A Guatemalan Hospital is going Green, Thanks to Grant

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 18, 2017) Food For The Poor has received a grant from the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program that will be used for additional renovations at the Children's Hospital Juan Pablo II in Mixco, Guatemala, located north of Guatemala City.

This latest grant will pay for a hospital-wide solar-powered generating system, which has an estimated life span of 30 years, and will save the hospital nearly $60,000 per year in energy costs. The grant also will replace the hospital's 30-year-old inefficient appliances and equipment with new energy efficient models.

"It's been our privilege to help this hospital with much-needed repairs in the past, but it's a special honor to help with this renewable energy project," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "The Children's Hospital Juan Pablo II provides much more than medical care for children and prenatal care for women in need. For more than three decades, this hospital has provided steady work in all sectors, from healthcare to housekeeping. It also serves as a center of learning for Guatemala's future pediatricians, so we want to do whatever we can to make sure the building is as safe and secure as possible."

The hospital is undergoing its first set of renovations, thanks to a USAID ASHA grant to Food For The Poor, which was used by Caritas of Guatemala. That hospital renovation project includes the installation of a wastewater treatment plant, a corrugated roof and drop ceilings throughout the building.

This latest grant will improve health services at the hospital with the use of photovoltaic solar technology, and will demonstrate how Disaster Risk Reduction and green components can be combined to create a better healthcare facility. It also will serve as an example for health facilities throughout Guatemala committed to reducing their sector's environmental footprint.

The renovations for this project at Children's Hospital Juan Pablo II will begin later this summer.

The hospital opened its doors in March of 1985 two years after Pope John Paul II visited the Central American country. During that visit, he told the people that to serve God is to serve those in need. A year later, construction of the pediatric hospital began and was lovingly named after the man who inspired the people of Guatemala to care for women and children in need.

ASHA provides assistance to schools, libraries and medical centers outside the United States that serve as study and demonstration centers for American ideas and practices. ASHA's grants help these institutions train future leaders in a wide variety of disciplines, support local and regional infrastructure to foster development and cultivate positive relationships and mutual understanding among citizens of the United States and other nations.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than 5 percent of our expenses; more than 95 percent of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Wanda Wright

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079