San Cristóbal Projects

The family’s prior home

Many families or mothers with their children live in such dwellings.


Approximately, 22,000 people live in the town of San Cristobal.

The town offers some families from the even poorer surrounding area the hope of firm structures in their difficult lives. The children normally live with their families in overcrowded and precarious housing. Without a proper home, the families struggle to obtain supplies of essentials, like food and warm clothing. As a result, the children tend to suffer throughout their childhood from conditions such as malnutrition.

In order to achieve long-term, stable and independent living conditions, especially for single mothers, we acquired plots of land on the outskirts of San Cristobal and built on them. The houses that are built come equip with basic facilities and a collection water tank. Over the recent years, we have been able to provide 14 houses, with their own piece of land, to families that are in need.

The price of one plot of land varies between €3,000 and €5,000, the construction of a house is €7,500 and the equipment costs €1650.

One house, 95 square meters in size, consists of three rooms, a brick worktop with extractor and a bathroom. It includes doors and windows, as well as a gutter to collect water. We work together with a local constructor and his small team. These costs also include; the levelling of the land; the production of land ownership documents; as well as the fees for all legal and bureaucratic procedures.

For the future, Progua wishes to construct even more houses to help other families who are in need. These homes can then be kept in their family’s name, also providing secure housing for the generations to come.

Currently, we are wanting to build a water well, to provide a constant supply of safe running water to the newly built houses.

The orphanage currently looks after 40 children.


The children come from unstructured families and particularly difficult backgrounds. Orphans, disabled children, abandoned children, abused children, babies with AIDS or children that have been placed under the care of nuns by the court.

It is cruel and difficult to imagine the fate of these children, which take a turn for better within their new home.
Here, the children receive attention and are cared for, by people they can trust. With time, they learn how to smile again. Most of them have had traumatic experiences. If the amount donated by their sponsors allows it, a psychologist is paid for once a month, to help the children overcome their traumatic past, an illness or the loss of their parents.

The orphanage does not receive any assistance from the Guatemalan government. It is financed exclusively from donations. Four nuns, a social worker and local staff work very hard in this institution. The sisterhood tries to be fair with the affection they give to the children, but they lack time for individual dedication.

The management of the orphanage has to provide daily food, clothes, shoes, school supplies, medicines, hygiene items, etc, for all the children, so that nothing is missing. Neither Christmas, nor birthdays are celebrated with presents as the funds are barely sufficient to cover the basic needs. Sometimes celebrations are held in the simplest of forms.

In 2017 we bought two computers for the young adults. Whenever it is possible for us, we try to help the orphanage with large purchases and with the restoration of the property. We also finance medical visits, equipment, as well as surgery required for the children to improve their health.

Child labour

Without a scholarship, this child will never learn how to read and write, just like his father and grandfather.


Unfortunately, the children in Guatemala that do not receive financial support don´t have the opportunity to go to school. We believe that all children have a right to an education.

Poverty prevents education, education avoids poverty.

With a scholarship, a child in need is offered a real future.
With a good education, children have a better chance of breaking the cycle of poverty, improving their own lives and those of their families, as they have the opportunity of obtaining higher paid jobs.

Each sponsorship changes a child´s life. They often live with their parents and numerous siblings in unstable housing without electricity or running water.

A scholarship helps them get a personal recognition as well as integrity. It gives them light at the end of the tunnel.


The sisterhood runs a canteen at the orphanage, where approximately 400 children receive a warm meal every day.
This dining room was a gift from a Spanish bank La Caixa and Valencia´s city council.
The costs of running the dining hall are covered by donations, from us – Project Aid Guatemala, as well as other sources.
Organising, buying and processing the food, as well as serving 400 meals a day requires large funds and lots of work.

However, this is not a problem when seeing the children smile.

The majority of the children in San Cristobal work on the fields, in the markets, or on the streets as shoe cleaners.
Without the right to stay, the sprawling villages and families are at the mercy of the state. Large families live in overcrowded and poor housing conditions. Their homes are made of plastic tarpaulin built on damp clay floors. The two staple foods, maize and beans, are grown under very poor conditions. This is everything they eat on a daily basis, which leads to a very one-sided and unhealthy diet for the whole family.


The sisterhood is an integral part of the community in San Cristobal. Over the years they have gotten to know all families living in the surrounding area, their history, as well as the conditions they are living in.
They are open, interested and give moral and practical life support for the overwhelmed families. Many fathers leave their wives and children behind, as they search for a new life. The sisterhood helps take care of the broken families that is left behind and supports them, so that they can get back on their feet.

We finance food and clothing, as well as hygiene products from general donations, as often as we can. The beneficiaries are the children in care, the economically unstable families and the indigenous communities within the surrounding area. The quantity and the content of the products are adapted to the respective recipient. The distribution of the donations is carried out according to strict regulations, in which the following factors are taken into account: how big is the family? What are the living conditions? Is there someone that earns a stable income in the family? Are one or more children allowed to go to school? etc.

The fairest possible allocation of the limited aid supplies creates a regular headache for the social worker, Iris. However, the aid packages prove very helpful for all recipients, helping improve their everyday struggle.

When we are on site, we have the chance to deliver the supplies personally. Every time we do this, it is very moving to see how grateful the families are receiving our support.

For the godparents, it is also possible to donate money for these or other things. On request, the social worker can get a picture of the sponsored child´s family and then report what is urgently needed.

Kenial e.V. supports, together with athletes, children´s help projects all around the world.

In December 2018, two volunteers from Kenial brought in kind contributions, mainly sport shoes, to the children´s orphanage in San Cristobal.

Our team, from Project Aid Guatemala e.V are very grateful to have found such a committed partner.

The project of Kenial is shown on this website:


Access to primary health care is very limited in Guatemala.

In developing countries, millions of people die every year of illnesses that could be prevented or easily cured. In poor countries, there is a lack of public health services and the majority of people don´t have health insurance. Medicines and doctor visits are unaffordable for most.

People on average income, in developing countries, cannot afford good medication, which is why they often go with cheaper alternatives, often fake medication, that causes further damage to their health.

As often as we can, we finance urgent surgeries as well as medication from donations. In recent years, a boy has been saved from going blind; a little girl has had an ear operation; a poorly performed emergency amputation of a boy has been corrected by another operation; two girls suffering from AIDS have been provided with the correspondent medication; prostheses have been financed for several children; an older woman has had kidney stones removed. etc.


In agreement with our trusted local representatives, we try to provide continuous, but also spontaneous help. We would love to grow further, so that we can tackle even more tasks, alleviating even more suffering.

We use your donations for things that we take for granted.