Donate to the Orphans
The Birth of Soul Shine Village
A few years ago, while searching for unique fabrics for saddle pads and bags, in a small village nestled on a beautiful lake in a remote area of Guatemala, I happened to come across a tiny kiosk that had the most beautifully embroidered patterns on tiny swatches of fabric. Upon investigating the origins of these swatches I learned that the patterns had been created by orphans whose parents had been killed in a hurricane. I felt an immediate need to contribute and help these orphans, as well as the country that enabled me to gather these wondrous fabrics. An orphanage! That was the immediate thought that entered my head. I would be able to create direct involvement and not be a part of someone else’s creation. An orphanage would also allow me to be certain that any contributions would be going directly to the people in need.
Upon returning to America, I tried, in vain to have someone help me find these children, to no avail. Two weeks later I returned to Guatemala, and the kiosk. After a long tortuous ride through the jungle, we came upon a remote village, where the 52 orphans lived. They were skinny and ill-clothed. They were living in huts with dirt floors and no running water or electricity.
I immediately went back to “civilization.” Then I bought food and supplies and employed some locals and their trucks to bring my purchases back to the children.
I found my cause! Souls Shine Village was founded!!
That was two years ago….and we have fed them, brought them over 400 pairs of little shoes (thank you Spirit airlines for flying them free!), soccer balls, medicines and most of all our smiles (provided by them). They only spoke Mayan (50 dialects are spoken throughout the country) and we were able to get them books so that they might go to school, learn Spanish and work, hopefully throughout the country. This is a project that remains in progress and has many aspects that need to be completed and financed. However, Soul Shine does donate a portion of each product purchased to the assisting the village.
I am ever so grateful and thankful to all the wonderful people that have donated their money, time, shoes, medicines, skills and love to this ongoing project.
We also have begun a horse rescue program to help horses that are left in the street, as families cannot afford to feed them. Volunteers have assembled to train, rehabilitate, and bring the horses back to good health. Additionally, we have been working to find kind owners with the proper means to keep them. We have also been able to give owners and the horses jobs in the tourism industry.
When donating directly, every penny goes to their food.
It is the most gratifying thing I have ever done …. After playing with children and helping them for hours, each time I leave gives me hope of their bright future. There is nothing more beautiful and heart touching as seeing the light in their eyes and their smiles of gratitude as they run with our truck to the gate yelling, “goodbye, gracias.” These children are not the hopeless, impoverished orphans of Guatemala, they are the beautiful sons and daughters of the future of Soul Shine.
We all leave with full hearts and tears in our eyes.