Common Hope

Common Hope's mission is to promote hope and opportunity in Guatemala, partnering with children, families, and communities who want to participate in a process of development to improve their lives through programs in education, health care, and housing.
Mar 15, 2011

Two who stayed in school because of Common Hope

Jocelyn (left) with a friend at a youth activity.
Jocelyn (left) with a friend at a youth activity.

Below are profiles of two students who have benefited greatly in the last year from your support of education for at-risk youth in Guatemala.

Fourteen-year old Josselyn dropped out of school in 2009 and did not continue in 2010 because of family problems. Early last year, she moved out of her parents’ house and in with her grandmother.

Over the course of 2010, Common Hope staff provided emotional support for Josselyn and motivated her to start school again. They also referred her to youth support activities, and since then, Josselyn has become one of the more active participants.

Youth support coordinator Jovita Tay has noted a change in Josselyn’s demeanor over the past few months. “She participates and seems happier and more excited,” says Jovita. In late 2010, Josselyn decided to return to school for the 2011 school year. She is currently studying in 7th grade.

Seventeen-year old Juan Carlos has always had trouble with school. He repeated one year of junior high, and continually had problems passing classes.

In early 2010, Juan was unsure whether he wanted to go on to high school, but with motivation from his parents and Common Hope he decided to continue, choosing marketing and publicity as his career path. “He is happy with his choice and even won a logo-making competition at school,” says Jovita. Juan Carlos is also an active participant in youth support activities.  

Thank you!

Many thanks to all of you Global Giving supporters for your support of quality education for Guatemalan youth. The program made a real difference for teenagers like Josselyn and Juan Carlos last year, and your investment will yield returns for years to come. Thank you!

Juan Carlos plays guitar at a talent show.
Juan Carlos plays guitar at a talent show.
Dec 21, 2010

A family celebrates twice this graduation season


November is an exciting month in Guatemala, with the end of the school year and graduation celebrations. Since only 1 in 4 youth graduate from high school, graduation is a very big deal in Guatemala.

For the Rojo Pérez family, partners with Common Hope since the 90s, this month brings double the excitement. Mario, the eldest son of the family, graduates from university with a degree in social work. Carlos, the youngest son, graduates from high school as a mechanic and soon begins a university scholarship to pursue a law degree.

All this from two boys who, a decade ago, were at high risk of dropping out of school.

Mario is quick to acknowledge the difference an advanced degree can make. “More education will provide you with more possibilities for better work opportunities, and that way you can contribute to the development of your community, your village, even your country,” he says. His passion for rural development compelled him to study social work. Mario attributes his success to the support of his parents, his Sponsors, and Common Hope.

Common Hope's integrated programs in education, health care, housing, and family development meant that the Rojo Pérez family could afford to address pressing needs for things like medicine and housing repairs, and also work toward long-term improvements in those areas, without sacrificing their children's education.

Younger brother Carlos is also very grateful for his education, and very motivated to continue. “Graduating from high school and going on to college has always been a dream for me,” he says. As Carlos looks forward to law school next year, he says he will have the support of his older brother. “[Mario] motivates me, he tells me to work hard and keep studying, and he says that it’s always important to move forward and not backward.”

With such great drive and achievement thus far -- when the odds were stacked against them -- we have no doubt Mario and Carlos will continue to succeed and make a difference in their community. Thank you for giving these leaders the opportunity to shine!

To view a slideshow of all our high school graduates of 2010, click here:

Carlos and Common Hope social worker Paola
Carlos and Common Hope social worker Paola
Oct 3, 2010

Once close to dropping out, Hairon stays in school


This profile of a student speaks well to the difference the secondary program is making every day for students at high risk of dropping out of school.

Hairon Josúe Chiroy Ponce is currently in 11th grade studying in vocational school to become a mechanic. In addition to his family’s economic instability, Hairon has been affected by other family issues, namely his parents’ separation. Over the past few years, Hairon began to develop into a fairly rebellious adolescent. Although he always did well in school, he became disinterested and started to skip class regularly.

When Hairon’s absences began to affect his academic performance, his school contacted Nineth García, Common Hope’s administrative manager of the secondary program, to let her know of the problems. Nineth spoke to Hairon’s family’s social worker and together, they met with Hairon and his parents. Hairon explained that he skipped classes because school no longer interested him. Through a series of meetings, education and social work staff were able to motivate Hairon to continue studying and get involved in other areas at school.

Nineth now happily reports that Hairon’s attendance has improved, and he recently won an award at school during a singing competition. Hairon continues to be at-risk, however, and Nineth and other education staff members are in regular communication with Hairon and his school.

Thank you so much for your support of education for impoverished Guatemalan youth. You are making a tangible difference in the lives of these young adults.

If you would like more information about the outcomes of Common Hope's programs, our Donor Impact Report for 2009 was just published and can be found at


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