In 1986 Leonor Portela establishes Misioneros Del Camino, the "children's home", in Guatemala City with six children. A few years later the municipality of Sumpango, Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, donates approximately 10 acres of land with several abandoned buildings. After years of rebuilding, the Home moved to its current location near the town of Sumpango, Sacatepéquez, Guatemala. Since there was no water on the site for the first few years they had to purchase a daily supply of water.
Thanks to the Guatemala Sur Rotary Club, and Rotary Clubs in the U.S. and Canada,
a 705-foot deep mechanical well now provide water for the Home. Realizing the need for a good education and thanks to the generosity of Guatemalan businessman Mr. Ernesto Townson and his wife, a school for 200 children was built. The school provides education, uniforms, school supplies, and transportation to the children from the surrounding areas.
The Emmaus Medical Mission travels to the home from Miami every six months, under the leadership of Orlando Silva, MD. During their trips they treat several thousand patients from the surrounding communities as well as children from the home. A few years after the missions began; the need to build housing for the visiting physicians and the volunteers was identified. Through fundraising efforts by Dr. Silva, the Emmaus Medical Mission built a facility that accommodates the medical missions when they are visiting the home. The vision was started by Leonor when she realized the need for medical care in the nearby areas; the community has always appreciated MDC’s outreach to help their underserved population.
As Leonor saw the different needs for the home she always had a next project in mind. As malnourished children were brought to the home she set up a nutritional ward where the children are nourished until they recover. As she recognized the need to help children and their families with neurological needs she began planning her next project for a neurological clinic. Thanks to a very generous donation made by Margarita Galiana, a Cuban-American businesswoman from Miami, the clinic opened and currently treats over one hundred children and their families.
Today Leonor’s legacy continues with similar project that are currently in the works to address the need for the children of the home, the neurological clinic as well as those of the surrounding communities.