A Brief History
GCP was founded in 1991 at the urgent request of several dozen orphaned and abandoned Guatemalan children whom GCP founder Patrick Atkinson had cared for during Guatemala’s violent 1980s civil war years.
From 1983 through 1989, Patrick founded, constructed, and directed war-zone relief and post-war reconstruction programs across Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and other Central American countries. When Patrick transferred to Southeast Asia in 1989 to work for international agencies leading the research and documentation of organized human trafficking networks, the Central American programs he had directed during the 1980s underwent dramatic change. These were communicated to him by the affected staff, children, government officials, and donors who asked him to return.
Patrick left Southeast Asia and returned to Guatemala in April of 1991 to seek out and recover the children and teenagers who had written to him with the goal of providing them with a foster home, school opportunity, and medical care. From his simple response… one that most parents would give if their children were suddenly in trouble… GCP was born. The Project continues to provide and expand its health, education, legal aid and anti-human trafficking, and job creation through sustainable development efforts in several of the poorest regions across the globe
With the help of many caring volunteers and generous donor, GCP has operated programs in several nations, including the United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, India, Malawi, and Kenya. GCP’s anti-human trafficking program, the ‘Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons‘, has worked to prevent human trafficking and rescue and return home human trafficking victims in 28 different countries.
GCP’s programs today care for and educate 5,000 orphaned and poverty-stricken children, and highly vulnerable widowed, abandoned, and single mothers and their dependents.