A Program for Immigrant Children with Adverse Experiences

“Guitars for Change” is a program launched in the fall of 2018 in collaboration with “Centro de Ayuda” (Center of Help) in Annapolis. In it, we identify youth at risk and provide them with free guitars and lessons in an after-school program.

This program is piloting in Annapolis because there has been a revival and an uptick in the brutal and aggressive MS-13 gang activity, and immigrant children are especially at risk for induction into a gang because there are fewer after school programs in which they can take part. They are often on their own after school.

75 children signed up for free guitar lessons of which we were able to choose 9 for the initial class in the fall. In the spring our program has grown to 18 students, and we hope to add 2 more later in the spring, for a total of 20 students, as funds become available.

We received donated guitars and footstools, and two teachers are giving weekly lessons to the lucky students chosen to participate in the program.

Because we collaborate with the Center of Help, students come every day to the center after school to practice their guitars. It is where the lessons take place and where the guitars are stored.

Why guitar? Most of the children are Hispanic and the guitar is a big part of their culture. Seen the movie “Coco”?

If you wish to support this program, please click on SUPPORT and place your donation amount in the membership box. When checkin out, put a note in the “additional information” box underneath the billing information stating that you want your donation to go toward the “Guitars for Change” program.

Thank you!

Because most of the immigrant children are Hispanic, and the guitar is a big part of their culture. Seen the movie “Coco”?

Yes, we accept donated guitars. If your guitar is not used for this program, we also donate guitars to vets. Either way, you can rest assured that we will find a new good home for your guitar.

All donations are recognized with a letter and are tax deductible as permissible by law. We recognize both donated funds and in-kind donations such as guitars and footstools in our concert programs.

The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society would like to thank the many individuals who have donated funds, guitars, and footstools through Facebook fundraisers, as well as Kirkpatrick Guitar Studio for servicing the donated guitars and Elville Center for the Creative Arts for their support.

Special thanks to everyone at Center for Help (Centro de Ayuda) and to the teachers Connor Milstead and Gabriel Rodriguez.


Teachers Connor Milstead and Rubén Portillo with some of the students in the “Guitars for Change” program.

Teacher Rubén Portillo with one of the students in the “Guitars for Change” program.

Tatiana Klein, president Center for Help, Asgerdur Sigurdardottir, president BCGS, Manuel Barrueco, BCGS Artistic Director, and some of the children in the “Guitars for Change” program.

Tatiana Klein, president Center of Help (left) and Asgerdur Sigurdardottir, president BCGS (right)

Manuel Barrueco, BCGS Artistic Director, Asgerdur Sigurdardottir, president BCGS, Maryland Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Luis Borunda, and some of the children in the “Guitars for Change” program.