Champions Guatamala

Champions Guatamala

Champions Guatemala officially began operations in 2010. Champions Guatemala focuses on an intensive, one-year mentorship program to establish a foundation of faith for the kids, set them on the right path and plant the seeds of transformation. The Guatemala mentorship program is based on four pillars of transformation: soccer camps to kick off the mentorship year, weekly mentorship time, soccer league and a mentor school to continue investing in our mentors.

Where We Work

Champions Guatemala works in 9 communities: San Juan Sacatepequez, San Lorenzo Chimaltenango,  El Frutal, in the city of Ciudad Quetzal – the neighborhoods of La Estrella, Carranza and Colinas and in the central part of the city – the communities of La Verbena, Quinta Samayoa, and Zone 3. Our boys program is focused on youth ages 12-14 and our girls program is for ages 13-16. We also have a growing young adult program for our older boys ages 15-18.

Champions in Action focuses its work in areas designated as ‘red zones’, communities written off by society for the large amounts of violence, poverty, crime, addiction and gang presence. Many who live in red zones have lost hope of breaking the cycles that they grew up in.

During COVID-19, these vulnerable red zone families were disproportionately affected when the pandemic hit Guatemala. Many, who depended on public transportation to get to work, were no longer able to do so with the lockdown restrictions. Businesses closed, workers were laid off or forced to accept deep salary reductions in order to keep their jobs. As a result, 93% of families came to depend on the Champions in Action monthly food bags for the majority of their food. 80% of families lost jobs or had reduced salaries and, one month into reopening, 74% of these families have yet to find a way to supplement the lost income.

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MENTORSHIP HOURS

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TEAMS IN LEAGUE

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TOTAL # OF CAMPS

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KIDS THROUGH THE PROGRAM

Champions in Action mentors average 4 hours of weekly mentorship time with each of the kids on their team. Our biweekly soccer leagues are, not only a safe, quality place for kids to play the game they love, but also provide additional devotion and mentorship time for the kids and mentors. Normally, league provides double the mentorship hours as their weekly meet-ups.

During COVID-19, our mentors have served as the hands and feet of the Lord, providing hope and encouragement to the kids and their families. Champions in Action has provided monthly food bags to all families in the program, delivered by the mentors who also encourage and pray for the families. Our mentors have also been key to our Guatemala staff in letting us know what is happening in the communities, in real time, so Champions in Action can quickly respond to specific needs, like suicide risks, malnutrition and access to medicine. We’ve also created a virtual league, distance mentoring projects and are continually evaluating the economic and health needs of each individual family.

Champions in Action Guatemala has governing oversight by a local, Guatemalan Board of Directors. The Guatemala location leadership is led by Executive Director, Airo Cruz. Angel Matías is our Guatemalan mentor coordinator. He is responsible for recruiting and training mentors, overseeing discipleship training and devotions and serving as a liaison and ‘pastor’ to the mentors. Beberlin Clara is the sports coordinator, training our mentors in proper coaching technique, overseeing league and camp soccer training.