One of the exciting components of Esperanza is the community projects.
These are projects that the boys identify as community changers…
That show neighbors, police, and friends and family that the barrio is changing (both literally and figuratively).
Our most recent community project involved painting two homes in the heart of (the former) Ciudad de Dios (now referred to as Fortaleza).
The day was a great one…
With kids of all ages (and even a good handful of adults) coming out to help our newly-minted graduates.
Of course, there’s always something that doesn’t go as planned…
In this case, a number of neighbors were convinced that one of the (former gang) leaders was profiting off this painting venture.
Esperanza funds 50% of these projects and the boys fund the other 50%.
So to assume there are profits is ludicrous (but also understandable considering the circumstances).
Overall, a very successful day.
We even had a documentary videographer from New York, who was inspired by the boys at graduation the day before, come to film a bunch of footage.
The painting project is about 80% complete to date.
When complete, it will serve as a clean and sanitary place to announce the opening of our graduates’ first true (legitimate) business!
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