Keeping the Hope Alive – Filling a gap in education for Maya Achi youth
For the last fifteen years, the Fundación Nueva Esperanza/New Hope Foundation has been working at the grassroots level in Rabinal, Guatemala, to provide high school education to Maya Achi youth whose families were affected by the genocide against the Maya population of the 1980’s.
The Foundation was created and is run by locals of Rabinal, placing an important focus on indigenous cultural identity and the role of students in the holistic development of their communities. Hundreds of students have graduated from the school over the years, opening doors to personal and professional development options that would have otherwise stayed closed.
The curriculum is based on popular education, hands-on learning and the strengthening of the local Maya-Achi cultural identity. Students work in groups to examine their role in the development of their own communities, and learn skills to become community leaders. The results show, even in the staff of the Foundation: one of its first graduates has returned to the Foundation as a teacher after completing her education in this field, while another graduate returned to the Foundation to do her med school residency at the Foundation’s health clinic.
The Foundation is working towards self-sufficiency, though it still relies on outside support. The European financial crisis has affected a portion of its current funding for the next year. Hence, the Foundation is calling on its friends around the world to ensure it continues on its path to sustainability, providing quality education to hundreds of youths – can we fill the gap?
Let’s fill the gap! – Why your support is needed
Supporters of the New Hope Foundation are organizing to raise $15,000, which will go directly to the Foundation. Here are some examples of how your donation can help:
- Books for one student, per year – $25
- Monthly upkeep of school bus – $50
- Monthly upkeep of cattle/vegetable projects (used as source of income and to provide nutritious meals for students) – $100
- Monthly salary for one teacher – $100
- Purchase of one cow for self-sufficiency project – $400
Other ways you can help
Support not only comes in monetary ways. Please help us spread the word!
Share this site on Facebook and Twitter, tell your friends about the New Hope Foundation’s campaign. Leave some words of encouragement for the students and staff of the Foundation. Be a part of this movement!
For more information about the New Hope Foundation
Please visit the Foundation’s website:
A brief history of the New Hope Foundation
The New Hope Foundation was founded in 1997 by Jesus Tecu Osorio, a survivor of the Mayan genocide that occurred in Guatemala in the early 1980’s, with the funds he was awarded for his work in defense of the rights of indigenous communities. The institution is locally run, and provides culturally pertinent education for hundreds of youth in rural Guatemala who would otherwise have very limited possibilities of continuing their studies past elementary school.
Students are provided with coursework materials and transportation from the school to the town of Rabinal. Those whose rural communities are too far to commute daily can board at the school. In a context where junior high school is not a common opportunity for Maya rural youth, the Foundation fills in a significant gap in education and community development.
Although the school is accredited by the Ministry of Education in Guatemala, the latter does not fund it. Over the years, the Foundation has developed relationships with a number of grassroots solidarity networks in Europe and North America which have helped to support its work. The Foundation also has a number of projects working towards its sustainability, including the raising of cattle and poultry, vegetable farming, and the sale of books relating the history of the local Maya Achi indigenous population in English and Spanish.