Hello, my name is Claudia Ordóñez, and I´ve been part of the Project Somos team for ten years now. I am married, I have two girls and live in Tecpan.
Over the years I have been privileged to see how Somos has grown and evolved, always trying to reach as many people as possible, working with love in the full meaning of the word.
Somos has made a big impact in so many people of all ages. Men and women have found a job opportunity that allows them to provide their families a better life. Women discovering their skills and getting a pay for what they do. So proud of their achievements. And the most lovely part of what Somos does is reaching out to children.
I think some of you have read the stories Heather shares about the children. For me it is not difficult to relate with those stories because I myself come from a home where my mom, as a nurse assistant did her best to provide us (my two brothers and I) love, time, a roof, food and education.
The best she could provide us in the good times was one egg a day and during the difficult times beans and green leaves. Hardly ever a piece of bread or a serving of fruit that we so many times take for granted. Chicken or meat twice a year. My mom is the person I admire the most in my life. I admire her for so many reason but here I want to address to her dream for us: Education. She had so clear that education would take us out of the place we were and would provide us a better future and she was so right. She continued studying, became an accountant, then a profesional nurse and then studied at University.
Education was my mom´s non negotiable. Public School and no resources. But there was a dream. So, for me, seeing what Somos is pursuing for children by providing love, a safe place, a hot meal, education is so familiar to me.
Heather takes pictures and give them to families in the community, beautiful pictures. Memories that fill their hearts. When I was Little we couldn´t afford to have a camera, therefore we don´t have many pictures from our childhood. I understand how much those pictures mean to the families
And books. No children books at home. Only magazines and a few novels. That was how the three of us got the love for reading. I remember my mom reading to us stories and we loved that time together. So, when I see children here immersed in their reading, enjoying their books I feel my heart full of joy for the privilege they have to Access to so many beaufitul books. And a teacher who sits with them and listens to them. I remember going to my school library and because very few children liked to go, some books were almost new. I still remember the smell of those new books. Teachers did not encouraged us to read, actually when we had the time of reading, the teachers would disappear and left us alone, sadly but that was and still is the reality in Guatemala.
I could go on and talk about clothing, shoes, Christmas. I think I have a personal story for everything we do for children here.
I see the children here, playing, eating, safe, receiving love, a huge green área to play, a playground, table games, paints, crayons, markers, loving teachers. I see it all and I can see the contrast with all I did not have as a child and still, with the Little I received it was so much and got my two brothers and I out of the place we were and led us to a better future, one of my brothers is studying to become a Mathematician, my other brother is a Professor in one of the most prestigious universities in Guatemala and I became an auditor and accountant, all bilingual and we all have a life my mom could only dream of 46 years ago.
And all through these years we have angels on earth, people willing to help us individually and as a family. We wouldn´t be here without those amazing people, I am so greatful for them.
I am sharing all this because we have here, at Somos seeds. Our children are seeds and we dream for a better life for them. We can see changes now, and I hope we can see in a few years what a difference it made in their lives, their famiies and when they have their own families. We are investing in the best part of our community, children. They cannot measure the impact each single day is making, how each single day we all are building a better future for them.
Somos is not only Education, it is love, it is an extended family for them. They know they belong, they are part of a family who cares for them.
Pictured above: Claudia and her daughters
As the African Proverb reads: “it takes a village to raise a child”, a community and that´s what we aim to do here every day.
For me Somos is a safe place where to be, to work, to develop my own skills and grow both personally and professionally. And now my two girls, 5 and 6 years old are coming to the Project with me and they totally love it. They feel so happy with the children here, even though Covid restrictions do not allow them to play closely – children are amazing. They have managed to play and be happy.
And soon, in the coming weeks we will be sharing with you stories from the staff, you will get to know more about them and the work they do, this will be called the Village Voices.
We are very thankful for the amazing, loving and caring donors we have.
Thank you very much for your generosity and being part of the Project Somos family!