The following post was written by the Adoptee Advocates of Adoptees With Guatemalan Roots. If you want to learn more about this organization, head over to www.guateroots.org.
Over 30,000 children were adopted from Guatemala before international adoption closed in 2008. The children were adopted mainly to families in the United States and Europe. Adoptees With Guatemalan Roots is a global community of people adopted from Guatemala. We focus on building community among adoptees and providing adoptees with resources and opportunities to find their identity.
Adoptees With Guatemalan Roots is a safe place for me to express my emotions and thoughts about my adoption, as well as support other Guatemalan adoptees who may be going through similar or different upbringings. It’s also an opportunity to make new friends around the world!
We noticed that many adoptees struggle with issues of identity as they grow up and these issues often continue as adults. Some of these issues of identity occur because adoptees look Guatemalan but often do not know Spanish or Guatemalan culture. The majority of children were adopted into white families. For many, this can result in not quite fitting in with other Guatemalans and also not fitting in completely with white American culture.
Adoptees With Guatemalan Roots was founded in November of 2019 by five adoptees from the US in order to address the need for community among other adoptees and the issue of identity. As leaders of our organization, we have chosen not to use the term “founders” because we feel the term does not capture the spirit of the community organization we are building, rather we have gone with the term adoptee advocates. We want the focus to be on the community and as leaders we are here to serve our community. Being adopted from Guatemala is a unique experience and having other adoptees who can relate, share stories, build friendships, and help us find our identities has been so empowering. We have hosted many in-person dinners, happy hours, and picnics.
Meeting fellow adoptees and sharing stories is something I had needed for a long time and I am grateful to be a part of this community and can finally be comfortable with who I am.
Every adoptee connects back to Guatemala in a unique way. We want to provide adoptees with the confidence and ability to make those personal connections to Guatemala. We are accomplishing this through programs for talented adoptee athletes who wish to represent Guatemalan National sports teams. We have been working with the Confederación Deportiva Autónoma de Guatemala (CDAG) and Federación Nacional de Fútbol (FEDEFUT).
We have also been hosting a Zoom speaker series highlighting Guatemalans who are doing amazing things in the world. We’ve had Guatemalans like soccer legend Carlos Ruiz, actor Arturo Castro, Marias Bag founder and former Miss Guatemala Alida Boer, Chef Amalia Moreno-Daamgard (Fun fact: Amalia will be providing an exclusive Guatemalan culinary experience for our Fall Fiesta at Home VIP ticketholders! Purchase your VIP tickets here.), professors who have shared their research on Guatemala City and Maya culture, tech entrepreneurs, cooking classes on Guatemalan cuisine, and opera singers all participate in our speaker series. It has been a wonderful way for adoptees to learn from other talented Guatemalans, build personal connections to Guatemala, and raise awareness about adoption among Guatemalans.
Hearing from Guatemalan soccer legend Carlos Ruiz was amazing! He spent time answering questions from adoptees and gave an incredible interview.
We are so excited to have Joe Berninger, the Founder and Executive Director of Cooperative for Education, speak on our Zoom series on Wednesday, October 7th at 8 PM ET. We hope you all tune in to watch!
You can support Adoptees With Guatemalan Roots by following us on social media and directing any Guatemalan adoptees to our website for more information.
We are excited to connect and build community with more adoptees!