History of Hand in Hand Ministries

Our Beginnings

A trip to the Caribbean in 1994 to repair an orphanage altered the course of Wayne Fowler’s life. He knew his team of volunteers had improved the living conditions for several children.

But that was not enough for him. He wanted to do more. He wanted to change the world.

He believed in the words of Margaret Meade who said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Those words inspired him to assemble a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens who together with his brother, Father Joe Fowler founded Hand in Hand Ministries in 1999.


Hand in Hand Ministries Established

Operating out of the rectory basement in Louisville’s Holy Trinity Parish, Hand in Hand Ministries, LLC is established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Hand in Hand supported partners in Belize and Nicaragua.


First Overseas Office Opens in Belize

First Home Built through Building for Change Program in Belize

First Immersion Trip to Auxier Center


Outreach Center Opens in Belize

The center serving children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS includes a pre-school, daycare and nurse’s station


"This is just one of the many cases where volunteerism can change the future of an individual and a family. This is a reason to humbly bask in the joy that you have been worthy investments."

Dr. Manuel Grimaldi
Speaking on the Progress of a Patient Treated on a Medical Trip

Pathway to Change Program in Nicaragua Begins with Three Students

Pathway to Change gives children from impoverished backgrounds an opportunity to experience and expanded well-rounded education.


"Hand in Hand has grown because of the people who have supported us. They inspire and encourage me to continue this amazing work of service to humanity and God."

Abel Vargas
Belize Director

"My original vision was to help children in a meaningful way, as I would want to be helped if I were in a similar situation."

Barbara Dunworth
Co-Director, Pathway to Change

"This isn't a job. It's a calling."

Libbey Smith
Retired Associate Director

"We are a lifeline for people in need, and we're all people in need."

Marla Cautilli
Executive Director

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