The Casa Hogar was founded in 1989 by the Austrian teacher Werner Römich and the Guatemalan teacher Marco Roca.
Werner Römich was born in 1949 in Graz, Austria. After completing his professional training as a primary and secondary modern school teacher Werner Römich moved to Guatemala to teach at the Instituto Austríaco Guatemalteco between 1967 and 1973. After two years in Austria he returned to the Guatemalan highlands in 1975 where he started working as a development aid worker for the former Austrian Development Agency ÖED. Likewise, he committed himself to development aid in Bolivia from 1978 to 1979. Subsequently, he took on the function of Vicepresident at the Latinamerican Institute in Graz, in addition to his normal teaching activity. In 1986 he began his second term of office at the Instituto Austríaco Guatemalteco. Together with his Guatemalan colleague and friend Marco Rocca he founded the Casa Hogar in 1989. In 1995, after his second period of office at the Instituto Austríaco Guatemalteco, he retired. He has lived half of the year in Austria and half of the year in Guatemala ever since. Despite his age of over 70 years he has not grown tired of dedicating himself to his life’s work that he initiated together with Marco Rocca. To honour this work he has been awarded the honorary presidency by the management board of the project executing organisation ASOL.
Marco Antonio Roca Montenegro († 14.6.2013) was born in 1937 in Guatemala. After completing his professional training as a primary school teacher, he taught without any pay for one year before he set foot in the transportation industry due to changing conditions in the labour market. Being drawn back to teaching, his true vocation, he started working as a teacher at the Colegio „J. Celia Mazariegos“ in the capital city. In 1965 he co-founded the junior and senior highschool there. In 1968 he changed to the Instituto Austríaco Guatemalteco, where he also became the Guatemalan headmaster of the primary school apart from his teaching acticity. Until 1971 he also took over the coordination of the lower grades. From the year 1985 on he was, in addition to his other time-consuming duties, also in charge of planning and organising the contruction of the Colegio Viena. As founder of this new school, which opened in 1986, he immediately became the headmaster and stayed in this position, together with his function as the Guatemalan headmaster of the primary school of the adjacent Instituto Austríaco Guatemalteco, until his retirement in 1998.
In the year 1998 he founded the Casa Hogar together with his Austrian colleague and friend Werner Römich whose managing director he was until 2005. He subsequently became an active member of the management board. Already several years ago Marco Rocca retired from his official functions. Notwithstanding, he keeps committing himself with words and deeds to his life’s work that he started together with Werner Römich, the Casa Hogar, as the honorary president of the management board.