Our focus lies in empowerment.

As a nonprofit, Hearts in Action is focused on building up young people and adults in the Peten with a sense of purpose and identity. Whether through formal schooling, creative experiences or greater opportunities for development and employment, HIA is engaged showing children and the community love and a future with hope.



through The Jungle School, which trains 400 Pre K children and employs over 20 teachers and over 30 full time staff in a rural setting in the heart of the jungle where there are very limited opportunities for formal education.


and ecology

through The Ranch, a 650 acre property that boosts biodiversity, organic farming, bird watching, aquaponics, permaculture and forest conservation efforts, including waste management, sustainable forestry, environmental training to locals and recycling.


Launching enterprises

like Itza Wood, carpentry and social enterprise, as well as eco-tourism startups, a jam collective, gourmet food line and toy making beekeeping projects and more. Our goal is to inspire our community members to create the change they want to see in the Peten through an entrepreneurial mindset and belief in their dreams.

We believe in change. And our process is rooted in listening to the people around us, focusing on using appreciative inquiry as a model that seeks to engage communities in self-determined change.

Education can break the cycle of generational poverty throughout the world.

Children are the best ground to sow seeds for righteousness, change and a brighter future.

Sustainability comes from building each individual’s capacity to address their own needs and working together as a community toward creative solutions.

Partnering with governments, communities, local organizations, and the private sector leads to success.

Values-driven education offers a solid base for community growth and development.

Conservation and maintenance of our environment is crucial to life and healthy community development.

Our values keep us aligned.

Encourage love for the Creator and His creation.

Take care of what surrounds you.

Leave a place better than you found it.

Operate under a pioneering and creative mindset.

We’ve accomplished so much.

Hearts in Action (HIA) is a 501(C)3 non profit that was founded in 1987 by Mario and Suzanne Babarczy in Massachusetts. Our organization began through smaller efforts, such as educating a group of local children, then grew to larger meetings and seminars on an international scale. We initially taught in camp meetings and throughout New England for five years before moving to Guatemala in 1993 to work with the government on educational programs targeted at children and youth, focused on crime prevention, stopping sexual abuse of children and values training in many many schools, youth jails, orphanages and where ever children were from remote villages to cites.

Since 1993, we have worked in hundreds of schools, trained thousands of teachers, and educated over 3 million children in 5 countries through our programs and curriculum.

In 1999, we found out about an abandoned orphanage in the Peten jungle, the Mayan biosphere, given the strategic location and opportunities for impact in the secluded community, decided to leave our base in Guatemala City.

Since that time, through strategic partnerships, our organization has formed bases in Peru, Mexico, and Colombia. Our global focus continues to be ecological education for rural communities in poverty stricken areas and employment opportunities for the underprivileged. In addition, we host leadership trainings and promote children’s health prevention, healthcare and nutrition. Our base is bustling with new projects related to forestry, agronomy and education.

There’s so much left to do.

Understanding that change takes time and partnership, we are heavily invested in our local community and want to work together to create a brighter tomorrowthat makes jobs, values based education that goes beyond the classroom, and conservation efforts that leave this planet better than how we found it.