The statistics below paint a picture of the everyday life for many Guatemalans due to the devastating effects of poverty:

  • It is estimated there are more than 370,000 orphans in Guatemala
  • Approximately 5,000 homeless children live on the streets of Guatemala City due to abandonment and the effects of poverty
  • The chronic malnutrition rate for children under 5 is 50%  – the highest in the region and the fourth highest in the world
  • Guatemala is one of the 36 countries in the world which account for 90% of the world’s stunting
  • Chronic malnutrition in indigenous areas can reach 70%
  • 53% of Guatemala’s population lives in poverty – 13% in extreme poverty
  • Illiteracy rates in indigenous women reach almost 60%
  • The effects of malnutrition are severe and include developmental disabilities, stunted growth and lowered IQ scores

In 2008, Orphan’s Heart partnered with Colonia Infantil (Centro Educativo Rehabilatación Nutrición (CERN)), a malnutrition center in San Juan, to help meet the needs of children suffering from malnutrition by providing financial and administrative support and approximately 35 mission teams per year.  The center currently has more than 100 children in its care ranging from newborn to 10 years of age.  With so many children in care, in various stages of malnutrition, there is much work to be done!

Orphan’s Heart mission teams will provide assistance to the center’s full-time national staff by helping with maintenance projects, providing medical care to children and staff, changing diapers, bathing children, helping feed children, and nurturing spiritual development through Bible stories, singing, crafts and games.  Imagine being part of a team helping a four month old baby who only weighs four pounds gain strength and be nursed back to health!

Would you consider joining Orphan’s Heart in being the hands and feet of Christ by serving some of the most amazing children in the world?  For more information please contact Howard Hooper at or Stephanie Shermeta at  To view trip dates please CLICK HERE for our Calendar of Upcoming Trips.