Our last team to Guatemala was in November of 2019. That seems impossible but it's true. The primary focus of the team was a pediatric medical clinic that was hugely successful. However, that wasn't the only seed that was planted that week in the community of San Nicolas.
Wanda King has been going to Guatemala with Caroline's Promise for years. We can always count on her to bring hand sanitizer, goodie bags that she and her sister make for everyone, and lots of love! One of the things I love most about Wanda is that she is willing to step in and do anything that is asked of her. A few weeks before this trip she asked if she could bring a set of hair cutting supplies. I didn't know if there was a need, but I knew that Wanda felt strongly that she should bring them and so I said "of course!" Little did we know the impact that one idea would make.
Wanda spent most of that week teaching our partner, Monica how to cut hair. We quickly realized that because San Nicolas is so isolated and no-one is trained to give haircuts, the need is great. Monica took right to the skills that Wanda taught her and especially enjoyed their time together. Once we left she started giving haircuts to people in the community. Before long she and Rodrigo asked if Caroline's Promise would support their idea to teach people in the community. And we said "Of course!"
You have to know that Caroline's Promise doesn't have money sitting around for projects like this. When we are approached about a need or an idea, we always ask our partners to do their research and present a budget and then we look for individuals in the States who can raise funds. One of the easiest ways to do this has been through Facebook Birthday Fundraisers. It's amazing how someone asking for a donation on their birthday leads to the funding of new projects!Caroline's Promise Board Member, Stephanie DiMora asked what she should focus on for her Facebook Birthday Fundraiser and I knew right away that with her heart for jobs skills training and business development, the San Nicolas Salon & School would be a perfect fit. Stephanie's friends supported the fundraiser and within a month Rodrigo and Monica were teaching classes in their new salon.
Stephanie's friend, Sandy shared with us why she chose to support this FB Birthday Fundraiser:
"It's one thing - and often necessary - to give toward immediate needs in charity. What I find more impactful is investing in activities that help break the cycle of poverty. That's why I believe strongly in empowering Guatemalan women through support of their micro businesses."