The work of Guatemala Hope is to support the work of the priest for the parish of Santo Domingo, Fr. Hugo, and to provide resources for the communities in the area that we serve.
There are 26 villages in the parish of Santo Domingo and we provide outreach when we are there to four villages - El Triunfo, Guajilote, Los Tiestos and Esperanza. If a Spanish speaking priest accompanies our group, daily mass is said in one of the communities. Often the visiting priest will hear confessions, as well as do baptisms and confirmations.
In 2003 the original church in El Triunfo was in really poor condition and becoming a danger to its members. When we arrived the next year it had collapsed and there was no building available for the community.
When Larry Elliott, a resident of Belle River, became aware of the situation he decided to start a campaign to raise money for a new building. Guatemala Hope used these funds to build this chapel in 2005.
With such a large parish, the priest can only get to the villages a few times a year. In his absence the Catholic community depends on the involvement of the catechist for the church. Their role is to lead prayer services, prepare children for first communion and families for baptism. Part of our work involves supporting the catechists in their work, whether it is to enable them to attend training meetings or to have the resources available to conduct their work.