:::Organization Spotlight::: Lemonade International {Guatemala}

 

Guatemala and Lemonade International

Guatemala is a country of stark contrasts and diversity. From the cool, mountainous highlands to the humid, tropical jungles, one can find both pine trees and palms, deer and howler monkeys, active volcanoes and blue-green ocean shores. It’s called the “land of eternal spring,” but for all its beauty, the landscape also feels harsh and rugged. After visiting Guatemala for the first time in 2004, I reflected on how all of these descriptions of the natural landscape are mirrored also in its people and the history that has shaped their culture–harsh, diverse, and deeply beautiful.

As I’ve studied and traveled over the years, I’ve come across numerous organizations that are doing development work in many different areas of the country. While I know that Guatemala today faces significant crime and gang violence, I am continually reminded of the hope that remains through inspiring leaders who are rising up in their communities, working for change.

One of the organizations that I’ve been profoundly inspired by is Lemonade International. I continue to be blown away by their leadership and direction and love for the community–it’s overwhelmingly beautiful. In addition to the leaders’ commitment and passion for the local community, this organization has a solid foundation when it comes to development principles, spiritual foundation, and financial transparency.

“Tita and her team in Guatemala consider La Limonada a ‘cathedral on the streets’—a place where God dwells and where heaven meets earth. It is a place where ‘holy moments’ are experienced every day. As Tita says, ‘It’s a beautiful place. I can sit at the edge of La Limonada, and all I smell is hope…and I like it.'”

The Community

Much of Lemonade International’s work focuses on community development through education, vocational training, and supporting small businesses. The leaders and staff are continually present in the community of La Limonada, which is a community in the heart of Guatemala City. It is in the “Red Zone,” which means that it is in one of the poorest and most dangerous areas of the city. Built in a ravine and home to more than 60,000 people, it is considered to be the largest urban slum in Central America. (Learn more here.)

In addition to the long-term development work that Lemonade International is doing, they are also responding to situations where relief is needed (check out this post for more on the difference between relief and development). They have started a Community Relief Fund to be able to respond to these urgent, unexpected needs in the community.

How You Can Help

I know you have a lot of things vying for your time, energy, and finances. I totally get it–it’s impossible to do everything. But you don’t have to be overwhelmed by All The Things that come at us everyday–try to be informed, give in small ways to important issues, and dig deep in your area of passion.

Here’s one small way you can help in less than 10 minutes today:

  • Watch this beautiful video {2 1/2 minutes}
  • Visit the Community Relief page and click “Donate” to make a donation of $10 or more (you can also do a monthly gift to provide ongoing support). {4 minutes}
  • Share this post or the video on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or more to help spread the word. {3 minutes}

A huge THANK YOU! If you’d love to dig even deeper and support this organization more, see all the ways you can get involved here.

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