About

My life’s purpose changed when I went to visit friends in Guatemala in 2008, shortly after adoptions had closed between Guatemala and the United States.  The stories of abandoned children broke my heart and two, in particular, will never be forgotten.  A newborn girl, 2 days old, was abandoned in the countryside outside of Antigua. This precious baby endured torrential downpours while laying alone in the woods with nary a blanket. When she was finally found, alive and clutching a plant so tightly, it was difficult to unwrap her tiny fingers.  The rescuers named her Milagro, which in Spanish means MIRACLE. Others were not as fortunate, such as lifeless newborn twins found in a city dump.  These stories touched me deeply and it was at that moment, I knew providing a better life for vulnerable and innocent children would become part of my life's journey.  In a country where over 75% of the population lives below the poverty level, care and support are desperately needed.  Thus began the Children's Home of El Amor de Patricia, named after my mother.”

 

Our initial focus was providing a loving and safe home for neglected and abandoned children.  Over the years, we have expanded our support to include families in need to decrease the cycle of desperation and dependence.  We now work with communities to provide education, life skills, clean water, and beds, among other resources.  In 2014 we met and fell in love with the people of the village of Yalu, outside of Sumpango, Guatemala. We have since adopted the village to focus our efforts full time. Our goal is to raise people up and provide skills that foster hope.  We meet people wherever they are on their journey. Our aim is to offer a hand up toward a brighter future.

 

Tamara Hillstrom, Founder

 

Our Mission

To empower Guatemalan children, families, and communities to reach their full potential.

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Our Values

  • Integrity

  • Strong Work Ethic

  • Respect

  • Excellence

  • Holistic

Our Team

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Our outstanding team of nannies goes above and beyond on a daily basis to provide unparalleled care for the children at El Amor.  They genuinely love each and every child who enters our home and treats them as their own. 

Wendy

Wendy

Yalu - Project Manager

Wendy is the heart and soul of El Amor de Patricia. At every turn she is hugging someone. Wendy loves everyone and everyone loves Wendy. Wendy knows how to do most anything!

Estefania

Estefania

Children's Home - Psychologist

Estefania is our in house Psychologist. Her love and dedication to our children is obvious. She helps heal the little hearts and souls of our children so they can become healthy, thriving kids. She always goes above and beyond with the needs of our organization.

Julio

Julio

Yalu - Assistant Project Manager

Julio’s contagious smile and joy for life inspires us all. He is a wealth of knowledge about Guatemala and of course, coffee. He is always ready to have fun and we lovingly joke that he is 'our oldest child.

Magali

Magali

Yalu - Community Liason

Magali is our amazing community leader in Yalu. She has lived in Yalu her whole life and knows everyone. She has a deep desire to see her community flourish and is a vital part of our important work.

Lucia

Lucia

Assistant Director

Lucia has been an integral part in establishing policies and procedures, as well as creating the structure needed for compliance for the organization. "Though she be but little, she is fierce!" Lucia is a force to be reckoned with

Patty

Patty

Children's Home Weekend Coordinator

Patty's beautiful smile and endless love lights up the days at El Amor. Her creative spirit and enthusiasm brings abundant joy and amazing experiences that enrich our home! Our weekends run smoothly thanks to her leadership. Her vibrant personality is a wonderful addition to our home

Nery

Nery

Jack of all Trades

If you need anything fixed…just ask Nery! Though he is most well known as ¨The best driver ever!¨, his wide skills set have been a gift and benefit for El Amor and all of our many jobs. He is always willing to help and lend a hand.

Carolina

Carolina

Education Coordinator

Our education coordinator Carolina makes sure our kids are on track for success. She is always there for the kids and follows up with the principals and teachers when necessary, always fighting for what´s best for our kids. She has over thirteen different grades to supervise and she does it so well.

Kahleah

Kahleah

Director

Our larger than life director, Kahleah, runs the organization with compassion and a strong sense of leadership. Kahleah so obviously loves the children and staff at El Amor de Patricia and believes in instilling confidence and strength in all people involved at the children's home and in our outreach projects. She believes in raising people up and helping them become the best versions of themselves. Kahleah's education and experience in child development helps her navigate the complexities of raising children in care, as well as the children we serve in the village of Yalu. With her ability to execute the vision of El Amor de Patricia, Kahleah progresses the organization forward with honor and integrity.

Clarita

Clarita

Children's Home - Weekday Coordinator

Clarita is a mother and a grandmother so she comes with a lot of experience. Clarita is committed to the children and they know how much she loves them.... She is our weekday staff coordinator and is in charge of the babies.

Nincy

Nincy

Social Worker

Our social worker Nincy pours her heart into making sure our kids have a healthy relationship with their families. She sets up weekly phone calls, supervises visits and gives parenting workshops when reunification is in their best interest. She speaks up for our children and we are grateful for her kind heart.

 

IN MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED
CECI CUN
1973 - 2020

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Tia Ceci was a loving nanny at El Amor de Patricia for over seven years. Her up-beat attitude, beautiful smile, and love of the children enriched our home. Her quiet, compassionate demeanor will be deeply missed by all, especially our kids. Rest in peace sweet friend.

Our Board

  • Tamara Hillstrom, President and Founder

  • Kellie Anderson

  • Marija Bjegovich Weidman

  • Lynn Daly

  • Jennifer Dell

  • Sara Eide

  • Kahleah Guibault 

  • Terry Lauer

  • Shelley Nelson

We Need Your Support Today!