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NGO in Guatemala breaking the Cycle of Poverty through Education

It's great to be back at the School! -by Jenn Betts

Where do I begin? I first visited the school in 2013 for a four month period. I arrived before the school year started in January which allowed me to experience the local villages and familiarize myself with the general surroundings, the transport to and from the school and a mountain (yes, a mountain) called Vista Hermosa, meaning Beautiful View. Many students at the School of Hope live on Vista Hermosa and walk down it to start school every morning. 

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When I did it, it was hard, steep and on uneven ground. It was also very hot that day and this kind of heat is something that I’m definitely not used to. For me, it was an experience of shock and it allowed me to see how determined these people are to get their children to school every morning. 

With this image in mind, I was not expecting the playful, happy, smiling, (but still cheeky) children who came running through the gates for their first day of school that year. It was quite a humbling and touching experience, and definitely not something I will forget.

During that first visit, I was mainly in Primero, which is grade one with seven and eight year olds.This year I am helping out in the Tercero class (grade three) with the same students I worked with back in 2013, when they were in year one.

"It was quite a humbling and touching experience,
and definitely not something I will forget."

The rainy season has begun now but despite this, the children are just as enthusiastic. The school is seen as a safe environment, a place they can learn and they can just be children. It's lovely to see and to be a part of.There are some difficulties that come with the rainy season. Just recently we experienced a bad storm of torrential rain, thunder and lightning.

Jenn-Betts-2-2.jpgIt was hard to tell whether the courtyard was a playground or a swimming pool. It was also difficult to see the students worried and asking if their homes were going to be okay. Knowing about the conditions in some of the tin houses on the slope of Vista Hermosa sends a shiver down my back and I worry about how the rain affects these families.

It's great to see the developments and changes in the school such as the new shower block. This was being built and rarely used as I was leaving in 2013. It's now a facility that children use after P.E. as part of the school’s overall hygiene program.The new painting project was another change.  

"The school is seen as a safe environment,
a place they can learn and they can just be children."

A large group of volunteers completed painting the interior of the building in just over a week. The vibrant combination of yellow, red and white reinforces the fun and loving environment of the school. The project was completed with the help of some students and their families as well.

It was lovely to see parents helping out with this but also with other activities throughout the year. The amount of parent involvement certainly seems to have increased from the last time I was here. These projects, along with others in the future, are only made possible by the generosity of people giving up their time, and the donations of individuals, teams, volunteers and families and I’m happy and grateful to be a part of this community.

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Posted: 19/06/2015 23:09:06 by EFTC | with 0 comments
Filed under: kids, school, story, students, volunteer, volunteering


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