Down Guatemala (Asociación Guatemalteca para el Sindrôme de Down)
Located in Guatemala City
The Down Syndrome Association of Guatemala (also known as Down Guatemala) provides therapeutic care and education to children with Down Syndrome, serving children and families in Guatemala City. The ministry provides early intervention training for families, as well as adaptive programs specialized to best serve the unique needs of children of all ages at the Down Syndrome School.
Down Guatemala is dedicated to preparing children with Down Syndrome for full and productive lives. Families served by the program come from extreme poverty, and little support is provided by the government for the care of children with special needs. Down Guatemala trains families with infants on therapeutic care principles, and ensures students at the school not only receive academic training but also life skill and job skill training as well. Orphan Outreach began its partnership with Down Guatemala in 2012. Orphan Outreach provides ongoing support of the program through child sponsorship, church partnership, and the service of mission teams. Down Guatemala was founded in 2005 by Alfredo and Irene Salazar, two years after their son Alfredo, Jr., was born with Down Syndrome. They founded the school after discovering the urgent need to provide support, schooling, and therapies to children with Down Syndrome in Guatemala City. The couple sold their house and used those funds to start the ministry. Since that time, Down Guatemala has been lauded for its pioneering efforts in holistic care for children with special needs in Central America.