Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 12, 2013

Help sought here for distant kids’ homes

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The need is great for the pastor of the children’s homes he oversees in Guatemala, who is now in Pauls Valley hoping local residents can help.

Rev. Jacobo Castillo has combined forces with his faith and childhood friend, local resident Angel Quinonez, as PV is one of his stops in a series of American fundraising efforts to help his ministry and the kids that benefit from the homes in Guatemala City.

The two longtime friends are now busily approaching churches and residents in Pauls Valley and the area as they search for just about any kind of donations they can find.

Whether it’s money or actual items, such as old stuff just laying around unused, holiday toys or much needed school supplies with a new term starting in January, Castillo and Quinonez are on a mission to get the donations before the pastor leaves PV on Dec. 18 and heads back to the west coast prior to returning home.

“The Lord gave me this vision to work with the kids,” Castillo said this week during a visit with the PV Democrat.

“Most of them are rescued from the streets,” he said. “There are still hundreds of them living on the streets.

“The main reason for all of this is to help these kids so they won’t go to the streets.”

Castillo’s ministry began more than 20 years to help abandoned children in Guatemala.

It’s called Nuevo Reto and it started in a small modest sized home. Since then the ministry has grown to include a church and the two modern buildings housing these children who have no where else to go.

The two homes currently have 17 kids with room for many more.

According to the pastor, it costs around $200 monthly to care for each of the children, which really doesn’t really cover all the expenses of providing housing, food, education and health care for the kids.

One of the homes’ missions is to provide formal education for each of the kids. In some cases that means training for vocational skills such as at the homes’ carpentry shop.

“We don’t have enough money to manage their needs,” Castillo said. “We just want to give more opportunities to more kids.

“Many of them come to the church and ask me if they could get some help. Many of them may not get Christmas presents.

“We want to raise some funds to keep doing this work. We’re just trying to meet some of their needs.”

Both men stress any donations here can go a long way in Guatemala since the average pay for a laborer there is $7 a day.

To set up a donation pick up in the Pauls Valley area through Dec. 18, call Angel at 405-207-8098 or the Rev. Castillo at 714-352-1910.