Sip Smoothies, Share Smiles and Support Athentikos

9 Fruits Nashville Fundraiser June 1
Join the Athentikos team at 9 Fruits in Cool Spring Friday June 1 at 7:30pm to hear about our new film project. Scott, Ericha & Jonathan will be skyping in from Guatemala too. Proceeds from the smoothie sales will be going to the Becoming Fools project.

Can’t make the event but still want to support Athentikos!? The Athentikos crew is getting ready to join Scott this month to finish up filming. CLICK HERE to support us through your financial donations.

We Believe Because We Are Becoming Fools

Guatemala’s statistics seem hopeless, but we believe we can make a difference because we are Becoming Fools. We spent the afternoon with an incredibly sweet family who are featured in Becoming Fools. A single mother who was deaf and mute, was murdered in February, leaving her four children to live with their grandmother. That is sad enough … but the story continues. These children sell candy on the streets at night to help their grandmother make ends meet financially. In fact, the eleven year old son had to sell candy on the streets the day after his mother’s death in order to pay for her coffin. This reality is what we hope to document in our documentary, Becoming Fools.

We Believe Because We Are Becoming Fools

I stepped on a plane on April 23 to travel to Guatemala to continue production … and haven’t stopped since. We continue to document the story that unfolds before us. It is sad at times, and often overwhelmingly so. But we have also witnessed incredible joy as street youth prepare for their theatrical event on June, 16. These precious kids who were once only familiar faces have become friends and we are thrilled to watch them grow. It will be difficult to capture their stage performance because I know our eyes will be full of tears!

As we had hoped, Becoming Fools is more than a film. We believe it is a movement!

Momentum has grown in ways that we could have never imagined. In addition to film production, we have engaged in meetings with NGO’s, GO’s, churches and media to plan the week long event named Festival: Voz De Las Calles (Voice of the Streets). Groups and organizations are collaborating like never before, and rallying together around the idea that “together is better”.

We are more than tired. Our journey has been a trail of impossibilities and we still have a ways to go. We are the under dog – under staffed, under funded, and told by many that we cannot accomplish what we set out to do. But we choose to believe that all things are possible because we are Becoming Fools.

We still need your help.

Click here to give a tax deductible donation.

Everything works better together

Athentikos, FreedomGuatemala, PorUnaCausa and Weyaverde joined forces at Monkibú.  The event was multi-purpose, directed at benefiting all organizations involved, in addition to raising awareness about recycling and the issue of children living in the street.  Monkibú, a fun center for kids, hosted an event to teach kids about recycling.

Toy Story characters Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie showed up at the event to teach the children the importance of recycling.  They discussed what materials could be recycled and the proper way to recycle these materials in addition how to conserve energy.  Buzz, Woody and Jessie taught the kids the 3 R’s…reducir, reusar, reciclar (reduce, reuse, recycle).

As part of the event, all participating organizations invited everyone to bring their recyclable items to a recently installed recycle bin at Monkibú.  Weyaverde, a recycling center installed this bin and will pick up all donated materials and transport them to a recycling center.  Monkibú is now an established “punto verde” (recycling center) and will continue accepting recycling donations, however all proceeds collected from today’s event and through June 15th will be donated to MOJOCA – Movimiento de jóvenes de la calle.  MOJOCA is an organization in Guatemala City working in the streets with children of the streets.  Many of the children involved in Voz de las Calles and Becoming Fools are children that participate in MOJOCA’s programs.  Their work features 5 stages in which children from the streets attend school, participate in vocational training, work for an income, gain independence and reinsert themselves into society.  Benefits from Voz de las Calles and Becoming Fools will go to continue this vocational training at MOJOCA.

Intentional Collisions

Seek the journey that seems impossible & out of reach. That is where you find true friends.

The last three weeks have been full and diverse. Actually, diverse is a nice way of saying stretched thin. We’ve had long days of meetings, researching, scouting, production, logging footage, editing … and more meetings. Toss in lack of sleep and heavy subject matter and you have the perfect scenario to brew a typhoon of emotions.

We are documenting a story that is uncontrolled – many times it seems as if it has no track at all, winding all over the place and crashing into anything in its path. Conflict makes for a great story, but the trouble is you have to capture it …. In the past three weeks, we have:

• Lost a theatrical director to a motorcycle accident
• Potentially lost a major character to the story who has been in rehab for over a year & wants to move out on his own but probably shouldn’t
• Received news that we were not selected for a grant we hoped to receive that would have greatly helped us finish this film
• Been told by several people that we cannot achieve what we have set out to do

But over the same period of time, we have:

• Secured Guatemalan television coverage and interviews for some of our events
• Witnessed NGOs, Governmental, Evangelical and Catholic organizations join together in cooperation to begin a united front in tackling the issue of street youth
• Partnered with another Guatemalan NGO that is helping to resource the live event
• Been blessed with an incredible new theatrical director for our live event
• Developed a relationship with an international TV media
• Sparked an interest from a marketing guru from Pepsi Guatemala
• Watched the youth grow together as they rehearse for the live event

Ultimately, the thing that matters the most in the list above is the last. That is what keeps us going at the end of the day. We aren’t merely telling a story about an issue, we are telling a very personal story about real people who are trying to break the bondage of their circumstances. When I see these kids faithfully show up every week for rehearsal, it breaks my heart and fills it up at the same time. I have seen them both high on solvent and straight as an arrow. I have seen them on the street, in rehab and back on the street. I have seen them cry out in prayer and laugh hysterically at funny moment. Most importantly, I have seen them … as real people … with dignity.

We have a very long way to go in production, and to be honest, I have no idea how this story will unfold. It is frightening, if not overwhelming to feel responsible for capturing all of this into a story that is as fragile and beautiful as the reality in which we currently drift. But I’m clinging to the hope that we are not merely drifting. Somehow these collisions are intentional in eternity.

Intentional Collisions

Seek the journey that seems impossible & out of reach. That is where you find true friends.

The last three weeks have been full and diverse. Actually, diverse is a nice way of saying stretched thin. We’ve had long days of meetings, researching, scouting, production, logging footage, editing … and more meetings. Toss in lack of sleep and heavy subject matter and you have the perfect scenario to brew a typhoon of emotions.

We are documenting a story that is uncontrolled – many times it seems as if it has no track at all, winding all over the place and crashing into anything in its path. Conflict makes for a great story, but the trouble is you have to capture it …. In the past three weeks, we have:

• Lost a theatrical director to a motorcycle accident
• Potentially lost a major character to the story who has been in rehab for over a year & wants to move out on his own but probably shouldn’t
• Received news that we were not selected for a grant we hoped to receive that would have greatly helped us finish this film
• Been told by several people that we cannot achieve what we have set out to do

But over the same period of time, we have:

• Secured Guatemalan television coverage and interviews for some of our events
• Witnessed NGOs, Governmental, Evangelical and Catholic organizations join together in cooperation to begin a united front in tackling the issue of street youth
• Partnered with another Guatemalan NGO that is helping to resource the live event
• Been blessed with an incredible new theatrical director for our live event
• Developed a relationship with an international TV media
• Sparked an interest from a marketing guru from Pepsi Guatemala
• Watched the youth grow together as they rehearse for the live event

Ultimately, the thing that matters the most in the list above is the last. That is what keeps us going at the end of the day. We aren’t merely telling a story about an issue, we are telling a very personal story about real people who are trying to break the bondage of their circumstances. When I see these kids faithfully show up every week for rehearsal, it breaks my heart and fills it up at the same time. I have seen them both high on solvent and straight as an arrow. I have seen them on the street, in rehab and back on the street. I have seen them cry out in prayer and laugh hysterically at funny moment. Most importantly, I have seen them … as real people … with dignity.

We have a very long way to go in production, and to be honest, I have no idea how this story will unfold. It is frightening, if not overwhelming to feel responsible for capturing all of this into a story that is as fragile and beautiful as the reality in which we currently drift. But I’m clinging to the hope that we are not merely drifting. Somehow these collisions are intentional in eternity.

Guate Cirko

We are excited that the very talented Guate Cirko is collaborating with us in the Voz De Las Calles event at Teatro Abril in Guatemala City on June 16, 2012. Here is a look at their Comparsa event earlier this year.

Beauty is …

We were checking out at the grocery store the other day, and my son Micah said, “Hey dad, there’s a picture of Guatemala.”

I turned around and noticed he was pointing at this magazine. I had to hide my tears because his observation struck a chord in my soul. He was talking about the country of his birth. This is one of the reasons we invest so much or ourselves into Athentikos.


Once we got to the car, I explained that the picture was not of Guatemala, but of a different country called Syria. That didn’t really matter to him. Micah was certain of the photo’s location. He described in detail the things which made the photo “Guatemalan”.

He said, “The buildings are old, gray, and broken. The streets are broken and dirty …”

I almost chimed in to correct him and reinforce the reality that this photo was NOT Guatemala. But, I caught myself in time and just listened to him explain.

“It is kind of scary …”, he continued.

Wow! Was this how my son really saw his birth country – old, broken, and scary? What a contrast! I see a beautiful country with flowers, volcanoes, lakes, historical architecture, intoxicating color, and some of the warmest, most charming people I have ever met. However, when I stopped to look at the photo through the eyes of a six year old, suddenly Guatemala I could see the similarities. They are both war torn, yearning for hope and a better future.

I told Micah I could see the similarities he mentioned, but this photo was not taken in Guatemala. I explained the fact that war had damaged both these countries, but they were still beautiful; and both had incredible people are working hard to make their countries better. I reminded him of all the beautiful things in Guatemala and promised to take him there someday to explore its wonder with him.

He is very excited about climbing a volcano together someday.

Admittedly, so am I.