Monday, March 28, 2011

New Hope Village

New Hope Village (Nueva Esperanza) was built by Common Hope in 2005 in response to the terrible devstation experienced by Hurricane Mitch. Hundreds of thousands of people formerly living in gullies around Guatemala City were displaced with few options. Common Hope built a village in the hills outside Guatemala City and a built a school that is staffed and run by Common Hope. This school consistently surpasses national standards and is part of overall initiative by Common Hope to improve the quality of education available to affiliated families. For expample first grade promotion rate in Guatemala averages just over 70 percent whereas the New Hope school is in the high 90's.

The director of the project asked me to work with his team on some organizational improvements via some selected leadership workshops with his team of school leaders, education support leaders and administrators
A village on the way to New Hope

I met with him once a week in Antigua to plan the project and then traveled to New Hope on three consecutive Wednesdays to work with him and  his team. The trip involved two and a half hours through Guatemala City and then through increasingly poorer villages and rougher roads to this new village of block houses laid in neat squares with a school and playground at its base. It is indeed like reaching an oasis, not only physically but in the  hope shown on the children's faces. The Director gave me a tour the first day and we were repeatedly 'interrupted" by kids hugging and greeting us.
These were families among the poorest of the poor, in a situation made even worse by the hurricane and their children now have a chance to break the cycle of poverty

On the Road

On the Way to New Hope

The Leadership Team on 'Graduation ' Day

Houses at New Hope

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