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How You Can Make A Difference Today With Travel Bloggers Without Borders

Integral Heart Foundation

Blogger Luke Armstrong working with the Integral Heart Foundation

Jessie on a Journey is participating in the first annual Travel Bloggers Without Borders fundraising event, which is seeking to make a difference by raising a total of $10,000 to help provide tuition for 55 young children to attend school in Guatemala. Working with The Integral Heart Foundation, this money will go toward providing education to children that come from dire living conditions. Some are victims of human trafficking, while others come from neighborhoods where negative influences are a daily battle. The Integral Heart offers them a support system and an alternative to of crime, prostitution or drugs.


The Integral Heart Foundation serves resource-poor families in the villages surrounding Antigua, Guatemala. They cultivate a love of learning from the most tender of ages. Children are cognitively and emotionally stimulated through educational activities and games. In addition to helping children, this program helps to empower mothers to work in other jobs than in the fields. Not only does this improve their financial situation, it helps their self-confidence soar.

What Is The Issue, Challenge or Problem?

Most children in Guatemala have no access to intellectual stimulation, spending their formative years on their mothers’ backs as they pick coffee or firewood in the mountains, and often beginning their lives of menial labor at three or four years old. Guatemala has the lowest rate of child literacy in Central America, and it is estimated that over 50% of the indigenous population is illiterate. Without access to nearby schools, many families are not able to educate their children.

Silhouettes of children in a garbage dump. Photo courtesy of Tayler Aubin.

How Will This Project Solve This Problem?

This sponsorship project delivers a safe container for education, cleanliness, laughs, and love, as children are able to just be children while simultaneously being intellectually stimulated. While they are being taught the fundamentals of reading and writing, they also learn to appreciate the value of maintaining personal hygiene. While in our sponsorship program we take care of each child’s nutrition, physical health and their emotional growth. We also make sure they have a lot of fun!

Potential Long Term Impact

This project has the potential to shift our children’s perception of education from complete unawareness to a profound and lasting love. This shift in perception will be multi-generational, as these children will pass on their love and respect for education to their children. The foundation’s appreciation for culture and the educational advancement of children of such a young age will build in them a hunger for knowledge that will aid them in every stage of their development. Integral Hearrt Foundation

Help Today

Being a global citizen means appreciating what one has and also looking for ways to help those to whom life has not afforded the same opportunities. This is your chance to do something tangible. Donate whatever you can, $50, $20, $10, even $1 supports a child’s education for two days. Please be generous and help us meet our goal and take 55 children off the streets and put them in the classroom. Click here.

About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is an New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

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  1. Hogga on at 5:17 pm

    love this! so important to give back

    • jess2716 on at 5:20 pm

      @Lindsay: It is! 🙂 Please share with your circles!

  2. Anna on at 6:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Life is a boomerang and acts of kindness warms the heart.

    • jess2716 on at 6:25 pm

      @Anna: So true!

  3. Luke Armstrong on at 7:19 pm

    Hey Jess, thanks for all you are doing with this. I’m hitting up the Kohls today to see what all needs to be done there. Thanks and gracias… you are awesome, I’m calling you right now to talk Guatemala….

    • jess2716 on at 4:54 am

      @Luke: Let me know how it goes! I’m actually in India right now so my phone won’t ring haha. I might be going in February if Chris can get off work, should know by tomorrow. Either way I’m definitely going either in Feb or April!

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