Merry Hearts adopted the orphanage, God Bless the Children, in Guatemala City back in 2008. God Bless the Children currently has 20 children ranging from infants to 10 years old. Our Amazing friend of 8 years, Cynthia, and her husband David run the home. Cynthia was previously an attorney helping families to adopt from Guatemala. Unfortunately in 2007 adoptions from Guatemala were stopped. Cynthia responded by caring for the needs of the children that are no longer able to be adopted, except by other Guatemalans which rarely happens. If you would like the opportunity to participate in helping the orphanage, we have several giving opportunities available. There are many needs at the orphanage and if you would like to help with a specific need, you may call me and we can talk about such need; even if it is as simple as $50 dollars to send the kids to McDonald's (they like Pollo Campero). Donations of any amount are appreciated! We are about to start our biggest fundraising event to date which will be to raise $150,000 for the down payment of the orphanage home. We have had some very gracious homeowners rent us their homes, but after several years with 20 children running it down, it's hard for them to let us stay. We understand this, but also strongly feel that Merry Hearts and its friends after 8 years have laid a strong foundation and are in a position to raise these funds together with you and all its new friends.
I (Thomas) just returned from my 14th trip to Guatemala in January where we started construction on 7 more water wells in the hillside villages of Rodeo de Jalapa, a 3 hour drive east of Guatemala City. Merry Hearts built its 1st well in late 2017 in the village of Rodeo. I went in November 2017 with Merry Hearts board members Roy Anderson and Ben Payne and engineer, Joe Latos joined the trip. Joe was able to give the well 2 thumbs up and give us a certificate, certifying the well as a clean well. Joe was very impressed with the construction of the well, especially with no formal training on water well construction. Joe couldn't believe how Gilberto, our "Water Well Whisperer" as we called him, could have been self taught in all phases of the well; from knowing where to find water, digging the well safely, to the concrete work. What we are most excited about is that we employed and empowered the local people to do it themselves. The local men dug the well by hand with picks and shovels, 45 feet deep. Joe was shocked that this quality of work was done for less than $1,000. Joe would have charged at least $15,000 to build the well, but closer to $20,000 because of its location, the middle of no where. I must admit, it is very humbling to see people get this excited over water, but it is truly an honor to help them get it. If you would like to help, let us know.
Our Mission: To put a smile on people's hearts, even if it's only for a day!
Walking down to the new Medical Clinic built by Merry Hearts!
Aug 2013 Rodeo de Jalapa
Jan 2012 Guatemala
Children from the orphanage in Guatemala ready for school!
Jan 2012-coffee beans
The sweetest faces!
March 2013 Thomas and Ben observing the construction of the new church.
Pizza for the 1st time for the families in Rodeo de Jalapa! What a fun experience!
Eating pizza for the 1st time!
Thomas with this special little girl that comes running to meet him each visit to the village!
Mode of transportation!
Christmas bears for the children!
Hard at work!
Groundbreaking for new church Jan 2012
Typical home in the hill country of Rodeo de Jalapa
Digging the 1st water-well. 2017
Jan 2012 This is where the water came from before the well.
New soccer balls and balls for the kids!
Children from the Orphanage.
Jan 2012 coffee beans