Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why we're here....

The Front Gate

Time to talk about Common Hope, the organization that we are working with and that impresses us so much.  Everyone in Antigua knows "el proyecto" (the project), as Common Hope is known to the locals.  And everyone knows, and is thankful for, the good that it does.  Children who are sponsored by Common Hope (through sponsorships by donors) are provided with everything that they can't afford to get an education - school supplies, shoes, uniforms, as well as after-school enrichment programs, a library and counseling.  In addition, when a child is sponsored, his/her whole family is "affiliated" - meaning that they benefit from the resources of Common Hope.  This can include medical care, social work visits, legal help, vocational training, the opportunity to work sweat equity towards a solid home with a cement floor, or a stove that's vented to the outside.  If the parents pull the child from school, the deal is off - hopefully instilling the value of education into the whole family.  Common Hope is coming up on 10,000 sponsored children who have graduated from high school - a phenominal achievement in a country where a sixth grade education is not an assumption. 

"Familias de Experanza" - Common Hope in Spanish
 These photos are of the "proyecto" - the safe and secure place where sponsored children can come to study and to learn; and where affiliated families come for their needs.  What is missing is the power and energy that flows through these walls and out into a community of people who need help. 

Beautiful waiting area for the clinic

Pre-school kids

Clinic and some education rooms

Volcan Fuego smoking a bit

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