Not Just an Orphanage, But a Sanctuary and a Home

For those of you who have been keeping up with my blog recently, you know that I just returned from a medical missionary trip to Guatemala. And for those of you who haven’t been keeping up with my blog, well, I just returned from a medical missionary trip to Guatemala. Having traveled with some of the most well-respected doctors in the country and a great group of volunteers, we brought medical attention to those in need in Sumpango, Sacatepéquez (Guatemala). During this incredible four-night, five-day trip, we stayed in an orphanage called Misioneros Del Camino. The story is as follows:

Leonor Portela was widowed with a six month old son in 1961, when her husband, Captain Jose A. Crespo’s military airplane crashed into the ocean. Three days after the devastating earthquake in Guatemala on February 4, 1976 which left 23,000 dead and 100,000 injured, Leonor traveled to Guatemala to care for the victims of the earthquake.

While in Guatemala, she felt a calling from God to help the poor children of that country, so in 1986, with the $2,700 she had raised with her prayer group, she moved to Guatemala to open a Home for the children.

Since then, Leonor, also known as Mami Leo has saved hundreds of kids from the garbage, sides of streets, and those who have been dropped off at the orphanage. Misioneros Del Camino is home to orphaned, abandoned, and malnourished children of Guatemala. The Home offers them a healthy environment to grow in, where they receive love and an education. This prepares them to become productive citizens of the society thus breaking the cycle of ignorance, poverty, and abuse.

Misioneros Del Camino also homes a neurological clinic on site, which helps treat children with various neurological disorders including autism, down syndrome, learning disabilities, attention defect disorders, and many more. Considered the best clinic of its kind in Guatemala, parents from America even send their children here for treatment! The clinic offers seven different therapies per child including speech, vocational, occupational, and others as well. There are currently one hundred and fifty kids being treated in the clinic, with a waiting list of over a hundred more. Treatments, medication, and transportation are all provided, free of charge, thanks to donations.

Misioneros Del Camino provides children with love and kindness, something they have never been accustomed to before. Because of all Mami Leo’s hard work and dedication, these children will grow up and make a difference in the world, because someone was kind enough to make a difference in theirs. Feel free to visit the website and check it out for yourself, but I wanted to devote a whole blog post about this home and sanctuary because it has made such a difference in the lives of our future generations, and is definitely a cause worth fighting for. http://misionerosdelcamino.org/eng/index.htm

Papucho came to the orphanage and his only means of getting around was crawling on his arms. With the necessary therapies, he can now walk and is beginning to work on speaking as well!

Some of the most amazing kids you’ll ever meet in your life!

Mami Leo and some of her incredible children!

Alfonso and his twin brother Sergio came to the orphanage as kids, unable to walk or speak due to the severity of their mental retardation. However, after lots of various therapies, they can now walk, run, dance, speak, and sing!

12 comments on “Not Just an Orphanage, But a Sanctuary and a Home

  1. Simply wonderful!!!! I adore that you were able to share in all that. Amazing.

  2. Rhonda says:

    Such an uplifting post. You are blessed to have been witness to such grace. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. Roshni says:

    You have done such a wonderful thing by spending time and doing what you can for those kids. 🙂 Sometimes, small deeds can go a long way in changing people’s lives. This was a very inspiring post.

    • danbalva says:

      Thanks Roshni, it means a lot! And those kids have helped me and my fellow volunteers grow just as much so we’re the ones who truly benefited from the trip!

  4. itssrijana says:

    a very inspiring post 😀

  5. “they provide children with love and kindness” says it all….what all human beings desire and need to heal
    what a wonderful post!

  6. Bob Othman says:

    Great job, Dan. You are truly on to something very worthwhile. I envy you 🙂

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