Padrino Program FAQs

    We know you might have some questions about our Padrino Program (sponsor). Popular questions are addressed below; please feel free to browse. If you still have doubts or would like to inquire in further detail, do not hesitate to contact our Sponsorship Program Coordinator at padrino@ninosdeguatemala.org.

    What is my monthly contribution used for?

    Your contribution covers all educational expenses of the child, such as books, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons and all lesson materials used at school. It also gives him or her soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Additionally, with your contribution, you also cover two nutritious meals a day, as well as part of the teacher’s salary and support the running costs of the school. All contributions go directly to the school and they do not serve to cover any overhead costs.

    How frequently can I have contact with my sponsored child (Ahijado)?

    As frequently as you want: you can write your sponsored child as much as you want and the Sponsorship Program will translate and bring the messages to the child. They will then help him or her write you a response and send it back along with pictures. Besides that, you will receive updates on his or her performance in school two times a year. You will get his or her grades, a birthday reminder and a Christmas card. After you become a sponsor you will receive a picture and some personal information concerning your Ahijdado.

    Is it a problem if I don’t speak Spanish?

    Not at all – there is absolutely no problem if you don’t speak Spanish. You can communicate in English and our Sponsorship Program Assistant will translate all messages for you.

    How do I send a message?

    The most common way is to email any messages or pictures to the Sponsorship Program Manager. These messages are then translated and written down on a card before they are handed over to the child. We will also print any pictures that you send in your email. Less common, but also possible, is to write a postcard or a letter and send it by airmail to the office of Niños de Guatemala. However please note that air mail takes a long time to arrive to Guatemala, especially when it is sent from Europe, and it is not always the most reliable way to deliver messages.

    What should I write?

    The students at our schools are very interested in the lives of people that are not from their ‘neighborhood’. So whether you live in Guatemala, the U.S. or Europe, imagine that everything you tell your ahijdado is going to be fascinating to him or her. You can start by writing about your house, your family, where you’re from, what you do for fun, where you work or what you do on the weekend.

    Will I get a response?

    Will I get a response?
    Once the Manager receives an email, letter, or picture, she will print it out and bring it to the school. She will help the child read it and write a response for you. She will then scan the response, drawing, and picture and send it back to you as soon as possible. If you do not wish to specifically correspond with the child, you will still receive general school updates and a Christmas card.

    Can I give presents?

    Yes, you can. In order to ensure equal treatment to all our children, we limit the number of presents you can send your sponsored child to two per year: one for Christmas and another one for their birthday. For the same reason we kindly ask you not to spend more than 10 euros or $15 on each present.  If you are not in Guatemala then you can ask the Sponsorship Program Manager to buy it here for you. Please contact us at padrino@ninosdeguatemala.org for more details on how to give presents.

    Is it possible to arrange a visit?

    Absolutely! If you are coming to Guatemala you can let the Sponsorship Program Manager know and they will set up a meeting with your sponsored child. This meeting will be arranged at the school and the Sponsorship Program Manager will be present at all times to ensure easy communication.

    Does the child’s family know that I exist?

    Yes. As soon as you become a child’s sponsor we inform his/her family about it, without disclosing any personal information. All our families are aware of the Sponsorship Program and are very pleased to know that their child is being sponsored. After you finish your application and a child has been assigned, our Soctact with him or her.

    What is the difference between being a regular or an anonymous sponsor?

    The only difference between the two is that an anonymous sponsor is not directly linked to a child at the school, since there is no personal contact. As an anonymous sponsor, you cover the costs of the education of one child without receiving personal correspondence. Of course you can get general updates about the school if you would like.
    Social Work Department contacts the family and fully explains the details of what the Sponsorship entails.

    How long does the application process take?

    This process is handled along with our Social Work Department to ensure that the children that are most in need are sponsored first. For this reason, it might take between 7 to 10 days to receive the child’s profile. We kindly ask for your patience and understanding.

    For how long am I expected to be a Padrino?

    For as long as you want! We usually ask sponsors to commit to at least one school year, but we hope that you will follow the progress of your sponsored child until he/she finishes school, and maybe even until they go to college!

    What happens if my ahijdado stops attending school?

    It does not happen very often (we have outstanding retention rates) but if it does (mainly due to relocation) we will be happy to assign you another child that will be happy to receive your support.

    What if I don’t want to have contact with a child?

    Then you can be an anonymous sponsor. You will cover the expenses of a child’s education, and continue to make a change in his or her life, but without having any personal contact.

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