The Vision. The Mission. The Love.
For the Love of Mateo is a registered 501(C)3 Non Profit organization to help benefit orphanages, schools, after-school programs, and many outreach projects throughout Guatemala.
I led my first mission trip to Guatemala in June 2012, applied for non-profit status in October 2012, and received approval in May 2013.
My vision in establishing this charity began after I became the adoptive mother of a beautiful boy named Mateo. My husband and I dedicated over three and a half years as part of the adoption process to bring him home and, throughout that experience, we realized an even bigger need to help the orphanage that took such amazing care of and provided so much love for Mateo - our new son.
"I began to feel a tug on my heart that was calling me to do something more to give back to those less fortunate in Guatemala. At the time, I had no idea how big that calling would become."
Our non-profit was named For the Love of Mateo because it was the love that we had for our new son that gave us the strength to keep us fighting to get him home so we could see the process through until the day we prayed for when he would land at the Kansas City airport and his sisters would get to meet him for the first time. That miracle finally happened on August 28th, 2010. During our 3.5 year long adoption process, we would travel back and forth to Guatemala six times so we could begin to build a relationship with our son and do what was necessary to finalize the adoption process. On those trips, I began to feel a tug on my heart that was calling me to do something more to give back to those less fortunate in Guatemala. At the time, I had no idea how big that calling would become.
If you are new here, welcome! You're invited to browse the site and learn more about our story, our activities and projects which are dedicated to improving the lives of children in Guatemala.
For all of those who have contributed already either through a donation, a sponsorship or even having participated in a mission trip, I am grateful for all that you do.
President & Founder
For the Love of Mateo Inc.
"I believe children in Guatemala should have the same opportunity to embrace who they are and reach their full potential." - V. Edwards
Valerie Edwards, the founder of For the Love of Mateo, primarily wanted to start her not-for-profit to support the children at the Hogar where her adopted son, Mateo, was from.
As For the Love of Mateo has expanded, we have added other projects to our mission of giving as we currently support over 13 outreach projects/organizations throughout Guatemala.
Our vision is to provide financial support and love to a handful of orphanages, daycares, schools, villages and after school programs throughout Guatemala.
In addition, For the Love of Mateo provides mission trip opportunities to visit those served through our outreach projects in Guatemala on what we like to call our Mission of Love.
Meet Mrs. Claudia Flores.
Since my youth, my family always instilled in me the value of helping others in need. Soon after I graduated from school, I volunteered as a secretary in my home town where a tragic earthquake devastated the area. The result left many people in severe poverty and this was my first experience in helping people with extreme need as they had lost everything.
Another of the projects that inspired me to help people in need was the breastfeeding program in
which I worked for several years. The institution was La Leche League and, it was there, where I started to learn that one of the biggest problems in Guatemala was an extreme lack of education. I also worked with an American adoption agency connecting with families who came to visit or on pickup trips, and it was from this experience where I learned the meaning of child adoption.
In 2007, I was first introduced to Val and Doug Edwards where I had the privilege of embarking with them on their long journey of adopting young Mateo which finally culminated in August 2010. A couple of years later, Val wrote to me indicating her wish to re-visit the orphanage where Mateo was from and, as a result, she established the non- profit of For The Love of Mateo and invited me to be the in-country assistant.
As a result of this blessed experience, I truly love what I do because FTLOM enables me to help my own people in Guatemala and particularly the children which helps me make my dreams, and theirs, come true.
In-country Assistant, FTLOM