This week’s Snapshot Challenge is meant to honor someone very special. I wrote about her a little over a month ago on a few of my blog posts about training for the Miami Half Marathon. This week’s Snapshot Challenge is in honor of Leonor Portela, who is more affectionately known as Mami Leo.
Mami Leo was born in Cuba and moved to Miami, where she married her husband. He served as a pilot in the American Air Force, but he was unfortunately killed in action. Shortly thereafter, Mami Leo saw the devastating after-effects of 1976 earthquake in Guatemala and all of the abandoned children on television and decided to do something about it. She sold her house, paid off her debts, and with only $2,000 to her name, she moved to the poverty-stricken city of Sumpango, Guatemala and built a home for children in need.
Mami Leo started her home with only six children she rescued from garbage dumps in the city, and since then, she has saved thousands of children to date. There are currently over one hundred children living in Misioneros Del Camino, and there is a neurological center on site, which provides various therapies to children from across the country with neurological disorders. The therapies include speech, sensorial, psychological, occupational, physical, and others, and they are completely free of charge to their families, paid for solely by donations. The goal of Misioneros Del Camino is not just to provide a shelter to children in need and to feed them, nor is it to provide therapies to children with disabilities and send them on their way. The goal is to provide a home to these children and give them something they did not previously have. And that is the gift of love.
These weekly Snapshot Challenges are meant to showcase surrounding beauty in its natural form so that we can learn to better appreciate life’s treasurers. Mami Leo is an incredible woman with a beautiful soul. She dedicated her life to providing a future to the younger generations in Guatemala, and has changed the lives of thousands of children. Unfortunately, Mami Leo’s health has recently been declining, so I kindly ask that everyone please take a minute to pray for this remarkable heroine. Thank you all.