The Catalyst Club




Read My Story
I support Hope’s In because they continue to make life-changing impacts for treasures in Zone 3 of Guatemala City. From Hope’s In Style to concrete day in the alleys of Zone 3, Hope’s In is always focused on making as much positive change as possible in the garbage dump communities. Their outreach continues to expand and I can not wait to see how many lives they are able to impact in the future. They are doing God’s work and answering the prayers of his children. 

My biggest take away from my trips with Hope’s In is that as human beings, especially those fortunate enough to even have the opportunity to support those less fortunate, we must work together to end the cycle of poverty. On my first trip to Guatemala in 2015 my pre-existing notions of the world were completely shattered and my eyes opened to a world that most of my peers could never even imagine. This first trip engrained the necessity to serve others and ignited my passion to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. 

My best memory from Hope’s In comes from my most recent trip to Zone 3 in 2018. At the end of the week Hope’s In and Potters House organized a dinner at Potters House with families that Hope’s In has built houses for over the years. I was able to see and speak with the very first family that I built a house for in 2015. Eddy who at the time of the build was a tiny little guy, was sitting there no longer a baby, hair spiked up and smiling from ear to ear. We spent the evening running around playing with balloons. 


Read My Story
HOPE’S IN began with the dream to build one home for one little girl in Guatemala City. As we grow and continue to have the opportunity to meet so many beautiful families and strong leaders in Guatemala, I always remember where we started. I remember that initial heartbreak of realizing that families deserved better and had a human right to a safe, dignified place to live. This passion has expanded beyond housing to empowering persons with disabilities and young mothers. Often, I go back to those early moments of joy when we realized that when people heard about what we were doing they joined us! There are so many humble heroes that have made our impact possible. 

I am grateful to be part of this team and to have the privilege to work alongside such incredible families both locally and in Guatemala. My picture includes one of my role models, Kareen Guidel. Kareen is the founder of Autism Guatemala,

Joining the Catalyst Club was an easy decision and I can’t wait to continue making an impact together. 


Read My Story
The trips I have been on with Hope’s In have changed my life in more ways than I can count. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. It’s impossible to visit a place you’ve never been before, or experience something you’ve never experienced before and not be changed in some way. I choose to support Hope’s In because the need is so great.

The Treasures living in Zone 3 have purpose, and value and worth but in some cases they lack the necessary support system, resources, affection, or spiritual guidance for themselves, their family and their friends. I’ve learned the cycle of poverty is extremely complex and cannot be fixed with just money. There needs to be involvement,  learning, and a mutual desire for change in order for things to be different within these communities.

I’ll never forget going to Guatemala for the first time in 2016 and the kids in the communities calling me GALLO because my hairstyle at the time made them think about a rooster and feeling a sense of belonging and love. I encourage you to experience this with me and come on a trip or give monthly to the many programs Hope’s In is spearheading down in Guatemala.


Read My Story
My involvement with Hope’s In is personal. Our first family service trip was to Guatemala when our kids were in grammar school building a playground for an orphanage and seeing the impact it made on our family.

Later, when we were able to return when our kids were a little older, we all saw a part of the world where physical poverty was something we have never seen before; humans are not supposed to live in their conditions. It is this picture that drives me to return year after year and get involved with Hope’s In. Seeing a family receive a new home is a gratifying experience.

Watching Hope’s In volunteers first struggle with the conditions and then labor in love and bond with the families is humbling. Hope’s In confirms that service is one key to happiness. The best memory I have from our Hope’s In trip is the volunteers that are forever changed and return and continue to advocate for the poor wherever they are.


Read My Story
Because my roots with Hope’s In go back several years before its inception I feel Hope’s In is a huge part of my personal and family’s development.  A memory I will never forget was the 2013 trip, our second time in Zone 3 and the first time “back” to the garbage dump communities.  Getting off the bus and realizing that I was back to this different world but with a new commitment to helping here over the long term. 

I have learned that poverty is complex and is much more than a lack of funds.  People also lack of a variety of resources such as community support, health, love, motivation, self-esteem and will. The cycle of poverty is multigenerational, it is passed on, and it is extremely hard to break out of. There is much to learn about how to best empower people to stop the cycle

Also, I believe that it is transformational for the people that attend trips. I believe that every person that has participated on a trip has been fundamentally changed. They will never forget the way their perspective was changed and many have gone on to adjust their life plan and how they serve and volunteer. I believe in this long term impact going on through those lifetimes as well.


Read My Story
I support Hopes In because I’ve seen first hand how their efforts have such a huge tangible impact on individuals and families in need.

My biggest takeaway from my trip to Guatemala was a realization of how much I have that I take for granted and how rewarding it can be to take some time out of my day to day life to help folks that truly need it.

One of the best parts of the trip to me was when we took a half a day to go meet various families in Zone 3. What stood out was regardless of how poor they were in material wealth they were all so rich in faith, love and hope. It was truly humbling to meet all of them.


Read My Story
I made the decision to participate in the service trip to Zone 3 in Guatemala because of our connection as a donor.  I have always wanted to be part of a service trip and what better way to do this than with an organization we support.  When I learned about the work Hope’s In was doing to help build homes and a better life for the people in the garbage dump communities and I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.

I wanted to take the trip with my 14 year old granddaughter, Teagan, because I strongly feel young people would benefit immeasurably by seeing how other people live, especially those who live in such extreme poverty.  We are fortunate to have access to so much here in the USA but I believe we take it for granted for the most part.  It’s just what we’re used to – having access to anything and everything. Even if we can’t afford something, it’s there for when we can – many people in other countries don’t even have access to much at all because it’s just not available.  Things like medical care, education and basics such as food and shelter.  Teagan wanted to come with and so did her mom, my daughter, Erica.  I couldn’t think of a better way to experience something so meaningful than with my daughter and granddaughter.  All three of us learned so much on this trip, we will never forget our experience and the kind and beautiful people in Guatemala that we met. 


Read My Story
I have been fortunate enough to go to Guatemala with Hope’s In 6 times. Each trip is unique and rewarding, but there is one family that has captured my heart. The second year my family and I built a house for the Itzep-Rodriquez family.

Linda and Oscar are the parents of Linsey and Oscar who became a part of the Potter’s House program through which we were able to then sponsor them. Sponsorship is a wonderful program to build personal relationships with the kids and their families. Every time we return to Guatemala, we visit with Linsey and Oscar and have been able to spend extra time getting to know them and sharing an experience together. My family, alongside Potter’s House personnel, were able to treat them by going out to dinner and a trip to the movies.

I have so many fond memories of my time with Linsey and Oscar including serving them lunch at Potter’s House, playing soccer in the courtyard, face painting, dance contests and the countless number of times we laugh together. Through Potter’s House, Linsey and Oscar have sent us letters and drawings in the mail and we are also able to schedule FaceTimes with them so that we can keep our communication year round. My love for this family has grown immensely and spending time with them is the highlight of my trip every year. It’s the relationships that I have built with these beautiful people that I treasure each time I go to Guatemala.


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Read My Story

Hope’s In has been one of the most profound experiences me and my family have gone through. I fully support Hope’s In because its sole purpose is to help those in need. The families in Guatemala City’s Zone 3 work incredibly hard and for many of us, the difficulties they face day to day are unimaginable. I’m lucky enough to live in a safe, well-off community, but there are countless children and families who have no choice but to live in garbage dump communities. Volunteering and supporting Hope’s In is one of the ways we can help those who are less fortunate than us.

When we read about issues from a distance, they’re hard to relate to. But stepping off the bus and seeing the conditions these hardworking people are forced to face really makes you realize how much there is to be grateful for. Despite the extreme poverty in their community, the families in Guatemala City Zone 3 continue to love, hope, and laugh. It’s inspiring to see how strong and driven these families are.

While the Internet lets us see places all over the world, many of us don’t realize just how different the lives of other people can be. Especially in the US, so much is taken for granted, and we tend to be narrow-minded because of it. I believe that going on these trips is something anyone can gain from. Your perspective will change, no matter what. I encourage anyone, no matter your background or religion, to join this trip to both improve yourself and help those in need.


Read My Story
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Read My Story
My story is coming soon!


Read My Story
When you travel to Guatemala with Hope’s In, pray with the wonderful people who support Potter’s House, serve lunch to your Treasure and wrap them in a big hug each time they see you during the work week, and when you spend a week working alongside a family and seeing the joy, relief and gratefulness for the security of walls and a door with a lock, you are forever changed for the good. We count these experiences as some of our greatest life blessings. 


Service to and with others is the greatest gift you can give yourself. 


Our last Hope’s In experience in 2019 was spent with my parents, Marimarie & Frank, and Mike’s sister CJ, who’ve we’ve spent the prior 2 years with, as well as my nephews, Nick and Finn, who had their first Hope’s In experience. Experiencing the week through the fresh eyes of Nick and Finn was amazing. One of my favorite moments was the neighborhood children inviting Finn to join them in a quinceañera celebration and watch children who have so little share their treats with their new amigo.


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By making the monthly investment of $25, or more, into our impact, you can help HOPE’S IN with the important work we do. Your monthly gift will equip HOPE’S IN to advance our mission and continue sharpening our programs as we empower families living in Guatemala City and help develop the next generation of humanitarian leaders.  

The Catalyst Club members will join HOPE’S IN for special semi-annual events, receive newsletters providing insights about our work, join their fellow members on our Catalyst Club Gallery that is seen below and grow their impact with HOPE’S IN.


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