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Hello From Santa Maria de Jesus!

Moving along in 2020!

Happy 2020!! Mary’s Hope has been very busy and we are so happy to share the news about the progress of the children in our program.  Starting in January, we had eight children enroll in the public school. Mary’s Hope was there to support them in their efforts with registration fees and with payments for materials and books. Claudia, our project manager, has been there to help them with this big transition of attending school, getting adjusted to their teacher and classes, and doing homework. She has also been working closely with the school and the teachers to ensure that we are all on the same page and have the children’s interest at heart. She has not only been supporting the children but also guiding the parents on what is expected of them. Her daily supervision of the children’s welfare has been a motivating factor for our children attending the public school.  We also have 2 young adults, who are attending the Conalfa Program. This program is for older children, who have not been in school and need to move at a quicker pace in their studies. The Conalfa Program meets all day, every Saturday and offers the children a second chance at education. Again, we are supporting these students, both financially and emotionally in their efforts.  Finally, we will be starting our own educational program in the beginning of March. We have found a home in Santa Maria and will be renting it. It has one big classroom, a kitchen, and a bathroom. It also has a garden area. We are very excited to have found this house. Three days a week, Claudia will be teaching the preschool children in the morning and the older children in the afternoon.  We will be doing this program until we are able to hire a full-time teacher and then we will do the program five days a week. We will also be continuing to help the children, who attend the public school, with their homework in the afternoon.  So we are continuing to move along. We are so proud of the children, who are excited and happy to be learning. Please keep us in your prayers, as we continue to support the children of Santa Maria. Also, please check out our sponsorship page and consider sponsoring a child. We would love to have you in the Mary’s Hope Family. God Bless. test

God is good all the time!

We feel so blessed at Mary’s Hope, and we are so thankful to God for leading us to our project manager,  Claudia, who in turn led us to the community of Santa Maria de Jesus in Guatemala.  After looking at several villages, in order to find the right community to establish our school, Claudia was led to this little area near the mountains of Santa Maria de Jesus by the local priest, who resides in the main town area.  Immediately Claudia could feel in her heart that this was the place where Mary’s Hope belonged. First of all, the name of the village, itself, told her that God and Mother Mary were guiding her steps. The people of Santa Maria were so welcoming and loving and were very open and responsive to receiving help. Their situation in life, like many of the citizens of Guatemala, is desperate. The families live everyday in a one room home with no electricity and running water. Most of the homes have dirt floors, no refrigeration, and some meager form of a fireplace for cooking. There are many days that these families do not know when they will have their next meal. With all that to contend with, education is not even considered. Everyday is simply a matter of survival.   When Claudia and Mary’s Hope came to the outskirts of Santa Maria, the people in this mountain area, felt that their prayers had been answered and that there were people that wanted to help them. Claudia began to work with the families, getting to know them and building relationships. Mary’s Hope started to help with their daily struggles and emergencies. It was soon clear that Claudia and in turn, Mary’s Hope, was a true presence in this small community and a feeling of hope started to occur.  So now six months later, we have a program that helps eleven families in this area. We have 36 children in our program. In October, we did a month long ‘pilot program’ to see how the children, who haven’t had any experience with school, would do in a classroom like setting, with a set schedule and the daily challenges of learning. The children were so thrilled to be involved and going to school. They were able to do the things that they normally don’t do in a day, such as coloring, singing, listening to stories, and most importantly learning new things. They also received a meal each day.  Because of the success of this pilot program, we decided to give our 11 families a choice. Starting in February, they have the choice of either having their children in our pilot program, or having them go to a public licensed school. We would help them get enrolled in the school. Those who would enroll in the school, would still receive a hot meal when they got out of school and help with their homework. All the children, except for three, are continuing in our pilot program. Our goal is to continue our pilot program until we have built our own legal school.  We have also just set up our sponsorship program. Please check out our Sponsorship Page on the website and see how you can support a child on their educational journey. It is a wonderful opportunity to really make a difference in a child’s life by supporting his or her educational journey.     So, we take another step on this road. We hope that you will walk with us, and please keep us in your prayers. Every month check out this page for news and updates from Claudia, Mary’s Hope, and the people of Santa Maria de Jesus.   May God Bless You and Your Families, as we prepare for the birth of our Savior.