Rescue Reaches Beyond the Beach

Update as of 6/3/2015

First, thank you to all of our supporters over the past year.  Your support has done amazing things for the families and it very apparent now that they could not have survived without our help.  We are down in Guatemala this week working with two organizations (More than Compassion and Habitat for Humanity) in an effort to improve the living conditions for these families.  The original funds that we raised, will cover much of what is being done.  We are also setting the families up with a small chicken business, so they can help to provide for themselves.  Additionally, we purchased a sewing machine and have taught them the basics of how to use it.  We have had a number of talks this week with the families about the blessings that have come their way and how they need to continue to ensure the children go to school, the moms work hard and they pass it forward.  We feel confident that they will succeed in all of these.

To date, the original $21K has been spent:
1)  $4000 to ship Gerardo's body back to Guatemala
2) $6000 for monthly stipend to both families
3)  $12,000 paid to Habitat for Humanity to build/update houses (including water filteration and smokeless stoves).

4) $2,000 for GoFundMe/PayPal expenses

In order to accomplish these additional items, we are asking for a few more things:
1)  Money to set them up with a chicken coup, chickens and supplies (~$2000)
2)  $ 3000 for beds, tables and couches for the houses
3)  $1000 for school and household supplies


As many of you know a group of Santa Fe Christian freshmen students were involved in rescuing two people from the ocean at Moonlight Beach on Thursday, May 29, 2014. The two people rescued were sent to the hospital and were in critical condition and on life support.

The victims were unidentified for 3 days before any family members were found. Fortunately, on Sunday, a couple of us were able to visit them at the hospital as well as over 20 of their friends and family members and get to know them. We found out that it was an uncle (Vasilio) and his nephew (Gerardo) in the ocean that day.

When we were there, the 2 victims were still on life support and did not have any brain activity.

We took the family members back to the beach and explained that the 2 of them must have been caught in a riptide and how difficult it would be for people who didn't know how to swim. We told them about the Santa Fe Christian students finding them and helping to bring them to the shore.

We also told them about how over 100 students from Santa Fe Christian School stood next to them on the beach as they were receiving CPR and prayed for them and their families.

Unfortunately, Gerardo (the 17 year old boy) passed away on Monday morning, four days after he was found in the ocean.

Baciilio and Gerardo both come from an extremely poor area of Guatemala where there is not even a sewer system set up in their community so they all have outhouses for bathrooms.

Bacilio, wife and five kids live in Guatemala, but he moved to The United States 20 years ago to find work to help better support his family. He would try to send them $300 - $400 a month so that they could buy food and pay for electricity, clothes, etc. Vasilio continues to be on life support with no brain activity, so the family has no one to support them.

The young boy, Gerardo, just came to the U.S. three days before he went to Moonlight Beach in order to go to high school here. His family was just hoping for him to have better opportunities than he ever would have had at home. His mom lives in a one room shack with a dirt floor in Guatemala. She has a hole in the ground for a toilet.
She is a widow with a 7 year old son at home and earns $5 a day cleaning clothes or any other type of work she can get.

We're not sure why God had us there at that moment - maybe it was to find the 2 of them because otherwise their families would never have known what happened to them - they would have just been missing.
Maybe another reason we were there was because now that we know their story, we can help them.

We really want to do something to help out this incredible family. They’re are so sweet and grateful and could use our help in many ways. That's why we have set up this Gofundme account.

If anyone wants to help out, here's what we would like to do for the family:

1. Raise $5,000 to send Gerardo's body back to his mother in Guatemala. She could not fly here to be with him in his final days, because she did not have the money or papers to come.

2. Raise $5,000 to fix Gerardo's mother and 7 year old brother's home with a concrete floor, bedroom and kitchen. We will see if we can have someone build a septic tank so that they can have a flush toilet and shower.

3. Raise $350 a month for a year to support Vasilio''s wife and 5 children - total of $4200 for a year of food and other expenses for the family

4. Raise $150 a month for a year to support Gerardo's mother who now earns $5 a day - total of $1800 to support her and her 7 year old for a year

One of the greatest gifts for these families is that in this tragic time, they will feel the love of Christ from their brothers and sisters here, who don't even know them, yet are willing to help them.
If you would like, you can write what you want the money you donate to go towards.

Thank you for being Christ's hands for these two families who have suffered so much not only this week, but for much of their lives.

Here are some thoughts from the Santa Fe Students who were involved in the rescue:

Kerryanne: It has been a blessing to meet the family and get to know such incredible people. I can't even imagine what they are going through right now, I was overcome with sadness at the hospital and I don't even know them. I want to do whatever we can to help them.
Katie:  It was such a sureal experience but I know that God put us all there for a reason. At least we were able to give them a fighting chance to live. Even though we had no clue who the person was, we still did everything in our power to help save them, unsure of a good outcome.
Jack: I hope that the family stays strong through Christ during this time in their lives. I am praying for them during this surreal experience.
Kyle: I can't imaginge what the families are dealing with, and I hope the will be able to find peace through Christ.  Im glad we were able to impact their lives by giving them a chance.
Joey: I really can't fully understand what has happened and I can't imagine what Bascilio and Gerado's families are going through and my sincerest condolences go to them
Baylee- I'm just glad that there was no one else harmed, God put  us there for a reason and im greatful we could represent him in the best way possible. I hope we can continue to help them by  raising money for there families.
Sami: It is comforting to know that God put us all there for a reason, though we may not know the reasons now. I pray that the families find comfort in this sad situation and that we are able to raise money to support them.
Maddie: It was such a life changing experience but I'm happy that God placed me and my friends on the beach at that time. I was so happy to help and give them a fighting chance to live.
Julia: It was a blessing to have such a great group of people there to help. God put this group of people there for a reason knowing they would step up and do their best to save these peoples lives. Now it is our job to help these families as much as possible. 
Clay: What happened that day was a life changing experience that I will never forget. I continue to pray for the families of the vicitms, I cant imagine what they are going through right now. I know that God does everything for a reason and i am sure that this situation is no exception. The families are in our hearts and minds. 

Your donations are tax deductible and 100% of the funds donated will go to the victim's families.  No donation is too small!  God bless!
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    • $25 
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  • Shaun Shields 
    • $40 
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  • Sue and Dan Carter 
    • $25 
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Gwen Becknell 
San Diego, CA
Registered nonprofit
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