Hogar Rafael Ayau

Hogar Rafael Ayau, or simply the "Hogar" which means "the home" in Spanish, is named after the guardian of orphans, the Angel Raphael. The Hogar is located in the deteriorated old center of Guatemala City, Guatemala. It is a compound of eight buildings covering a full city block and surrounded by an eighteen-foot-high brick wall. It is an oasis of flowers and green, laughter and innocence, faith and prayer, love and hope, just the thickness of a brick away from the desperation of the streets around it.

Hogar Rafael Ayau

Hogar Rafael Ayau - or simply the "Hogar" which means "the home" in Spanish - is named after the guardian of orphans, the Angel Raphael. The Hogar is located in the deteriorated old center of Guatemala City, Guatemala. It is a compound of eight buildings covering a full city block and surrounded by an eighteen-foot-high brick wall. It is an oasis of flowers and green, laughter and innocence, faith and prayer, love and hope, just the thickness of a brick away from the desperation of the streets around it.

The head of the community is Mother Ines, a former Roman Catholic nun from Guatemala who had taught in various schools around the world ... five nuns manage a staff of seventy-eight who care for a hundred and fifty-six orphaned or abandoned children, of whom twenty-two are babies. There is a school complete with donated computers.

Donated seconds from a tile factory are piled in, and sold from, the yard beside the kitchen. The famous old German Bakery of the city has found a new home in the compound, and the profit benefits the Hogar while the children learn the baking trade.

But the heart of the Hogar is the little chapel hidden upstairs in the office building, where every evening and morning the family of this Hogar gathers for Vespers and Matins. At sunrise and sunset the tuaca and the bells announce the prayers, and the children stream across the compound to this candlelit room ringed with icons. Two by two, with their arms flying in the sign of the cross, they kiss the icons and take their places, joyfully singing the prayers that have taken root in their hearts. The mothers read, the sisters read, and the older children read, and they all sing, and some fall over in their sleep during the Akathist. Truly this is a children's monastery.

Before bed each child receives a blessing and a kiss from the Abbess, Mother Ines. If this reads like a fairy tale, it is! But it is much more. It is a miracle story. A miracle of boundless love sustained by fervent prayer.

If you would like to send a monetary donation to the Hogar Rafael Orphanage in Guatemala, please make a check or money order payable to I.C.A.O.A.G. and send to:

HOGAR RAFAEL AYAU
Attention: Mother Ines
Section 2619
P.O. Box 02-5339
Miami, FL 33102-5339

To send a donation box, please ship boxes by UPS (do not use P.O. box listed above) to:

TRANSCARGO MIAMI, L.C.
Attention: Mother Ines
Hogar Rafael Ayau - Guatemala
8454 NW 70th Street
Miami, FL 33166
Tel: (305) 716-0990
Fax: (305) 716-9001

For information regarding adopting one of the children, please contact:
Mary Lynn Pac-Urar (330) 492-0010 email: marylynn@MLPatlaw.com or Carol Paulakos-Clarke (888) 810-5727 email: carol@plan-itforkids.org.

Panteleimon Girls' Orphanage and St. Gregory the Great Boys' Orphanage

These two orphanages in Damascus, Syria, were founded early in the twentieth-century under the direction of His Holiness Gregory (Antiochian Patriarch from 1906 to 1928). They continue to rely on donations for their operating costs, which include housing, feeding, clothing, and educating the children. If you would like to help them with their operating expenses, please make checks payable to:

AOCWNA, Orphanages
Laila Ferris, Treasurer
3016 Harrison
El Paso, TX 79930-4027