Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When was the orphanage started and by whom?
A. The orphanage was begun in 1998 by two sisters who are Sisters (Nuns) who came to Guatemala from Barcelona. Their Order is as Missionaries to Disenfranchised Children.
Q. How did the American involvement with the orphanage happen?
A. In 1999 ten members of a medical mission team from the U.S. were driven into a remote Guatemalan area to bring some aid to the children of a small orphanage. They found 18 young (oldest was 3) orphaned or abandoned children living in cramped quarters with only the barest of necessities.
Q. How did Casa de Angeles come to be?
A. In 2000 members of that medical team formed a 501©3 foundation dedicated to building a home where these beautiful children, and many more like them, could thrive, grow and learn. That was the genesis of the Casa de Angeles Foundation.
Q. What is the makeup of the Board of Directors?
A. The members of the Board (and its lawyer) are all individuals who visited the orphanage in Guatemala, had their hearts captured by the children, and who have dedicated themselves to raising the funds necessary to build and operate the orphanage.
Q. How many children are in the orphanage now (2014)?
A. The orphanage grew to be a home to more than 100 children, but due to a government policy removing children from orphanages, in 2020 we have 85 children.
Q. Are the children in the orphanage available for adoption?
A. For legal and cultural reasons the children are not available for adoption. The orphanage will be their home until they finish their education or are married and ready to start their own family and home.
Q. What about the education of the children.
A. The 4 and 5 year olds are in preschool (one of the few “head start” programs in the country), the 6 year olds are in kindergarten, the 7-11 year olds are in primary school, and the 12-14 year olds are in middle school (“basico”). The orphanage is accredited as a primary and middle school by the Ministry of Education. The Sisters have also admitted 10-15 students from the local village to our on-site school each year. We have 9 classrooms and also have a “special education” class for our developmentally delayed children. After finishing the middle school, the children go on to the appropriate trade or academic school to continue their education. As of 2020 we have two university students.
Q. Are there other “partners” in this enterprise?
A. Indeed there are. A number of religious organizations (Catholic, Protestant and Jewish) and family foundations have helped raise funds for the building and operation of the orphanage. A mainstay of this support has come for a number of years from the “Isle of Hope United Methodist Church” of Savannah.
Q. What are the expenditures associated with the orphanage?
A. The operating costs have remained steady on a “per child basis” at about $1,000/child/year. This does not include capital projects or education costs which are separately budgeted. The education budget was “a box of crayons” in 2000 and has grown to more than $100,000/year currently. The capital costs of building the entire orphanage have been approximately $2.5 million. The most recent capital project (a second larger soccer field and reroofing the quadrangle building) were finished in 2014-2017. Casa de Angeles reports the details of its income and expenses annually to the I.R.S. and the State of California. Between 4 and 7% of the foundations income goes to fund raising and newsletters for donors, with the remaining 93-96% going to capital projects and operating expenses of the orphanage. There are no paid employees of Casa de Angeles Foundation.