and other partners. I see Dorie’s Promise as a good example to other homes, working with other Guatemalan organizations as partners to improve and extend our services to communities in need. Our health program will be caring for children ranging from newborns to adolescents, but the fact of life is that our children are growing up under our care and bit by bit reaching adulthood; so we will need to focus our health care and education on preparing our children for the real world with responsibilities.

Silvia Gets Tennis Scholarship!

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Silvia at Tennis Practice - Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By MJ Zelaya-

11240117343_679d79eb3a_cSilvia, age 8, has always been known for being very intelligent and energetic — ever since she was a toddler, in fact. At school she excels in her PE classes (we had noticed she was very good at sports). She loves running, jumping, and the challenge of athletics. That gave us the idea to enroll her in a football (“soccer” in the U.S.) clinic during the last school break, from October to December. She did very well!

In October, we were able to arrange a scholarship at the Tennis Club of Guatemala, located only 5 km from our home. Silvia was very excited to start learning a new sport!

Dr. Castro plays tennis often and had previously arranged a tennis clinic for our children. He encouraged Silvia in her new endeavor and even donated a racket for her. She was beyond of excited!

Since then, Silvia trains every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for one hour. Her coach, Virbes Pascual, who teaches children from 8 to 12 years old at the club, said, “Silvia is a very skilled and athletic girl. She has very good coordination for this sport and easily handles the requirement of our practices. I’m sure that Silvia could become a competitive player in the future if she had the proper support.”

13106611614_d28f0c4e1a_cSilvia says that she likes tennis, but still enjoys other sports like soccer and basketball. Tennis allows her to run a lot and hit the ball hard, and that why it’s her favorite. She says her coach is a very good person — very patient and friendly.

Thanks to the support of many sponsors, our home is able to provide further education and opportunities for our children. Silvia has a chance to master effort, persistence, and perseverance, qualities that will help her achieve future goals. It’s what any parent would want for his/her child, and we are so pleased we can offer it to Silvia.