Save Maria's Kids!

My dear friend, Maria, passed away unexpectedly and leaves behind 4 children under the age of 10Michael, Toni, Mari, and baby Rosario need your help to survive.  I met Maria while living in Guatemala, she was my neighbor, friend, and mom to some of my favorite kiddos! She had an amazing ability to smile and laugh, no matter how hard life was, and she passed this love of life onto her small children.

Maria passed of complications from diabetes at the mere age of 27.  She worked hard every day to create a better life for her children, yet in impoverished Guatemala, could barely scrape by.  Her death should have been completely preventable had she had adequate resources to proper nutrition and healthcare.  

Maria used to sell bread and chocolate on the streets to try to make ends meet.  Without their mother and a lack of community or family resources, the children are now left to do this, often missing school.  We want to provide for them so that the responsibility does not fall onto the children and they can be kids. They love to color, sing to frozen (in English)!, laugh, run and play, and snack :) Michael is even an aspiring photographer! They have big dreams and we want them to keep dreaming!

Michael, Toni, Mari, & Rosario already struggle from malnutrition and their risks that stem from a life of poverty have just increased from losing their primary caretaker, their mother.   Maria was determined to create a better life for her children and it is my goal,  to make sure that happens by working with local organizations to meet their basic needs.  These children deserve to survive, but better yet, they deserve to thrive! 
Proud of their drawings!
Michael, dressed up for the town festival while his cousins and siblings cheer him on.
Maria, baby Mari, Loki, Adolofo and I enjoying a day at the beach in San Marcos.

I'm working with local nonprofits and organizations in San Marcos to coordinate care and distribution of money for things such as child care, food, school supplies and fees, health care, etc.  The committees are working together, so as not to duplicate efforts and provide the best support possible.  

While these things are all critical, we believe that first and foremost, the children need a safe space to grow and live.  Their basic safety and security must be accounted for or other efforts will be futile. Their current housing situation is crowded, dark, unsafe, and inadequate to meet basic health and sanitation needs.  Fincas Buenas, a local non-profit, is working to improve this and needs help!
My niece, Tatum, playing with Maria and her cousin while helping them sell banana bread.


Donations will go towards the proposed project, which includes:

1.  Install running water, a toilet, and shower facilities

2. Raise the roof of the house & build porch to increase  air circulation & decrease the heat

3. Install a fence around the property to:
*ensure safety so children can sleep & be restful for school by keeping out thieves, drunks, and other disturbances

Fencing has begun!

4. Create a play area & garden in yard so:
*kids can play in a trash-free & poop-free zone 
*increase sense of well-being
*health risks from mud & poop are minimized

Current front yard, next to walking path, full of litter, dog poop, and not sanitary or safe for play.

5. Plant & tend a vegetable and fruit garden
*providing much needed shade & healthy calories in their fight against malnutrition

6. Build desks and chairs for children to do homework

7. Employ a caregiver to look after children
*Their Aunt, Elena, is a struggling, single-mom to 4 (adorable & super smart) kids. Maria & Elena would split childcare responsibilities so the cousins are more like siblings.  We would like to keep this family bond going, by ensuring Elena has enough to cover the extra costs of food, clothing, etc.

8. Build beds & get mattresses for the kids (already complete!)
They love their new beds!

Despite everything they've been through, these kids keep helping and smiling!

Estimated costs of the project:
*$150  chain link fencing
*$200 for garden & play area supplies
*$100 paint
*$1050 -basic supplies to be distributed over time
                   -child care 
                   -weekly visits for health checks, community
                     support, & sustainable distribution of funds
*$1500 labor (3 weeks work, employing 6 local men)
$3000 TOTAL ( extra donations will be distributed to the family for the children's needs)

 Let's help provide care for these lovely children and let them know they are still loved.  We have already coordinated with organizations to help cover costs of child care, school fees, food, and health care.  We need your help in getting them a safe living environment and the care they so desperately need. THANK YOU for your support!

A rainy evening watching Frozen, their favorite movie. They sing all the songs in English!

All kids love to color!

Michael and his mom making flower rugs with the church for Holy Week.
  • Etai Gilad 
    • $20 
    • 41 mos
  • Aiden Boyd 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • marie warner 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Jennifer Shoe 
    • $150 
    • 42 mos
  • luke Della Santa 
    • $200 
    • 42 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Dani Kehm 
Denver, CO
Jay Jackson 
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