Project Esperanza

Project Esperanza is a non-profit organization that began as and remains a Virginia Tech student organization. Project Esperanza serves to connect the Blacksburg, Virginia community and the Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic community through service. Our programs are designed to work toward breaking the cycle of poverty present among the lower social classes in these two communities, as well toward breaking the cycle of apathy present among the upper classes.
May 3, 2013

Signing off for now

Hello! First and foremost, thank you for your support of this project! Without your support, we wouldn´t have been able to conduct our research trips and giving out survival kits, built a house out of palm leaves at one of the tent cities, run a census of the tent city, and support a community organizer to live in the tent city for a number of months. 

We have to announce that this work is put on hold for the time being because of our inability to advance. We just face limits and need to work within our capacity of serving Haitians in the Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic area. We work with many Haitians in the Port-au-Prince area and build more and more connections each day. However, we see that new cannot realistically fund a larger scale project in the near future. Within the next few years, perhaps, but within this year, it is just outside of our capacity. So we will continue to build relationships and contacts and learn and envision, but will not act at this time. Thank you, again, for your support and we are signing off... for now. 

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Oct 22, 2012

A Fundraising/ Partnership Building Trip to the US

We have still not been able to visit Port-au-Prince again, but have been able to connect with more organizations serving in the area or planning to serve in the area. The condiitons of those affected by the earthquake is still so poor and it continues to hold a piece of my heart. Although our organization is busy with our ongoing programs in the Dominican Republic, we remain determined to be a part of the rebuilding of Port-au-Prince for a better Haiti.

On Oct. 31st I will head to the US and Canada. I will be in New York City from Oct. 31st to Nov. 4th, then Nova Scotia, Canada from Nov. 4th to 9th, then Blacksburg, VA from Nov. 9th to Nov. 14th where I will be doing a TEDx talk, and then Winchester, VA and the Washington, DC area from Nov. 14th to 26th. I am in the process of setting up as many speaking dates as possible with churches and organizations. In NYC I will be able to connect with many Haitian groups as there is such a large Haitian population there.

Many I have reached out to have not replied, but some have replied and I will continue reaching out to make sure my time there is used to its fullest. I have spoken to at least one group that has a base in Port-au-Prince so I am looking forward to meeting with them. I will be representing our organization and work as a whole, not just the efforts in Port-au-Prince, but will be happy to talk about that and build partnerships with the appropriate groups. 

Thank you for your support and of course, I will share how things went on this trip when I write my next update. 

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Aug 21, 2012

Only as Strong as Your Leader

There is, again, not much to report for the internet center, mainly because of the continued absence of Peralta, the man who founded and heads up the community development organization that the internet center will go to serve. He continues to spend weeks at a time outside of the community in order to work, and comes for a few days only in intervals. However, he is now transitioning from work away from home to work more frequently at home, and his business is growing, so it may not be long before he will be able to spend much more time in the Saman community and oversee the internet center and organization as a whole. Previously he was doing garden work in an area of the country two hours away. But now he has a functioning vehicle and is selling rice. He will soon start utilizing his candle maker and adding candles to the merchandise he drives around and sells. This business is just beginning but is going well, so once it gets stable, he should be a much more present husband to his wife, father to his kids, and leader to the organization. There is still a group willing on coming down this fall to help set up the finishing touches with the internet center. Let’s hope that Peralta can get his business going before then to the point where he can be as present as he needs to be. Thank you, always, for your support! 

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