Sara Castellano is creating multimedia publishing, creative writing, & social programs
0

patrons

Hi! I'm on Patreon because I'm a writer with BIG projects I want to bring about - I live in Guatemala but I'm an American from North Carolina. I have twenty years history here - this week in fact - and I have family here, including my half-Guatemalan children. I want to thank you for checking us out up to this point and I hope you'll take some time to see what we're about and what you'll be contributing to if you choose to join our happy and intimate but ever-growing circle!

The projects we are working on here all sound quite large - and I'll talk about them in a minute - but they all come back to an end goal.

We want to establish a domestic violence shelter and an orphanage here in San Marcos, Guatemala. Guatemala has a rampant domestic violence problem and it's #3 in the world in femicide, ranking high in human trafficking mostly for sexual violence purposes, as well as in teen pregnancy with more than 3/4 being caused by an immediate male family member. The entire country currently has about ten shelters and they don't house many women. 

Orphanages here are always full and constantly turn away children due to lack of space, and it's gotten worse since 2007 when international adoptions were outlawed because loved and wanted children were being stolen from their homes and sold to well-meaning families who thought the kids were abandoned. The orphanages swelled and the international donations dried up. Kids who were once staying for months are now spending their entire lives there. San Marcos has one great orphanage already, but it isn't big enough to cover the needs of the entire city or department - and I don't know that we could either, but we'd surely help.

Sometimes I'm hesitant to talk about why our projects are necessary because they make it sound so bad here - but these are situations motivated by poverty. It's a sad state of affairs to see some of the most beautiful land and some of the most wonderful people I know in a constant state of crisis just because of poverty. I don't know how to bring more money into the entire country, improve the value of the quetzal on international currency markets, create millions of jobs that pay over the minimum wage, and educate the entire country. But I do know how to support from the ground up - that's what I have done for decades as a community organizer. So here I am, and that's what we aim to do.

There are several creative/journalism/educational writing projects we are currently working on:

1. A training program for Guatemala police and investigators in how to handle abuse cases and interact with victims.

2. A training program for Guatemala teachers and school administrators to recognize and intervene in domestic violence and child abuse cases.

3. A weekly podcast and YouTube video about teaching the English language.

4. A weekly podcast and YouTube video about prevention of and intervention in domestic violence.

5. A series of English language textbooks and programming for Spanish speakers.

6. An investigative journalism work into how Guatemalan beauty pageant culture contributes to violence against women and sex trafficking.

7. An introduction of story therapy to combat depression, violence, and suicide in Guatemala.

8. A memoir of a victim of pancreatic cancer I had the pleasure of working for while also struggling with pancreatic cancer.

9. A children’s book series of adventures of our rescue cats and dogs (every resident of our rescue stars in their own book).

10. A jewelry and textile project with Guatemalan domestic violence victims to provide with living wages.

11. A graphic design, painting, and photography project with my students designed to help them make a living with their artwork.

We have other satellite projects that come back to these same end points:

1. Foreign language academy - Mostly English, we teach a little bit of French and are hoping to implement systems to foster learning of languages we don't even know. We started teaching English because as Americans, people asked us to. But in the end, I don't think English is what's valuable - learning a new language itself changes the way people think and it literally makes their brains more active. We'll always be an English academy but I want to encourage other languages.

2. Virtual assistant company - Currently the VA company thrives and is intended to make a living for us, but I want to - quickly - use it to train domestic violence victims and provide them with living wages so they don't have to return to abusers. We do a lot of social media management, translation, scheduling of travel and event planning, adminstrative and accounting work, graphic and web design, etc. Hey, call us - we could help you out! We hope to turn it into a call center too once we've developed a strong intensive English language course for our domestic violence clients.

3. Spanish academy and hostel - San Marcos sits off the tourist path in Guatemala and I'm making a real effort to bring tourists here to see the REAL Guatemala. We're developing tourism packages and Spanish language programs, and are building a hostel within the center too.

4. Primary and secondary art/technology/language school - Another part of my vision with our orphanage and our VA center, I want to turn San Marcos orphans into little Luis van Ahns...(he invented DuoLingo and Captcha, and he just happens to be from Guatemala). In the long run this will help with the economy here and provide the children and their families with skills they'd otherwise never be able to obtain.

5.Virtual assistant academy - Related to #3 and in some parts to our domestic violence shelter, I want to further increase tourism traffic by encouraging some of the backpackers that wander into Guatemala, stay for a few months and leave again, to learn about how to make an income while being globetrotters. They can take the VA courses while exploring Guatemala and southern Mexico from San Marcos, while learning about San Marcos, and while learning Spanish and/or volunteering in our shelter and orphanage.

6. Publishing house - This comes back to my wealth of writing and VA business. We have a lot of material, and we want to control how we profit from it and give back to our projects. The publishing house and my writing is why I seek Patreon funding, but all excess beyond paying basic bills goes to create our projects above. We'll be creating print and electronic fiction and nonfiction, podcasting, YouTube channels, printing and electronic magazines, social media campaigning, journalism, reality programming, and more.
Tiers
Chicken
$1 or more per month
Scratching out a living with my little nest eggs! 


Weekly newsletter just for Patreon donors. 

Seagull
$5 or more per month
Not so salty now, are we?


You get the weekly newsletter plus our current favorite original memes

Bluebird
$10 or more per month
Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly! 


You get the Seagull level perks plus cutting room floor access - edits from interviews, research, and the good stuff that didn't quite make it. 


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

Blackbird
$25 or more per month
We promise not to sing for you. 


You get all the Bluebird level perks plus a monthly google hangout party with other donors, Sara, and her crew. We’ll also give you recognition for your donation on our website.

Hummingbird
$50 or more per month
Always hovering!


You get to be my new boss! You receive all the Blackbird level perks, but if you tell me a topic I'll write an article on whatever you want.  


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

Cardinal
$100 or more per month
You stand out from the rest!


You receive everything from the hummingbird level, plus we send you a photographic print or hand-drawn customized sketch from one of our artists.


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

Penguin
$150 or more per month
Flying under pressure!


You get everything from the Cardinal level plus our monthly subscription box for free! The subscription box includes at least 3 of our favorite Guatemalan treasures for the month, sometimes snacks, sometimes art and other products.


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

Flamingo
$250 or more per month
Tickled pink!


You get everything from the Penguin level plus you can co-host once a month on one of our weekly podcasts!

Owl
$500 or more per month
A wise man once said... 


You get everything from the Flamingo level and a personal artwork from one of our art staff!


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

- personal artwork

Quetzal
$750 or more per month
You're a rare bird...


You get everything from the Owl level and curated goodies from Mayan and Guatemalan artesans, including art, clothing, and candies!


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

- personal artwork

- curated goodies

Peacock
$1,000 or more per month
The most colorful & proud of all God's creatures


You get everything from the Quetzal level and 1 annual weeklong expense-paid Guatemala/Mexico trip


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

- personal artwork

- curated goodies 

- annual expense-paid trip to see us!

Phoenix
$1,500 or more per month
Are you a mythical creature?


You get everything from the Peacock level plus 2 weeks at our Spanish school and hostel. Can be gifted to others.


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

- personal artwork

- curated goodies 

- annual expense-paid trip to see us!

- 2 weeks at our Spanish school and hostel (Mayan or French language lessons available if you already speak Spanish!)

Goals
0 of 10 patrons
When I have 10 patrons, I'll start our podcast programming.
1 of 10
Hi! I'm on Patreon because I'm a writer with BIG projects I want to bring about - I live in Guatemala but I'm an American from North Carolina. I have twenty years history here - this week in fact - and I have family here, including my half-Guatemalan children. I want to thank you for checking us out up to this point and I hope you'll take some time to see what we're about and what you'll be contributing to if you choose to join our happy and intimate but ever-growing circle!

The projects we are working on here all sound quite large - and I'll talk about them in a minute - but they all come back to an end goal.

We want to establish a domestic violence shelter and an orphanage here in San Marcos, Guatemala. Guatemala has a rampant domestic violence problem and it's #3 in the world in femicide, ranking high in human trafficking mostly for sexual violence purposes, as well as in teen pregnancy with more than 3/4 being caused by an immediate male family member. The entire country currently has about ten shelters and they don't house many women. 

Orphanages here are always full and constantly turn away children due to lack of space, and it's gotten worse since 2007 when international adoptions were outlawed because loved and wanted children were being stolen from their homes and sold to well-meaning families who thought the kids were abandoned. The orphanages swelled and the international donations dried up. Kids who were once staying for months are now spending their entire lives there. San Marcos has one great orphanage already, but it isn't big enough to cover the needs of the entire city or department - and I don't know that we could either, but we'd surely help.

Sometimes I'm hesitant to talk about why our projects are necessary because they make it sound so bad here - but these are situations motivated by poverty. It's a sad state of affairs to see some of the most beautiful land and some of the most wonderful people I know in a constant state of crisis just because of poverty. I don't know how to bring more money into the entire country, improve the value of the quetzal on international currency markets, create millions of jobs that pay over the minimum wage, and educate the entire country. But I do know how to support from the ground up - that's what I have done for decades as a community organizer. So here I am, and that's what we aim to do.

There are several creative/journalism/educational writing projects we are currently working on:

1. A training program for Guatemala police and investigators in how to handle abuse cases and interact with victims.

2. A training program for Guatemala teachers and school administrators to recognize and intervene in domestic violence and child abuse cases.

3. A weekly podcast and YouTube video about teaching the English language.

4. A weekly podcast and YouTube video about prevention of and intervention in domestic violence.

5. A series of English language textbooks and programming for Spanish speakers.

6. An investigative journalism work into how Guatemalan beauty pageant culture contributes to violence against women and sex trafficking.

7. An introduction of story therapy to combat depression, violence, and suicide in Guatemala.

8. A memoir of a victim of pancreatic cancer I had the pleasure of working for while also struggling with pancreatic cancer.

9. A children’s book series of adventures of our rescue cats and dogs (every resident of our rescue stars in their own book).

10. A jewelry and textile project with Guatemalan domestic violence victims to provide with living wages.

11. A graphic design, painting, and photography project with my students designed to help them make a living with their artwork.

We have other satellite projects that come back to these same end points:

1. Foreign language academy - Mostly English, we teach a little bit of French and are hoping to implement systems to foster learning of languages we don't even know. We started teaching English because as Americans, people asked us to. But in the end, I don't think English is what's valuable - learning a new language itself changes the way people think and it literally makes their brains more active. We'll always be an English academy but I want to encourage other languages.

2. Virtual assistant company - Currently the VA company thrives and is intended to make a living for us, but I want to - quickly - use it to train domestic violence victims and provide them with living wages so they don't have to return to abusers. We do a lot of social media management, translation, scheduling of travel and event planning, adminstrative and accounting work, graphic and web design, etc. Hey, call us - we could help you out! We hope to turn it into a call center too once we've developed a strong intensive English language course for our domestic violence clients.

3. Spanish academy and hostel - San Marcos sits off the tourist path in Guatemala and I'm making a real effort to bring tourists here to see the REAL Guatemala. We're developing tourism packages and Spanish language programs, and are building a hostel within the center too.

4. Primary and secondary art/technology/language school - Another part of my vision with our orphanage and our VA center, I want to turn San Marcos orphans into little Luis van Ahns...(he invented DuoLingo and Captcha, and he just happens to be from Guatemala). In the long run this will help with the economy here and provide the children and their families with skills they'd otherwise never be able to obtain.

5.Virtual assistant academy - Related to #3 and in some parts to our domestic violence shelter, I want to further increase tourism traffic by encouraging some of the backpackers that wander into Guatemala, stay for a few months and leave again, to learn about how to make an income while being globetrotters. They can take the VA courses while exploring Guatemala and southern Mexico from San Marcos, while learning about San Marcos, and while learning Spanish and/or volunteering in our shelter and orphanage.

6. Publishing house - This comes back to my wealth of writing and VA business. We have a lot of material, and we want to control how we profit from it and give back to our projects. The publishing house and my writing is why I seek Patreon funding, but all excess beyond paying basic bills goes to create our projects above. We'll be creating print and electronic fiction and nonfiction, podcasting, YouTube channels, printing and electronic magazines, social media campaigning, journalism, reality programming, and more.

Recent posts by Sara Castellano

Tiers
Chicken
$1 or more per month
Scratching out a living with my little nest eggs! 


Weekly newsletter just for Patreon donors. 

Seagull
$5 or more per month
Not so salty now, are we?


You get the weekly newsletter plus our current favorite original memes

Bluebird
$10 or more per month
Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly! 


You get the Seagull level perks plus cutting room floor access - edits from interviews, research, and the good stuff that didn't quite make it. 


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

Blackbird
$25 or more per month
We promise not to sing for you. 


You get all the Bluebird level perks plus a monthly google hangout party with other donors, Sara, and her crew. We’ll also give you recognition for your donation on our website.

Hummingbird
$50 or more per month
Always hovering!


You get to be my new boss! You receive all the Blackbird level perks, but if you tell me a topic I'll write an article on whatever you want.  


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

Cardinal
$100 or more per month
You stand out from the rest!


You receive everything from the hummingbird level, plus we send you a photographic print or hand-drawn customized sketch from one of our artists.


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

Penguin
$150 or more per month
Flying under pressure!


You get everything from the Cardinal level plus our monthly subscription box for free! The subscription box includes at least 3 of our favorite Guatemalan treasures for the month, sometimes snacks, sometimes art and other products.


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

Flamingo
$250 or more per month
Tickled pink!


You get everything from the Penguin level plus you can co-host once a month on one of our weekly podcasts!

Owl
$500 or more per month
A wise man once said... 


You get everything from the Flamingo level and a personal artwork from one of our art staff!


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

- personal artwork

Quetzal
$750 or more per month
You're a rare bird...


You get everything from the Owl level and curated goodies from Mayan and Guatemalan artesans, including art, clothing, and candies!


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

- personal artwork

- curated goodies

Peacock
$1,000 or more per month
The most colorful & proud of all God's creatures


You get everything from the Quetzal level and 1 annual weeklong expense-paid Guatemala/Mexico trip


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

- personal artwork

- curated goodies 

- annual expense-paid trip to see us!

Phoenix
$1,500 or more per month
Are you a mythical creature?


You get everything from the Peacock level plus 2 weeks at our Spanish school and hostel. Can be gifted to others.


That means you’ll get:

- our weekly newsletter

- our current favorites spotted around the web

- cutting room floor access

- an article on the topic of your choice

- a photo print or sketch

- monthly subscription box

- personal artwork

- curated goodies 

- annual expense-paid trip to see us!

- 2 weeks at our Spanish school and hostel (Mayan or French language lessons available if you already speak Spanish!)