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Timeline of events

posted Mar 23, 2017, 5:28 PM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Mar 24, 2017, 12:26 PM ]

In response to our friends who have emailed us, a timeline has been generated. We share it with you all. 

+March 8:  There was fire at a government home, Hogar Seguro in San José Pinula, located on the outskirts of Guatemala City. It was the result of terrible abuses. For more information, see the New Yorker article

+Immediately, Igumeni Madre Inés responded in two ways: 1) She sent a message to President Morales stating that we would be willing to receive children displaced by the fire. 2) At the insistence of Guatemalan citizens, a petition to the government was developed to demand that the government change back to the original civil law to allow adoptions and to restore the oversight of abandoned children to the Judges of the Juvenile Court in order to stop the abuses. That petition was posted on this page in English and can be accessed here.

+March 14:  We made our first visit to the Congress in downtown Guatemala City for the Peaceful Protest "Abused Never Again" to honor the 40 teenage girls who died and to formally deliver the petition signed by the citizens of Guatemala to the Representatives of the Congress. photos of the first visit

+The tragedy of the 40 girls who perished in the fire and the others who are fighting for their lives filled social media. 

+March 20:  The Attorney General of Guatemala sent a letter to repossess our zone 1 property that has been given to us for 50 years by usufruct. They gave us 30 days to clear out. Currently, 400 underprivileged or abandoned youth are there daily. That letter from the Attorney General is on our website in the original Spanish accompanied by an official English translation. 

+March 21: We made our second visit to the Congress in Guatemala City to reiterate the demands of the petition. At that time, Madre Inés was questioned about the eviction letter that had been received the previous day. 
photos of the second visit

+March 20 & 21: The news of the Hogar Rafael Ayau erupted on social media and in the news. Stories about Madre Inés, the Hogar Rafael Ayau, and the monastery have flooded the news in Guatemala, and have circulated around the world. 

+Since March 21, Madre Inés has appeared on the TV news, has been interviewed on the radio many times, and by various news papers and Guatemalan periodicals.
Entrevistas en español - Interviews in Spanish
Emisoras Unidas - 22 marzo 2017  (por SoundCloud)
Libertópolis - 23 marzo 2017 (por Facebook)
Guatevision oficial de 21 marzo 2017

TV en español
República - 21 marzo 2017 - "Testimonio de Cindy, adolescente que vivió en el Hogar Rafael Ayau"
TN23 23 marzo 2017 "PGN ordena devolución del Hogar Rafael Ayau"  
Prensa Libre "#SalvemosalHogarRafaelAyau" por Jorge Jacobs - 24 marzo 2017
SOY52 "
Así es y funciona el Hogar Rafael Ayau que la PGN pide desalojar" - 24 marzo 2017

Para Guatemaltecos - Por favor, colaboremos, firmen la petición
Interview article with Emisoras Unidas - March 22, 2017 

+March 24: Students who attend school at the Special Education school on the zone 1 campus, peacefully protested on behalf of the Hogar Rafael Ayau. With their teachers and parents, they walked from their school to the Congress, about 15+ blocks. We have added photos and videos to our Flickr album Let's Save the Hogar Rafael Ayau. 

When there is more to report, we will promptly post the news. 

In the meantime, please continue to pray for us and to flood social media. We are very grateful for the avalanche of support from around the world!

with love in Christ,
Madre Alexandra
FHRA President

The letter from the Attorney General, La carta de la Procuradora General

posted Mar 23, 2017, 8:21 AM by Madre Alexandra

We thank you all for your continued support for all of us. 
Les damos las gracias a todos por su continuo apoyo a todos nosotros.

This is the letter that was received from the Attorney General in Spanish with an official translation in English.
Both can be downloaded below. 

Esta es la carta que recibió de la Procuradora General en español con una traducción oficial en inglés.
Ambos se pueden descargar en la parte inferior de esta página.

An informational article from Emisoras Unidas with a translation

posted Mar 22, 2017, 11:50 AM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Mar 22, 2017, 4:06 PM ]

The past few days have been busy for all of us, and we thank everyone for the continued outpouring of support for us all. 
In particular, Igumeni Madre Inés has been interviewed many times. The following article from Emisoras Unidas is very good. 

El artículo en español -->   AQUÍ or clic en la imagen 

We have provided an English translation below. Please remember when reading that the Hogar Rafael Ayau is a private home and no agreement was ever signed with CNA, the National Center for Adoptions or any agency. 

Mother Inés Ayau, the director and legal representative of the the Hogar Rafael Ayau and Juan Manuel Roca, the director of consulting for the Attorney General's Office (PGN), were interviewed during the First Hour program to talk about the future of the child care center.

On March 20, the PGN notified the Hogar Rafael Ayau that the State formally required the property to be returned, in view of the failure to publish the Governmental Agreement through which property was granted in usufruct* to the center in 1996.

(*Translation note on usufruct - a document allowing "to make use of, enjoy the benefits of")

The PGN also argues that the registration of the real rights in the General Property Registry was not effected, so that the usufruct was not born into legal life.

The controversy is normal

Mother Inés Ayau

  • I thank all those who have supported us in these difficult times.
  • The news? It's a surprise. It's the least we expected.
  • It is a 50 year usufruct. We already worked for 20 years and we have attended more than a thousand adolescents, that, if they had not been taken care of today, would be mareros, (gang members) because they are abandoned children.
  • It is a surprise because the notice comes after I wrote through social networks to the President, making a space available to children who needed to relocate due to the emergency (the Hogar Seguro of the Virgin of the Assumption).
Total layout
  • In the Hogar there is the Workshop School of the Municipality where 300 young people are attended daily.. There is also a school for disabled children where 80 attend.
  • We know that there are children from the Hogar Seguro who were transferred to the Hogar Alida Spain, which must also be attended.
  • We could receive some children, as long as they assure us that we will not have problems.
  • In the usufruct it is stipulated that we do not receive aid from the State, that all will be private contributions. That's why we have 10 premises that are rented for US $ 300 per month.
  • In the usufruct we committed to perform an annual external audit, which is published every year on our website.
  • The State has in many cases demonstrated its ineptitude. When we received the Hogar Rafael Ayau, there were many children who were gang members ... thieves, it was a proven inefficiency.
  • We can not receive the entire youth population, but about 25 men who are not from juvenile detention, who are young and need a healthy home. 
  • I would like it to be a friendly solution. What I want is to see the highest good of children.

Juan Manuel Roca

  • Since October 2016, a process and an administrative investigation have been initiated with State Property, which is responsible for the administration and custody of state assets.
  • In November 2016, the situation reached a halfway point, when a delegation from personal property arrived at the Rafael Ayau Home and was barred from access, although it is a state property.
  • There is a detailed report to the PGN and the initiation ofvan administrative file andvinvestigation. The process continues, and there are communications between the PGN and the National Council of Adoptions (CNA), and the latter reports that it has not been allowed to supervise this Home.
  • Currently 11 teenagers are housed in this Home.
The State needs real estate
  • For the State, other real estate is needed to house adolescents. That is why the decision was made to require the property. It is a block and a half, and could host more adolescents, and not only 11, as there is now.
  • What we want is the legality of the property, the governmental agreement granting the usufruct was never published.
  • If the publication had been given, the real rights in the RGP were not registered. The property is in the name of the State, and there is a subscription for the Secretariat of Social Welfare (SBS).
  • We have prevailing laws and regulations in which there are defined deadlines for registration.
  • Due to the need, a period of 30 days was set for the Home to return the property to the State. There should be two-way communication to know if they need more time to meet. We know that in Amatitlán they have a bigger property where they also offer support.
  • In addition, there is income that is collected on a State property, which must be supervised by the Comptroller General of Accounts.
  • This is an interinstitutional discussion, of State, to find a better solution for the welfare of minors.

Interview of Madre Inés today - Entrevista de Madre Inés hoy

posted Mar 22, 2017, 11:15 AM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Mar 23, 2017, 5:58 PM ]

Entrevista de la Madre Inés en Eminsoras Unidas, 22 marzo 2017  (por SoundCloud)
The interview of Madre Inés at Emisoras Unidas, March 22, 2017 (via SoundCloud)

En español aquí o clic en la imagen

Update on our visit to the Congress and photos

posted Mar 21, 2017, 5:49 PM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Mar 21, 2017, 7:43 PM ]



We were at the Congress again today to reiterate our demand that the law be changed to allow adoptions.
The Guatemalan media was present, so the story will be broadcast on television and radio, and in the papers.

Mother Inés was questioned about the recent news: that the government wants to dispossess us of the zone 1 property.
The government's basis is that, when the property was given to us for a 50 year period, it was not registered properly. 
We have 30 years remaining, but they have reduced that to 30 days. 

Be assured that we are all okay and will keep everyone updated.
More information will be coming, including a translation of the letter that was received
from the Attorney General of Guatemala. Keep us in your prayers.

Today's photos are in a new Flickr album -->Let's Save the Hogar Rafael Ayau!

New Photos from the Peaceful Demonstration today - March 14, 2017

posted Mar 14, 2017, 7:07 PM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Mar 14, 2017, 7:54 PM ]

   Our girls!

Madre Inés was interviewed several times. Madre Alexandra and Padre Antonio are in the background. 


Gathering outside the Congress. 

Mother Ivonne is waiting for the beginning of the presentations. 

Today, we went to the Peaceful Demonstration at the Congress in Guatemala City to bring awareness to the situation facing abandoned and at-risk and to demand justice and change to allow for adoptions and oversight by the Judges of the Juvenile Court. For information about the tragedy at Hogar Seguro in San José Pinula and the contents of the petition, please see the previous post. 

Everyone is holding black balloons to represent each of the young women who died. Gloria Alvarez is a a human rights activist in Guatemala. She was very articulate in videos on Facebook to explain the petition, then with us at the Demonstration. There is a video available on Facebook.  After the purpose of the demonstration was detailed and the balloons released in memory of the young women, a delegation of 10 Guatemalan citizens were invited by Congressional Representatives to enter the Congress and to read aloud the petition. Finally, the signed petition was submitted to the Representatives. 

All the photos can be viewed in our new Flickr photo album -->  AbusadosNUNCAMAS!

Please sign the petition - We need at least 5,000 signatures

posted Mar 13, 2017, 1:23 PM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Mar 14, 2017, 7:57 PM ]

Notice our logo above.  Translation: "Let's solve the root problem. We demand that the State make fundamental reforms to prevent tragedies and to protect abandoned children, today and always. Justice for the victims! Protection for at-risk children!"

Below is more information about what occurred at Hogar Seguro in San José Pinula. At this time, 40 teenage girls have died. 

Also, note that EVERYONE can sign the ONLINE petition. 
(Only the written petition in Guatemala is for reserved for Guatemalan citizens.)

The information
Hello, friends. A few days ago, there was a huge tragedy (that included a fire) in one of the governmental homes for children and teens in Guatemala. So far, 38 teen girls have died badly burned. There are a few theories as to the origin of the fire and why it took so long for anyone to do anything about it. All of the theories are sad and disturbing. The common theme and background is that the children were being abused in various ways and that authorities knew about it and did nothing. The details make me sick to my stomach. Examples of abuse/neglect: 1) The teenage girls were being prostituted by those in charge. 2) When the teens refused or protested, their punishment was to get locked up. 3) Young women who lived and “graduated” from there went to different authorities to report all of the various forms of abuse and neglect, but their pleas were ignored. 4) Someone noticed that the sponge mattresses the girls slept on had holes in them. The reason? The teens used them as feminine napkins because they didn’t have any. 5) The government housed under one roof children taken from their homes due to abuse, neglect or poverty AND delinquent minors. 6) The nine teenage girls who were not burnt and were thus transferred to another care home after the fire are ALL pregnant.

On Tuesday, March 14th, Guatemalans will gather to submit petitions to (the Guatemalan) Congress. Below is an informal translation of the petition that you can read in Spanish on change.org. For those of you who know about the Hogar Rafael Ayau (a private Orthodox Orphanage) or of Igumeni Inés (the Abbess), they fully support this call to action. Please help spread the word and consider signing the petition yourselves. (The change.org petition can be signed by everyone. The legal proposals are only accepted from Guatemalan citizens, and they will have to sign on paper.)


It is with deep regret and indignation, that we, the undersigned, in the face of the unfortunate events that took place in the Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción on Wednesday, March 8, hereby exercise our constitutional right of petition, put aside indifference and advocate for the long-term welfare of the 20,000 children who are still victims of the National Council of Adoptions, CNA, the State entity responsible for this tragedy. As Guatemalans, we demand:

1. Of the Public Prosecutor's Office, to immediately prosecute the directors dismissed by President Jimmy Morales who chose to mix youths in conflict with the (criminal) law with abused or homeless children within the facilities they oversaw. And that all material evidence, including available videos, be made public in order to prosecute all personnel responsible for the crimes committed.
Deadline for first capture: Immediately.

2. Of all the deputies of the Congress of the Republic, to repeal Decree 77/2007 which gave birth to the CNA (National Council of Adoptions) and gave it a corrupt monopoly over all the adoptions and care homes, removing from the judges in charge of childhood and adolescent law the authority to decide on the future of these young people.
Deadline: March 31, 2017.

3. Of Congress, to reinstate notary adoption and judicial adoption into the Civil Code.
Deadline: March 30

4. Of the Public Prosecutor's Office, to create a Special Prosecutor's Office Against Irregular Adoptions and Abuse of Minors to pursue anyone who abuses adoption rights by acting against the welfare of the children.
Deadline: March 30, 2017.

5. Of the Executive Agency, to prepare a regulation attached to the Civil Code that will expedite the legal process of care for abandoned and at-risk children. We have enough Juvenile Judges who know their work and have the experience. 
Deadline: Thursday, April 6, 2017.

6. Of all deputies of the Congress, to make it a crime, (punishable by imprisonment and not released on bail), to mix young people in conflict with the Criminal Law with children in care homes and orphanages.
Deadline: March 30, 2017

7. Following these changes, we demand of the Attorney General's Office and all Childhood and Adolescence Judges to ensure that every adoption be expeditious, transparent and efficient, with priority being given to the well-being of the child who has the right to be part of a safe and stable family.
Deadline: April 1

8. We demand that UNICEF funds be used to construct and maintain Exclusive Correctional Centers for Minors in Conflict with the Criminal Law and thereby definitively separate them from the risky coexistence with children in care homes and orphanages.
Deadline to deliver the first center: September 15, 2017.

9. We demand from all CNA care home directors that starting today, Friday, March 10, they allow access to all media that request to enter and document their work.

In order for people who have the good will to form individual homes with state supervision and permanently and efficiently care for these children, it is imperative to make these changes urgently.

Sign the Change.org petition here

In case our links do not work, this is the URL

Tomorrow on March 14, 2017

posted Mar 13, 2017, 9:48 AM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Mar 13, 2017, 9:54 AM ]


Justice and protection for the abandoned children in Guatemala

Peaceful Demonstration
Congress of Guatemala 
Tuesday March 14 at 10 am

Official delivery of the citizen's petition to the Congressional Representatives

Tomorrow, many will wear black and hold black balloons in mourning and in solidarity
with the 40 young women who perished in the fire at the Hogar Seguro in San José Pinula.
The voices of these young women and the children of Guatemala will be heard
as a petition will be delivered to the Congressional Representatives by citizens who demand 
the restoration of adoptions and the oversight of abandoned children to be returned
to the Judges of the Juvenile Court. 

Important Letter from Igumeni Madre Inés regarding the tragedy in San José Pinula

posted Mar 10, 2017, 8:47 AM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Mar 13, 2017, 9:27 AM ]

This letter can be downloaded in PDF format

Dear Friends,

The recent fire at Hogar Seguro in San José Pinula in Guatemala, which has so far claimed the lives of 37 teenage girls, is a very sad event and has caught the attention of the world.

We want you to know that our 27 children are safe with us at the House of Culture and Mercy in zone 1, at the San Miguel Residence at Lake Amatitlán (Monastery), or abroad in Russia at University.

This loss of young life has shone a bright light on the darkness that exists regarding the situation faced by orphans and underprivileged youth in Guatemala where the laws are completely against them and anyone who desires to help them. This is the result of the change to the civil law in Guatemala done 10 years ago at the insistence of UNICEF with the closing of adoptions. With this context in mind, this is the appeal that I have written to the government at the insistence of the people:

I think that if we really want to do something for our abandoned and at-risk children (and avoid more "maras" gangs), the following must be done:


1. Repeal Decree 77-2007 that gave birth to the CNA (Centro Nacional de Adopciones), which PROHIBITED whatever is not CNA and removed the authority of the Judges of minors.

2. Return to the Civil Code (of Guatemala) which is more than enough.

3. Develop regulations for the Civil Code to make agile the legal process of care for abandoned and at-risk children. We have enough Juvenile Judges who know their work and have the experience. They can make an excellent legal regulation attached to the Civil Code.


4. This will allow private institutions, households (Homes/orphanages) to exist, and have them be under the supervision of the Juvenile Court only.

5. Restore the right of children to have an adoptive family anywhere in the world.

6. The Government has to have only institutions for juvenile transgressors, and subcontract its administration to professional people (with UNICEF funds) Plus establish a mechanism of supervision of these Homes that must correspond to the College of Psychologists and the Lawyers' Association.



UNICEF funding? (Q175 million only for the Hogar Seguro that burned their children....) must go to Juvenile Courts so they can do a better job and the homes of transgressors so that these future members of maras are given the proper attention to get them out of their hell.


Pray for our country. Pray for us.
With love in Christ,

Madre Inés

New photos

posted Mar 9, 2017, 11:19 AM by Madre Alexandra

Photos from the PreSanctified Liturgy taken yesterday evening
were added to the 
Flickr album Lent 2017

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