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Guatemala Mission Trip

Guatemala Mission Trip - Giving Back

In Her Shoes Foundation, Giving Back Program, Guatemala Project, supported by and in partnership with Catalyst Resources International, and students/faculty of Northern Illinois University Counselors Education Program.

**Tickets are on sale from September 8th, 2018 - January 1, 2019**

The vision of In Her Shoes Foundation (IHSF) is “to empower and inspire every woman and girl to be her personal best” with the mission of focusing specifically on positive influences, learning opportunities, community partnerships and leadership development. Under our Giving Back Program, there is the Guatemala Project. IHSF has partnered with Catalyst Resources International and the students and faculty of the Northern Illinois University Counselors Education Program.

In Her Shoes Foundation, Giving Back Program gives back to the Chicago Community in a variety of ways. The Giving Back Program, Guatemala Project was developed to connect IHSF committee volunteers, members and supporters with various volunteer opportunities in other communities to further embrace our mission in partnership with other individuals who are also always “giving back”.

Once again we have come together for yet another mission trip to Guatemala, to assist those living in abject poverty in Guatemala City, Guatemala. According to the World book via the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) more than half of the population in Guatemala is below the poverty line and 23% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Nearly one half of Guatemala’s children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.

This mission trip is very special to many IHSF committee volunteers and members because it allows us to partner with a wonderful organization like Catalyst Resources International, which exists as an advocate for the children of Guatemala and serves as a catalyst connecting resources to the needy in order to clothe the naked, take food to the hungry, and give water to those who are thirsty.

On this trip, individuals will set out on a one week long trip connecting with local members of the community by building a home for a family in need, visiting an orphanage and uniting with the community members. This trip will provide first-hand experience on what it is like to live in an impoverished community, build bonds with individuals worldwide and become a socially responsible advocate while immersed in the rich Guatemalan culture.

Catalyst Resources International has girls in an academy in Guatemala who come from families in poverty. They are able to get their education paid for through a school sponsorship program. This is beneficial because after 5th grade, education is no longer free and because of the poverty level in Guatemala, boys usually have the priority of going to school rather than the girls in the family. This then increases the cycle of poverty due to the fact these young girls become pregnant, etc. In providing sponsorship for these young girls the movement out of poverty is able to begin in a positive direction. 

Additionally, when we go on the mission trip we go to different schools and interact and play with the children at the schools. In doing so we are sharing a personal experience with these children through support and encouragement. In 2017, IHSF, Executive Director, Kasia Wereszczynska, joined NIU and Catalyst Resources International mission trip and knew instantly that this was a perfect opportunity to join forces once again.

Lastly, the house that we build as a team last year, was for a homeless, single mother of two. The trip centers around serving those in need and makes a charitable contribution to those in an impoverished country. 

Dr. Scott Wickman of NIU stated that “CRI is empowering systemic change in multifaceted ways for communities, families, and children in Guatemala. We have benefited tremendously personally and professionally as counselors and counselors-in-training during our small part of this complex process. In addition to everything else, we have been treated so well, the food is delicious, and kindness is everywhere. I am in awe of CRI's "just right" organizational and leadership model in terms of its balance of structure, autonomy, work, and fun. Additionally, CRI and its leaders on all levels embody counseling's core "necessary and sufficient" conditions for change: empathy, authenticity, and unconditional positive regard.”

This mission trip needs your support to make it happen, please join us in whatever way you can.
1. Spread the word about In Her Shoes Foundation, Giving Back Program, Guatemala Project.
2. Volunteer with IHSF to plan the details of the trip
3. Donate to the trip (any amount) -- all costs will go towards building supplies and costs for volunteers (room+board, flights, and transportation)
4. Sponsor someone to attend the trip
5. Come on the trip yourself and experience what it means to Give Back
6. Attend and bring friends to our upcoming IHSF, Giving Back Program, Guatemala Project fundraising events.

Q: When is the trip?
A: The trip will be January 5th - 12th 2019

Q: Who will attend the trip?
A: We will have committee volunteers and members of IHSF on the mission trip as well as students and faculty from Northern Illinois University (NIU). We would also like to invite some of our students from our In Her Shoes Foundation, Ready Set Girls Academy Program.
YOU too can join us! You do not have to be a committee volunteer or member of IHSF or associated with NIU or Catalyst Resources. We are looking for people who are passionate about helping those in need. People who have a genuine interest in making the entire world a better place. 

Q: What are the costs of the trip?
A: Materials - The cost for materials to build one home is approximately $4000.00
Individual - The cost for an individual to travel (airfare, meals, place to stay) is approximately $800.00 per person
We will be staying at with the Catalyst Resources International organization which will provide us with 3 meals per day and a bunk bed. They will also provide us with transportation and full time security as we will be traveling through some dangerous areas.

Q: If I donate money where does it go?
A: You can specify if you would like to donate money to the mission trip and this would go towards the actual supplies needed to build the home. Or you can sponsor someone to attend the trip (include individual trip cost). You can tell us exactly where you want the money to go or you can allow IHSF committee leadership team to help make a decision for you based on the need.

Q: What are the fundraising events?
A: We have several fundraising opportunities that we hope you will join us at! Like us on Facebook to stay updated. 
If you have additional questions please email us at with the Subject Line:In Her Shoes Foundation, Giving Back Program, Guatemala Project.
Katrina Wagner, our Giving Back Program, Guatemala Project Manager and Roxanne Sorci from NIU will be happy to answer any of your questions.

Earlier Event: January 2
Happy Hour
Later Event: January 14
Volunteer Open House