Patrick Atkinson
Nuestros Ahijados/ The God`s Child Project
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Patrick Atkinson
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Patrick Atkinson
Atkinson Consulting Partnerships
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Patrick J. Atkinson, MNM
Quien es Patrick Atkinson
Patrick Atkinson worked with Casa Alianza in Guatemala from the early 1980s until 1990 after the fall of Father Bruce Ritter. Atkinson then began his own child sponsorship project, the God's Child Project (La Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados) in Guatemala.

Please do not confuse Patrick Atkinson's project with The Godchild Project (Familias de Esperanza), a fully-integrated community development program also operating in Antigua, Guatemala. The GodChild Project is based in St.Paul, Minnesota.

The "Golden Boys" of Covenant House
Casa Alianza in Guatemala
Kroll Associates Investigation of Casa Alianza
Creating Myths
Jim and Roberta McLaughlin
Links to related pages on this and other sites...
Mas acerca de Patrick
Patrick Atkinson, founder and executive director of the God's Child Project, is described in Broken Covenant as one of Father Bruce Ritter's "golden boys". Charles Sennott, the author of Broken Covenant writes:

It struck Agcuili [a floor supervisor in the Under 21 program] as strange given the fact that during those two years [1983 and 1984], he and other staff members would see a steady stream of young men go up to Ritter's eighth-floor office, often late at night. They were referred to as "summer guests" or "visiting volunteers." Senior staff members... would post memos at the security booth at the entrance to Covenant House informing the guards that the select young men were to be given access to Ritter's office.
"It raised a lot of eyebrows," Agcuili said. "Father Bruce opened himself up to questions about his sexuality and questions about his conduct. There was a lot of discussion about it within the staff. People believed that he was gay. I don't think people thought he would abuse the kids."
Ritter employed only a small inner circle of executive staff members, including Loken, Atkinson, Torkelsen, and Kells. They were referred to by lower-level staff members as the "golden boys" because most of them were handsome young white males. Ritter's clear favoritism towards them raised more questions among staff members.

Patrick Atkinson is a man who believes in the 'hard' values of no-nonsense efficiency and justifiable effectiveness.

As always, he puts it more directly... "Being surrounded by the poor as we are, there is too much for us to do now for us to waste any valuable resources, especially time."

And time Atkinson hasn't wasted.

As a highly educated business administrator second, and missioner dedicated to his faith and the poor first, Patrick Atkinson is the founder and executive director of several nonprofit international charities, and he sits on the boards of several non-profit and for-profit corporations.

Atkinson is in constant national demand as a low-key, highly-inspritational speaker. He is widely sought after for his presentations on health, education, and business-related matters as they relate to charities serving in developing nations.

Atkinson is most recently best known as the founder and international executive director of The GOD'S CHILD Project , a non-profit ecumenical international charity he began in 1991.

The 11,000 poor children, young adults, and homeless families that are helped through The GOD'S CHILD Project would be more than enough for anyone, but Atkinson doesn't stop there. He is also the administrator for a specialized school that teaches mentally, intellectually, and physically challenged boys, girls, and young adults, and oversees several rural schools and three clinics for the poor and especially children of migrant workers.
In 1991, he returned to Guatemala, Central America, to found the Guatemalan charity, La Asociación Nuestros Ahijados. During the 1990's, Atkinson designed and refined an educational methodology and approach for educating the poor in developing nations, which he calls the Bismarck Educational System (BESY). BESY has received international attention and study by developing school systems.

In 1999 and 2000, while a graduate student at Regis University in Denver, CO, Atkinson co-developed a university course model based on international service learning, and he coined the term "SOFE", meaning Service Oriented Field Experience. An intensive review and dissection of the SOFE course modality was recently authored for university level textbooks by course co-developer Elise Burton, J.D.

In 2000 and 2001, Atkinson was invited by the United Nations to develop child development and educational programs for street children left orphaned by the rampaging AIDS crisis in East and South Africa. He is presently active in this new ministry in Malawi and Tanzania.

During the past seven years, Atkinson has developed the architectural design and is overseeing the construction of a 10-acre community health, education, and development facility known as The DREAMER Center, which is located on the edge of the notorious San Felipe slums, outside of Antigua Guatemala. He has full responsibility for fund-raising for this project, as well as for project development and management.
Casa Alianza
Ritter established Casa Alianza in Guatemala in 1982. And he handpicked a young acolyte, Patrick Atkinson, to serve as director. Patrick Atkinson, 23, was Ritter's personal secretary. He had entered Covenant House a year earlier, had no social work background and admitted that he spoke no Spanish.

Newsday, page 4, October 7, 1990

Patrick Atkinson ran Casa Alianza during the 1980s, some of the bloodiest days of the long Guatemalan civil war, with almost no Covenant House board oversight. Patrick Atkinson himself relates that just before the end of a fiscal year, he would receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from Covenant House in New York to spend within a short period of time.

One of the Guatemalan supporters of Casa Alianza during that time was Roberto Alejos Arzu, a notorious ultra-conservative. Alejos has been linked to the abortive kidnapping of a Guatemalan cardinal in 1968. Workers on his sugar plantation who complain end up in a ditch. In 1960, Alejos lent his sugar plantation to the CIA to train Cubans preparing for the Bay of Pigs invasion.

According to the Newsday article, Patrick Atkinson's response to these charges was,

"Roberto [Alejos] was the conduit for tons of supplies...He was a good man and I'm not going to condemn him on hearsay".
News Day Article
In late 1990, Patrick Atkinson was dismissed by Covenant House and was succeeded by Bruce Harris as regional director of Casa Alianza. Bruce Harris, still the regional director of Casa Alianza, wasted no time in cleaning up Casa Alianza. According to the 1990 Newsday article,

"Everything at Casa Alianza changed within months of Harris' arrival in September last year. Harris, 35, turned his attention to setting the charity on a firm foundation. Harris said he found staffers sexually abusing children, their predations made easier by lax rules and a lack of accountability. By April, he had fired more than half a dozen employees. Counselor Carlos Gonzalez and operations director Marco Antonio Trujillo were charged by Harris with sexually molesting children. Two other former counselors also are suspected of sexually molesting children at Casa Alianza. Harris said he believes other top staffers knew what was going on but took no action. Neither Gonzalez nor Trujillo has a phone and they could not be reached for comment. Harris' findings of sexual and fiscal abuse were later confirmed by investigators from Kroll Associates, a private investigation firm run by former New York City Police Commissioner Robert McGuire."

Biography based on combined comments from United States Congressman Earl Pomeroy, North Dakota First Lady Mikey Hoeven, Fr. Patrick Schumacher, and an introduction of Mr. Atkinson to the University of Rochester (NY) Medical School.