Caras Alegres is an NGO that focuses on children in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Xela, Las Rosas (Zone 5). Las Rosas is an impoverished neighbourhood where the majority of families live at or below the poverty line. This lack of economic opportunities contributes to problems such as alcoholism, teenage-pregnancies, and limited healthcare, etc. For this reason, we strive to support and empower the community of Las Rosas every day.
Our beneficiaries: We partner directly with 62 families, providing basic needs and educational opportunities; families that would otherwise not have them. Indirectly, around 230 people benefit from our activities.
Our mission: To improve the general welfare and position of children and families living in poverty, neglect and personal desintegration in Las Rosas, Quetzaltenango.
Our vision: To combat the negative effects of poverty and give children and their families a positive outlook towards the future.
OUR PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS
Caras Alegres Tarde: This program is the core of our activities. From Monday to Thursday we open up our doors in the afternoon for children between 5 and 14 from the neighbourhood. We do sports, handicrafts and play different games with the children. One of the key motivations behind this program is the fact that it maintains up to 85 children of the streets.
Comedor Comunitario Infantil: The Community Lunch Room is our most recent project. It functions as an extension to Caras Alegres Tarde. 52 children are enrolled, and they come from Monday to Thursday to eat a nutritious lunch. The main incentive behind this project is the high levels of malnutrition among the children we attend.
Other Activities: We also manage a sponsorship program, celebrate birthdays once a month, hand out backpacks in the beginning of every school year, among other things.
Alongside our strong working team, we rely on volunteers to bring another set of hands, fresh ideas, outside perspectives, and a new sense of fun to our programs. We are always happy to accept volunteers from all over the world, with various levels of Spanish, experience, and availability.
Volunteering with Caras Alegres can be a rich, rewarding experience – it all depends on your expectations and what you put in to the projects – you get what you give!
These are the basic characteristics that we look for in a volunteer, but what is truly important is your passion for the project! So if you do not meet all the criteria below, but you can see yourself making a big impact in our organization, contact us! We would love to hear from you.
Age: 18 years minimum
Availability: 3 week minimum time commitment
Time: January to November
Qualities: We a looking for someone who is a good team member, responsible, and committed to our mission and vision – someone who can follow directions but is ready to have fun!
Experience: Past experience in relevant fields is preferred, but not required. Relevant work or volunteer experience may include teaching, childcare, marketing, administration, social media, graphic design, project work, and grant writing.
Spanish Level: A basic level of Spanish is required. Exceptions can be made depending on the amount of time a volunteer commits to the program.
Contribution: We ask for a small contribution of Q150 (20USD) per volunteer to support our programs.