EL TESORO, SUCHITEPÉQUEZ
Some 800 survivors of Guatemala’s civil war founded El Tesoro in 2002. They came from the high mountains of the Ixil Triangle, the area that bore the brunt of the civil war, with entire villages being massacred, first by the government and then by the rebels, or vice-versa. El Tesoro, at 20 feet above sea-level, is a world removed from the mountains of Ixil. It is the land in Guatemala that nobody wanted. That is why it was available for a new town. It is hot as blazes 365 days a year, but the people who live there think it is a great place to be because they are not being persecuted. They scratch out a subsistence on tiny plots of land, earning about $800 annually. When New Hope came to El Tesoro in 2006, El Tesoro was nothing more than a refugee camp. The ramshackle local school only went to sixth grade, with no hope of anything better. But now, with your assistance, the schools have gone from 105 students to 370, including a secondary school, with an (amazing) graduation rate of 99.2%.
EL RODEO, ESCUINTLA
When New Hope came to El Rodeo in 2007, the schools were a disaster. To make matters worse, thieves stripped all of the electrical wiring out of one of the schools to sell it for scrap metal. That is how desperate the people are. With your help, New Hope replaced the wiring and secured the school, and also replaced the roof. The eruption of the Fuego volcano in 2018 destroyed 1/3 of the town and killed over 6,000 people, including 75 students. New Hope has repaired the damage caused by the eruption and put all three schools back in operation, with a 97% pass rate.
CHUCHUCA ALTO, CHIMALTENANGO
The primary language in Chuchuca, high in the mountains of Chimalgenango (altitude: 7,200 feet), is Kaqchikel, one of the 37 Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala. Upon graduation from sixth grade, the students who were lucky enough to go further in school had a long and expensive bus ride to the secondary school on the two days a week that the bus ran. They had to ride in the back of a “picop” on the other three days. For that reason, only one student from Chuchuca typically finished secondary school. New Hope changed all that by opening a secondary school in 2006. This year there were 78 secondary school students with a graduation rate of 96%!
SAN ANTONIO AGUAS CALIENTES, SACATEPÉQUEZ
The school in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, just a short distance from Antigua, with 780 students, is the biggest school that New Hope is working in. New Hope has been at this school since 2019 at the specific invitation of Alcalde (mayor) of San Antonio and the Guatemala Ministry of Education. The present work is renovating the building, including repainting (205 gallons of paint so far), replacing or repairing all of the bathroom fixtures, repairing the electrical system including replacing the existing (decrepit) light fixtures with modern energy-saving light fixtures, and refinishing and resurfacing the roof.
THE ADRIAN CORONADO PRIMARY SCHOOL
ANTIGUA GUATEMALA, SACATEPÉQUEZ
New Hope started at the Adrian Coronado Primary School in Antigua in 2019 at the specific request of the Guatemala Ministry of Education and Antigua’s Congressman. New Hope has already replaced the electrical system (all the way from the street to the light fixtures) in half of the school, with the other half in progress. New Hope also donated 15,000 pounds of food in COVID-19 relief.