How it all started

I am Tessa de Goede de Ordoñez. After my studies at the School for Hotelmanagement it was time for me to go out into the wide world. I was 20 years old and so done with going to school. So I left with my backpack to South America, where I traveled alone for seven months and volunteered in various places. After this, I lived in China for a year, in Nepal for a while and traveled around a lot.

In 2008 I ended up in Guatemala, mainly with the aim of improving my Spanish. The plan was to stay for one month ... However, I fell in love with Guatemala, the country, the people, my work and my salsa teacher, who has been my husband for nine years already. During my stay, I started working voluntarily in a hospital with children born with cleft lip and palate. With a mother as a maternity nurse, I was already familiar with cleft lip and palate. Since the mothers are not allowed to stay with the children when they are in the hospital, it was my job to feed, bathe and dress them. I immediately fell in love with these children, with their beautiful wide smiles and sparkling eyes.

During this time, I was searching for what I wanted in life. I decided to investigate after which I found out that there was simply no help available for these children in Guatemala. There was not a single organization that helped these children and that broke my heart. When I returned to the Netherlands after seven months, I could not let it go. I was sure that I wanted to do something for these children in the future.

Once back in the Netherlands, I decided to set up a foundation. I gathered a board, created my own website and told everyone about my wild plans. The idea was to return to Guatemala for one year to set up the project there, which afterwards I could manage from the Netherlands. .However, things turned out a little differently… Now, 12 years later, I live and work full-time in Guatemala, with the children with cleft lip and palate that I fell in love with so many years ago. I never want to leave here. This is my calling!

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About the foundation

The Tess Unlimited Foundation is based in the Netherlands (Chamber of Commerce 08181442) and included in the ANBI-register from the Tax Authorities. The ANBI quality mark ensures that you can deduct your donations to us in the income tax return. we are not registered in the United States. 

Besides the people we work with daily, we also work with partners such as the Lilliane Fonds (in The Netherlands) Smile Train (in America) and Muses (volunteer training). In addition, we are extremely happy with the people who work for Tess Unlimited as members of the board, as volunteers and as founders of a Club of 100.

The board

Marianne Karstens

President

Travels to Guatemala on a yearly basis. As a founder of her own company (Walnut FHM) she possesses a lot of knowledge about being the board president.

Loves: good food and traveling

Marianne Karstens

President

Travels to Guatemala on a yearly basis. As a founder of her own company (Walnut FHM) she possesses a lot of knowledge about being the board president.

Loves: good food and traveling

Tessa de Goede de Ordoñez

Founder/director

Is the contact person in Guatemala. Keeps the board in the Netherlands informed about the state of affairs on a daily basis

Loves: dogs and running

Tessa de Goede de Ordoñez

Founder/director

Is the contact person in Guatemala. Keeps the board in the Netherlands informed about the state of affairs on a daily basis

Loves: dogs and running

Paul de Goede

Treasurer

Is the father of Tessa. Retired and joined the board in 2018, but has been involved with the foundation from the very first hour.

Loves: wine and nature

Paul de Goede

Treasurer

Is the father of Tessa. Retired and joined the board in 2018, but has been involved with the foundation from the very first hour.

Loves: wine and nature

Christel Tinselboer

President

The country of eternal spring, Guatemala, where she has lived for 10 years has a special place in her heart. Currently she promotes the foundation in the Netherlands at presentations and markets.

Loves: theatre and her two kids

Christel Tinselboer

PR/fundraising

The country of eternal spring, Guatemala, where she has lived for 10 years has a special place in her heart. Currently she promotes the foundation in the Netherlands at presentations and markets.

Loves: theatre and her two kids

Paula van de Kamp

volunteer coordinator

In Guatemala for the second time, where she unleashed her creativity on various projects within the foundation. She was born with a cleft lip herself and created the picture book Beautiful as you are.

Loves: photography and traveling

Christel Tinselboer

PR/fundraising

The country of eternal spring, Guatemala, where she has lived for 10 years has a special place in her heart. Currently she promotes the foundation in the Netherlands at presentations and markets.

Loves: theatre and her two kids

Christel Tinselboer

PR/fundraising

The country of eternal spring, Guatemala, where she has lived for 10 years has a special place in her heart. Currently she promotes the foundation in the Netherlands at presentations and markets.

Loves: theatre and her two kids

Christel Tinselboer

PR/fundraising

The country of eternal spring, Guatemala, where she has lived for 10 years has a special place in her heart. Currently she promotes the foundation in the Netherlands at presentations and markets.

Loves: theatre and her two kids

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