What is Grace Centre?
Grace Centre is a Christian faith based organization that strengthens impoverished communities in Guatemala, partnering with local organizations to improve the quality of life among people through health initiatives. We support building projects and ongoing programs in response to the express needs of the communities.
The Grace Centre, a nonprofit organization, was co-founded in 2006 by Padre Mario Ochoa, a member of the Missionary Fraternity of Mary, along with a group of concerned Minnesotans who wanted to help provide basic necessities such as clean water, basic nutrition and adequate health care to the people in the communities of Guatemala.
In 2010, in collaboration with the people of San Pedro, Guatemala and Our Lady of Rosary parish, Grace Centre built a new water plant – adjacent to the church – which provides clean drinking water for the people in the surrounding community.
From there, Grace Centre, once again partnering with the people of San Pedro Ayampuc and the Sangre de Cristo Health Care Project, built a one-story medical clinic near the site of the water treatment plant, which features a larger waiting area, a pre-consult room and two consultation rooms, a pharmacy and storage rooms. The community celebrated the opening and dedication of the La Leyenda Clinic in November, 2011.
Grace Centre has also been integral in building a clinic and funding a health and nutrition program in San Jose Nacahuil, the Mayan Kachiquel community which Padre Mario now serves. Project AK’ASLEN (Our Life) is helping to feed children and provide milk with a regular nutritional program and also offers daily clinic and pharmacy hours. Grace Centre continues to financially support these programs.
What we take for granted, is sacred to them…
The harsh living conditions where Grace Centre’s work is focused within Guatemala present a steady demand of needs which requires monetary assistance and we are called to reach out to individuals who have abundant to small resources to share with our mission.
For the poorest of the poor in Guatemala, your donation will go far and is overwhelmingly making a difference in lives and is appreciated beyond measure. Each and every contribution will extend healing and hope by providing clean water and community-based health programs to severely impoverished locations of Guatemala.
Without volunteer contributions and monetary donations to help strengthen our foundation and the mission of Grace Centre, the needs of unhealthy and malnourished children, and entire families will go un-addressed.
Please consider donating to bring vital services and love to a worthwhile child or individual who relies on your care to provide basic necessities which are sacred to them, ones we often take for granted.
Why Health Care?
Every year, malnutrition and lack of basic health care claim millions of lives. We are trying to make a difference starting in small communities in Guatemala by partnering with other organizations and community leaders to bring simple solutions like clean water, basic health care facilities, and community health initiatives to get people healthy again and save lives.
Health & Sanitation
Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. (source) Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses. 90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are children under five years old. (source) Many of these diseases are preventable. The WHO reports that over 3.6% of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. (source)
Chronic malnutrition results in disease, infections, brain stunting, and in the most tragic cases, death. Eighty-five percent of Guatemalan children who die of malnutrition are five years of age or younger. Our programs serve this vulnerable group who suffer the most from lack of food and clean water.
The reasons for chronic malnutrition in Guatemala are based on several factors:
- poverty and income inequality
- increased price of food like beans and eggs
- poor access or non-existent electricity and running water
- lack of clean water