It was a million dollar view. The wooded property on a hillside overlooks Guatemala City. Volcanoes dot the horizon and add further majesty to the scene. One would expect the rich of society to be dwelling on such a plot. A mansion could have suitably left its footprint on the land, nestled in comfort and grandiosity. Grecian columns would have matched the noble girth of trees. Rock gardens and ponds would have complimented natural terraces of foliage and sloping outcroppings. It would have been a fine estate, one of enduring legacy, one fit for a national leader or captain of industry.
Instead, a stark and underfunded Catholic orphanage sits on the land. Manicured lawns have given way to bare dirt. Grand vistas and pools of leisure have given way to makeshift playground equipment of old tires, splintered wood and rusty rebar.
The children, covered in dirt and dust, looked every bit the orphan, although they were officially part of the rescued statistics. Scabs and sores bore further evidence to ongoing lack and need.
And then there was the little boy, the one without a name.
He was purple. He has a heart problem that prevents his extremities from getting adequate oxygenation. Is he still alive even today, a week after our visit? He’s just another boy in institutional care with an issue that his caretakers are poorly equipped or resourced to solve.
The thing that struck me is that this boy, discarded for being damaged or incomplete, is worth much more than any regal manor or stately home. The things of greatest value are already occupying this prime piece of property. They are the land’s greatest heritage, its greatest legacy.
Instead of investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop the property with an architectural statement for the generations, isn’t it worth a couple of thousand dollars to leave a more lasting generational impact…to fix one little boy’s heart?