How it all began
For the Love of Mateo is a 5013C Nonprofit organization that Valerie Edwards, FTLOM’s founder likes to call, a Mission of Love. After a 3.5 year long adoption process to bring her son Mateo home after Guatemala’s in-country adoption shutdown in January of 2008, Valerie felt called to do something more to give back to her son’s home country.
For the Love of Mateo was initially started to support the orphanage where Mateo lived from 15 months-3.5 years old. After her family traveled in 2012 to Guatemala on what would be their first official mission trip, Valerie felt a tug to do something more to support the children in Guatemala on a more permanent basis. So in the fall of 2012 Valerie applied for nonprofit status and then in May of 2013, For the Love of Mateo received official nonprofit status. Since the beginning, For the Love of Mateo’s mission was to serve children in Guatemala, and that has now grown to be able to serve over 13 outreach projects throughout Guatemala.
For the Love of Mateo’s mission is to provide support to all of their “missions of love” all year long through monthly sponsorship programs, fundraisers, and yearly mission trips. The majority of the outreach projects that For the Love of Mateo serves focus on the education of children, sustainability within communities, providing food & necessities for the homeless, as well as supporting a teen mom home that also is the home for children living with HIV. In addition FTLOM supports after school programs, and provides shelter through fundraising for home builds, water filters, bunk beds, stoves, personal care items & ensuring the basic necessities of these families in need are met. FTLOM has also just recently started supporting a nursing home for the elderly & destitute in Antigua.