Familias de Esperanza

Fast facts about Guatemala

  • 29.4% of Guatemalans are illiterate.
  • The average Guatemalan adult has 3.5 years of education.
  • Guatemala is 170th out of 180 countries in percentage of GNI spent on education (1.57%)
Source: UNESCO and World Development Indicators database

About the project

Familias de Esperanza is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Antigua, Guatemala. Their mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education. Using money from sponsors (who are typically American), the organization subsidizes the cost of public education. Although public education is technically “free”, there are many associated fees and costs that the schools have, such as a uniform fee, registration fee, and required school supplies. Therefore, the actual cost of school is about $40/year per child. While this does not seem like much, it certainly adds up for families with multiple children who are barely scraping by on a daily basis.

A view from the entrance of the project
When the families become affiliated with Familias de Esperanza, they also gain access to a wealth of additional services, including a medical clinic, psychologists, social workers, and the opportunity to earn a new home. All of these resources make for a very holistic approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering children. Each family has their own social worker who helps them set and achieve goals, with the ultimate goal being self-sustainment.
Local children enjoying a carnival to raise money for an electric stove for their school

Interested in volunteering at Familias de Esperanza?

Although I went to Familias de Esperanza through Notre Dame's CSC, the organization always has space for volunteers who would like to come. Exploring their website is the best area to look for information about potential volunteer opportunities.

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