About the Author:
Ivette Alvarado is currently is studying communications at one of the private universities in Guatemala. She has been volunteering on Athentikos teams since 2016. Then two years ago, Ivette joined our staff team in a more permanent and indispensable role as the I AM ART Guatemala In-Country Assistant Coordinator working as the communications liaison for our Spanish speaking volunteers. She also serves as a translator, leads our large group game and teaching time and currently is our online translator for our I AM ART Exchange workshops. We love her ideas, energy and deep love of others and God. Her enthusiasm and vigor are a great asset to our team and we couldn’t imagine carrying on ministry without her! If you ever join us for one of our Guatemalan I AM ART camp experiences, you shall be blessed to meet this smiling face!
“I’ve worked and volunteered with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) around Guatemala for the past ten years; from medical trips, prayer walks, house construction, to well you get the picture. Somehow I really never felt like I belonged to any of those missions, but rather each week was just one more opportunity to volunteer. All that changed after my first week with Athentikos at an I Am Art camp. I asked God to keep me here serving with Athentikos, to keep me around, to keep me in touch with Him through the IAA experiences. It is kind of crazy to think that that was my prayer request TEN camps ago! Ten camps, sounds like a lot, a lot of paint, laughing, weeping and transforming myself into a better version of me every day. During this time God has been telling me to keep moving, to trust Him, to trust in the creativity He has planted in me, to fall down on my knees and be humble, to learn from others, to love and to forgive others. What a blessing these past ten camps have been to me.
Every camp has been so different from the previous, every kid, every workshop, and in every way. God has spoken to me through each experience. This is what I love about Athentikos: the IAA program works from the inside out, working at chipping away something that we can’t see at first glimpse but we know each person experiences: pain, suffering, insecurity, lack of identity, different kinds of poverty, etc. But what a good and beautiful God we seek, He never fails; seeing how kids learn to love themselves, to forgive themselves, to believe in what God is doing in them, that is what has kept me here. This time with Athentikos has taught me another way to experience God, another way to see Him.
I would never change this experience. I look forward to the next camp; to all the camps God will lead me to.
One of the main reasons I love doing my role with Athentikos is that I get the chance to call my own people to join the mission, to answer the call; Mathew 28:19-20 says, we are all called to share the gospel and build community with discipleship and when we do this, we don’t just bless others but we are blessed too.”
~ Ivette Alvarado
Ivette (on the right) emceeing one of the I AM ART camps.