Aug 14, 2023

Wendy Gomez Matamoros named 2023 Horizon Award Recipient

Wendy Gomez Matamoros ('12), who serves at Tesoros de Dios in Nicaragua, has been named the 2023 Horizon Award recipient.

Wendy Gomez Matamoros (’12) has been named the 2023 Horizon Award recipient at Dordt University. This award identifies alumni who are community-minded and​ entrepreneurial—those who are using their knowledge, gifts, and talents to participate in God's redemptive work in the world.

Matamoros serves as the executive director of Tesoros de Dios, a Nicaraguan-based Christian nonprofit that seeks to help children with disabilities achieve their full potential. Matamoros and the staff at Tesoros de Dios support children with non-residential therapy and services to children, adolescents, and their families that come with a host of physical, intellectual, and mental disabilities. Most children come from poor living conditions and often see exclusion from the culture and community in Managua, Nicaragua.

“What I enjoy most is being able to see God working in all the different areas,” says Matamoros. “As director, I can see all the areas where God is working and being glorified through our staff, outreach work in rural communities, our children, parents, and collaborators in the country.”

When she was a student in the education program at Dordt, she gained more than just an education, but also leadership skills from positions such as Resident Assistant in the dorms and worship leader, as well as lifelong relationships.

“Dr. Kathleen VanTol was my special education teacher, and she was my mentor while I was in college, and continues to be my mentor,” says Matamoros. “She has come to Nicaragua several times, and one time for a whole semester! She has worked with our teachers and parents, and even the Ministry of Education of Nicaragua. And she is part of our Board of Directors. I am so thankful for her and the connection we can continue to have.”

Prior to attending college, Matamoros served as a volunteer at Tesoros de Dios and it was during those volunteer sessions that she discovered her joy in serving and working with children with disabilities, realizing that “there are more opportunities for those with disabilities.” Because of that sense of calling, Wendy chose to pursue a degree in special education, which brought her college search to Dordt University and the opportunity to experience the faith-based perspective that permeates every area of life. Upon her graduation from Dordt, Wendy felt a call from God to return to Nicaragua and serve with Tesoros de Dios.

“Over the years, I have witnessed the love our God has for the least of all, which in many places around the world are people with disabilities. He fights and provides for them in miraculous ways, and I am honored that He has chosen me to lead a nonprofit organization in Nicaragua that aligns with his heart for individuals with disabilities,” says Matamoros.

Dordt helped Matamoros to appreciate her faith.

“I was constantly challenged in my faith and it was at Dordt that my faith in Jesus became my own. For that I am so thankful.”

Wendy Matamoros will speak at the Defender Nation Dinner held on October 27 during Defender Days and will receive the award at that time.

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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