On the outskirts of Quetzeltenango (also known as Xela), a small private orphanage is tucked away in the shadow of flower-covered cliffs. If you didn’t know where it was, you’d be hard-pressed to find it behind the cinderblock retaining wall that looks like every other cinderblock retaining wall on the busy winding road. But just behind the metal gates lies a place of respite and healing for children removed from abusive situations.
Lourdes and Teresa, the two sisters who run Cerecaif, moved from Mexico with their parents to start the orphanage almost 7 years ago. It’s not been an easy road, and the needs always seem to outweigh the contributions. But in the past year, Orphan Outreach has “adopted” this special place, and has introduced it to new friends in the United States. Much-needed improvements are now being made – one church has provided funding for electrical improvements and another has purchased livestock. A small playground has been built, and a commercial oven has been installed.
Four members of our team have been to Cerecaif before – and it was those members who told Orphan Outreach about the unique home. So for us, returning to see the swings and chickens and “bakery” was a joy beyond words. We brought new stock pots, a microwave, kitchen utensils, and lots of paint to continue to refurbish the kitchen that serves the children and caregivers three times a day, seven days a week.
We’ve been asked to return to Cerecaif in May 2011, to help Lourdes and Teresa with their 7th anniversary celebration. Not only would it be a time of rejoicing, it would also provide an opportunity to teach the older girls how to bake and decorate cakes – a skill that could be used to secure a good job. There’s also great need for men to visit Cerecaif (I wrote about the need in “Exposed”), to help teach the boys maintenance skills and show Godly love to all the kids.
If you are interested in joining GuateTeam in May 2011, please send us an email. We’d love to tell you all about the precious orphanage in the shadow of the cliffs.