top of page
  • Writer's picturetimothy martiny

Bridging the Gap for Vulnerable Children in Guatemala

Updated: 2 days ago

Children in Guatemala, like so many developing countries, face significant challenges in life due to poverty, crime, limited educational opportunities, scarce healthcare access, and economic struggles.


Often, despite a desire to succeed, the gap between their present circumstances and where they want to get is simply too great.


That is why help in the form of Cadaniño’s afterschool programs is necessary. We serve as a bridge, enabling vulnerable and at-risk children to proceed from their present reality to a hopeful future.


Through an approach built upon three core pillars of spiritual formation, academic reinforcement, and family strengthening, we build bridges that transform lives by restoring hope, providing Christ-centered education, creating a sense of family, fostering independence, and nurturing a personal faith in God.


Here are some of the bridges we build:

 

From Hopelessness to Restored Hope


In communities plagued by poverty and instability, hopelessness can take root early in life. Cadaniño’s programs work to reverse this by instilling a sense of hope and purpose in those we serve. By providing a supportive environment with caring mentors, we help children see beyond their current hardships and dream of a brighter future.


Children who have experienced abandonment, hunger, and struggled in school, find a turning point at Cadaniño. With consistent support, their grades improve, and they begin to believe in their potential for success. Slowly but surely, we see them start to realize that they are intelligent and capable and that with just a little bit of help, they can succeed in school and in life. As they achieve academic excellence, they gain the confidence needed to keep pushing forward.


For those who have faced immense personal losses, such as the death or abandonment of a parent or loved one, there are often deep emotional wounds. The love and care they receive from our teachers help them navigate the difficult moments in their lives.


Desmond Tutu said, "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Although those we serve continue to live in hardship, we help them find the light of hope in God, who can give them the strength to overcome any adversity they might face.

 

From Limited Access to Education to Quality Christ-Centered Learning


Access to quality education is a significant challenge in many parts of Guatemala. Cadaniño addresses this gap by offering comprehensive afterschool programs that reinforce academic learning and teach essential reading, computer, programming, and STEM skills. Through education programs deeply rooted in Christian values, we help children grow spiritually while they excel academically.


Enrolling in our afterschool program at 13 was the difference between success and failure for Carla. Before joining, she had no access to a computer and struggled with her studies; she had mistakenly come to believe that there was nothing she was good at. It was at Cadaniño that she learned essential computer skills, improved her math skills, started to get better grades, and discovered her talent for technology. Beyond academics, Carla's faith grew stronger, and she developed a personal relationship with God and found her identity in Christ.  She began serving in our mission club, taking what she had learned and sharing it with others.


In 2022, she became the first person in her family to graduate from high school and was valedictorian of her class. She secured an internship that led to a job in technology. She then applied to university and is pursuing her degree in computer science.


Now, her younger brother Jeremy is enrolled in Cadaniño and following in her footsteps.

 

From a Lack of Family to a Supportive Community


For many children, Cadaniño provides the sense of family and community they desperately need. So many of them come from broken families and have lost loved ones. We foster a nurturing environment where children feel loved, supported, and valued. Creating a sense of that is crucial for their emotional and psychological well-being.


When 13-year-old Vincent lost both his parents, his aunt was left with six children to care for all by herself. The Cadaniño team stepped up with wrap-around support for their family, providing food and clothes and keeping a roof over their heads. "My aunt/mom has cared for and protected me since I was six." Vincent said, "It's at Cadaniño that I've learned to value all that I have, and I have come to understand that God knows our needs, and He will work all things together for good."


We become the supportive environment they need to help them navigate life’s challenges in an otherwise chaotic environment. The relationships they build at Cadaniño create an extended family for children who might otherwise feel alone in their moment of need.

 

From Dependence to Interdependent


Cadaniño’s  programs empower children, helping them transition from dependence on external aid to becoming self-sufficient and interdependent members of their community. We equip students with the skills they need to succeed academically and professionally while also providing opportunities for them to serve others.


Students learn to work together with classmates in a supportive environment, serve in their community, and participate in leadership training courses with their peers from all over Guatemala. Many become active participants in the Cadaniño Missions Club, where they take what they learn in their Bible classes and teach it to other children in their communities.

As students gain confidence, they move from receiving help to providing it, assisting their peers, helping in class, and contributing to taking care of the community center. We teach that "no matter how little you have, everyone has something to give." This philosophy helps mitigate the risk of creating an entitlement mindset in those we serve.

 

 From Limited Faith or No Faith to a Rich Faith in Jesus


The heart of Cadaniño’s mission is helping everyone we serve take the next step in developing a personal relationship with God. We provide students with the instruction they need to build strong foundations of faith and hope in Christ through the study of God's word so that when life's challenges come their way, they are better equipped to face them.


Our goal is not simply to turn poor sinners into rich sinners. We aim to see those we serve redeemed, restored and understanding what it means to become a child of God. We want them to experience the transformation that comes from embracing their new identity in Christ which gives them the power to transcend their current circumstances. It is by accepting an eternal hope and purpose, they can recognize their true worth and potential in the eyes of a loving God.


As we nurture their faith journey through the study of God's word, we ensure they know that though we want them to live better lives, our ultimate desire is for them to know that true wealth is not in material possessions but in a relationship with God.

 

Standing in the Gap


Cadaniño is committed to 'standing in the gap' for orphaned and vulnerable children, providing them with the support and resources they need to overcome their circumstances and achieve a brighter future. Our afterschool programs offer educational and spiritual guidance in a loving and supportive community. By bridging the gap from their current struggles to a hopeful future, we bring about generational change and make a difference for eternity.

 

We are incredibly grateful for your help and support in partnering with us. Together we are building bridges that help vulnerable children walk a pathway to success creating brighter futures grounded in faith in God and the hope of what is possible with Him.

 

Sincerely, Timothy Martiny, President, Cadaniño

 

Partner with us today and impact lives for eternity!



3 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page