In 2002 Nick Kanavati and George Kaniamos from St. George Greek Orthodox Church went to Guatemala to play with orphans for one week. The stories of the orphans were very tragic; most had been sexually abused, beaten, disfigured and had seen their families and friends killed in war.

Poverty is rampant as a significant percent of the population is living in metal boxes with dirt floors. There are also many children that could be seen wondering around the streets who we were told had no homes.

The Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage is a sanctuary for poor, abandoned children run by a few nuns. Without the orphanage, the children may be taken by business persons who may sell them to outsiders without proper background research for profit. The risk of being sold into the sex industry is also a big threat for children who find no loving protection.

The nuns of the orphanage create a vibrant spiritual atmosphere where the wounds caused from previous experiences can be healed. Recently, an extremely beautiful cathedral was built which will always be a source of pride and inspiration for the children and people of Guatemala.

For more information visit the orphanage's website below:

Missions to Guatemala are organized by St. Mary Greek Orthodox Church.