Fr. Michael Della Penna with the children

Welcome o The Valley Of The Angels

Fr. Michael Della Penna with childrenVALLEY OF THE ANGELS, is an orphanage in Guatemala opened by the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception Province in 1988. Our facility is located about thirty minutes east of Guatemala City in a small Aldea (Village) called San Jose El Manzano in Santa Catarina Pinula. Fr. Rocco Famiglietti, who founded the Valley of the Angels, enlisted the help of many generous benefactors, like Rene Abularach, who donated some 14 manzanas (about 30 acres).


While Valley of the Angels was originally established for the specific purpose of educating and caring for abandoned and orphaned children, the mission was later expanded to include all poor children. Today, we house, feed and educate over 200 needy children and continue to welcome all children who in any way are in need of assistance. Sor Doris, Sor Mirna and Sor Hilda from the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception oversee the day to day supervision of the children in grades 1 through 9.

Valley of the Angels Orphanage is truly Fr Rocco’s dream come true. It is here that Fr Rocco , affectionately known as "Papa Rocco" built a legacy of love. With his insistence on giving the “best to the poor” rather than giving them the “left overs”, Papa Rocco affirms their human dignity through beautifying their environment; not only using the highest quality materials and the best architectural designs but by manicuring God’s natural beauty seen in creation.

All of this works together with the hope that the seeds planted by their solid education and good moral teaching will grow and blossom; allowing the children to contribute to their society and live a Christian life fully alive in Christ.


A Day in the Life at the Orphanage

To help you understand the lives of the children, we have provided a concise summary of "A Day in the life at the Orphanage."


A day at the mission begins very early, at 5:30am, when the children wake up and thank God in prayer. They then make their bed, wash up and eat breakfast at 7:00am. After brushing their teeth, class begins promptly at 8:00am for all nine grades, where they study such subjects as math, reading, English, computers, and music.


The children then gather in the salon for lunch, and afterwards brush their teeth before returning to class.  After school is over at 2:20, they have time for homework from 3:00-4:00.  Recreation follows from 4:00-5:00. Spiritual formation, a time to learn about their faith, is from 5:00-6:00.  After 6:00 o’clock dinner the children recite the rosary in groups, either in the Church or around the property. Before going to bed at 8:00pm, they will have free time which includes chores (the older girls wash clothes). They also are involved in making different arts and crafts, such as purses, tablecloths etc.


On Saturday the children attend lessons on the readings of the Holy Mass, watch some select television programs, play various sports (soccer, basketball and volleyball) and pray the Angelus at 12:00pm. After dinner they recite the rosary, either near the church or walking around, which many times includes a beautiful walk on the road to the Church, captured at our Gallery page. At 7:00pm, the children gather together in the large hall to watch a special movie, usually an animated feature with a religious theme. Sunday is cleaning day, followed by Adoration at 10:00am and then the Eucharist at 11:00am. This is rightly the highlight of the week as it is always a wondrous celebration beginning with all the children filing into our beautiful Church with their hands folded behind their backs. The angelic voices of the girl’s choir fill the Church as several older girls serve at the altar. Guests commonly comment on how attentive the children are during mass. The afternoon again includes free time for recreation, followed by the recitation of the rosary. Before going to bed at 8:00pm, the children are able to watch select television programs.