The last newsletter of the year 2011

It is never boring at Los Niños. At the end of the year there are still plenty of activities that we want to share with you. Enjoy reading.

Diploma ceremony.
The 2 students, Juana and Emilsa, from Alotenango were supported 6 years by Los Niños and graduated this year as primary schoolteachers.Esteban completed the career ´industrial design in digital electronics and microprocessors´ and is looking for a job. Of a different order, but just as important: Erick Dubon finished the 6th class of elementary school with a diploma and will go to high school in 2012. Like his brother and sister, he is sponsored by the Foundation Join!forKids and they will provisionally continue. Our thanks to them is great. Info about them


Cooperation with the Foundation CasaSito.
CasaSito, like Los Niños, is a foundation which, together with volunteers, tries to give the poorest children in Guatemala education. CasaSito has a Board in the United States and in Guatemala. It is very professionally led by Alice Lee. Los Niños works regularly together with CasaSito, inter alia, by utilizing the experience of CasaSito for assessing the granting of scholarships to pupils and students. Last year CasaSito was working out of a very functional "Volunteers House", where they had an office and where volunteers were staying. They needed to leave the house because the owner had other plans with it. They found another house, which they could buy. CasaSito was very interested to be the owner of this house and to use it like before: for an office and Volunteers House

CasaSito will have donations from the United States to repay the cost of the house in a couple of years. However, the deposit was a problem; Los Niños provided the solution with a financial contribution, under strictly defined conditions, under which we will get benefits. Initially, Los Niños wants to create greater synergies at the executive level of both organizations. Especially for the benefit of the projects that both organizations are currently working with; the project in San Mateo (Semilla de Esperanza y Amor) and the project El Plan Infinito and the provision of scholarships. Both organizations will continue to retain their own identity and their own governance.It is also recorded that the investment that Los Niños has made in the house will be paid back directly if/when they sell it or they want to use it for any other purpose than intended. Los Niños will have their office in the house without paying rent. That means a substantial reduction of current rental costs for Los Niños .

In the photo you will see the CasaSito team (9 persons) together with the team of Los Niños (2 persons) and the new Office of Los Niños, as of the 1st of January 2012.  We are both very thrilled about this additional collaboration.

Ambassadors Jan and Alda with travelgroup together in Guatemala
The highlight of their visit was to the project Semilla de Esperanza y Amor, which Jan and Alda are supporting with donations they get from different activities they do in Holland. They had a warm welcome at the project and the director thanked them for the great support.

The Outdoor Playset from a Guatemalan woman living in the city is evidence of local financial support for this project!





Christmas celebration in San Mateo
They also celebrated Christmas in the project in San Mateo. And even more happiness when Jan was dressed up like Santa Claus and gave all the children a little present 




Pérez Molina winner elections Guatemala
The elected president of Guatemala, old-General Pérez Molina, means a clear choice for a more right-wing politics in Guatemala. The current leftist president, Alvaro Colom, failed to curb violent criminals and to defend the country against Mexican drug cartels which use Guatemala as a smuggling route. Pérez Molina is promising to tackle the crime and violence by the using more the army and the police.


Carpentry workshop in Alotenango.
The students of the 6th class of Bendición de Dios worked mainly with plywood this year and they learned a lot. All the projects were preceded by learning  theory ( tool knowledge and measurement lessons), an exercise and a technical drawing. Volunteer Wilma de Jong, who has worked with us a month, was a really good coach and helped the staff tremendously. She also donated beautiful machines and tools including two sanders, an electric planer and a compressor. The final exam piece was a game that the pupils were allowed to take home on the last day of classes. On the last day of school the parents of the kids were quite impressed The carpentry workshop also gave an introduction course to pupils of the High School in Alotenango.

Good news!  Next year Jeroen Lans, in addition to the Guatemalan teacher Saul, will also be working with us. They will work on the development of a technical curriculum for the second year, focused on developing skills with the saw, chisel, grinding machine and creating and reading technical drawings and wood connections. This is in preparation for the third year when we will create wood products. Often we get from 'Saved Tools' (Gered Gereedschap) used tools and from the  Construction Company Pijnenburg, new tools for the carpentry. Last year, the former director, Jan Pijnenburg won the Peace Prize of Tilburg because he is supporting for many years already several social initiatives and projects with money, goods or time. We can always count on him. The art gallery, decorated by Tessa, is working very well: each student has his own work table and they make beautiful projects.


Coordinator of El Plan Infinito.
In the after-school project, El Plan Infinito, the 74-year-old founder Chris van de Vijver received the help of Jaime Trujillo. Jaime comes from Puerto Rico and is a librarian. He visited with a tour in Antigua and decided to stay for a while to work for CasaSito. He will be a great help for Chris and we wish him all the best. Thanks to a donation of the Dutch Reformed Church in Heeswijk-Dinther, we can pay the salary for Jaime for the whole year 2012. 


Farewell to an very special woman, Lia Kruithof.
On the 11th of  November Lia Kruithof passed away. 
At the end of August 2006, Lia came together with her husband Henk to Guatemala to do volunteer work for 7 months for Los Niños. After 40 years of work experience in libraries and education she stopped working in December 2005. It was a challenge for Lia and Henk to use their work and life experiences in Guatemala. Lia worked in Alotenango in the primary school and introduced new working methods for the teachers. Henk worked in the carpentry with Suzan. Everybody still remembers them. Ana-Maria was happy to have some people around from her age so she spent many hours with them and they became very good friends. It was terrible when we heard that Lia, several years ago, was told she had esophageal cancer. Lia fought a lot and tried everything to get it out of her body, but despite everything, the chemo didn't stop the growth of the tumors. The day after Lia was buried in the dunes of Rockanje, her daughter Karin gave birth to her first child and the first granddaughter of Henk and Lia: Ninthe. Life is elusive. We hope Henk and the children will find the courage and their way to continue life without this wonderful woman and mother. Lia did not want to have flowers but a donation for Los Niños.
Los Niños got 1200 euro on their account. 

Art festival
The Third  Annual Art Festival was organized by CasaSito.
It was a sunny day in a beautiful ambience with work pieces that were created by the children from the various projects. The emergence of visitors was great. Los Niños is happy with this kind of event and therefore we supported the Festival.

There were also performances from projects with break-dance, flamenco, magic etc.
A few pictures here 



Foundation D´n Einder
Thanks to all the volunteers who are working in the cycle shop and to those who are doing a lot of activities to help several charity projects all over the world. We were very glad to receive a donation of 1300 euro. At your request, we will use this amount for the project Semilla de Esperanza y Amor in San Mateo.
Info about them:


Yabal gives emergency aid in Santa Catharina 
Last September about 50 families from the coast region moved into the mountains because of fear of floods and land subsidence after a heavy tropical depression. They have established themselves in Santa Catarina Ixthahuacan, one of the coldest places in Guatemala. At this time they do not get any help from the government and they have very little. Los Niños responded to the call of  Yabal ( for a donation to this group of families. With the donation, each family got extra corn and other basic food, such as rice, beans and sugar.

Note: after the Hurricane Stan in 2005 Los Niños helped in the same area with buildings for 24 families in the village of Tzamchaj.

Hélène Verrest, new Board Member

On Monday the 12th of  December 2011, the Board of Los Niños appointed Hélène as a Board member. She says the following: "Of course I am happy with it. Since the founding of Los Niños I am fairly involved in the projects due to my personal contact with Ana-Maria. I have visited some of the projects in 2003 and in 2005 again with my 3 sons. I think that Los Niños needs to continue for a long time  and I want to be part of that continuation. Hélène follows up Els van Rossen. We wish her welcome.


Important date in 2012
We think you already wrote it down in your agenda, the very special day, Sunday 22nd of April, Interpolis Tilburg. We will celebrate the 10 years anniversary of Los Niños. Hopefully you will come. In March you will receive a special newsletter in which we will tell you more about all the activities this day.

There is so much to be thankful for. Maybe we don't say it often enough.

First of all, this year, we have to say thanks a lot to the Board in Netherlands, which we often e-mailed with awkward questions about complex topics. They never showed us in the lurch. Also to the DOE-group, the followers of former volunteers, who promote Los Niños amongst others in the Christmas markets. This last group is also busy with the preparations for the 10-year anniversary in the Netherlands. Both the Board and the whole DOE-group work on a voluntary basis.

At Los Niños we are constantly surrounded by participants. Volunteers from all over the world come to Guatemala to use their time, their talents and their energy to share with the children in the various education projects. We also learned another lesson that we can share not only material things or that we have to give money, but sharing out of the heart with lots of love. As a sponsor you are for us an example of that participation.  You, as a sponsor, show us on how we can share. Thanks for the way you share with us. We hope that you will continue supporting us in 2012,  to help more young people  study and get a chance for a better future.

Feliz Navidad and a Healthy and Lovely New Year