Our History

Ties to the World was born out the call for action by some incredible people, and the coming together of some passions of Ibis Schlesinger. While in school in Guatemala, she belonged to the Beneficiary Committee. Their job was to visit leprosy centers, senior centers, and orphanages with the hope that singing and dancing for the children and elders would bring a smile to their faces, and at least momentarily help them forget about their pain or misery.

Our First Group

After careful investigation, Ibis found an orphanage in Guatemala with the leadership and vision necessary to partner with Ties to the World and create a viable self-sustaining business partnership. Hogar San Francisco Xavier is one of a group of 40 other orphanages ran by a group of brothers of the Divinity order.

In June 2007, our first group of four U.S. college students traveled to Guatemala and the orphanage. They did a feasibility study on a social entrepreneurial business. Our youth leaders met with business people in the U.S. and in Guatemala, as well as Guatemalan peers with the same zeal for social entrepreneurship. The time they spent interacting with the children and staff made them realize the enormous potential the children have and how committed the staff is to the children's well-being.

Upon their return, our student leaders presented their findings to the Ties to the World Board of Directors, planned fundraising events, contributed to developing our website, wrote articles for the newspaper, and started Ties to the World Chapters at their universities. Two of our young leaders serve in our Board of Directors.

"Our mission is to establish a set of trade business practices that can help orphanges create financial self-sustaninability while teaching the children life skills and successful independent living."
–Ibis Schlesinger