Some of you may remember the storm Agatha and the volcano eruptions that affected Guatemala a few months back. It was because of this that I heard about Common Hope. They rose to the occasion to help with relief efforts after the storm, but they’ve actually been involved in and around Antigua for years now. The beginnings of Common Hope are actually pretty interesting: husband and wife go to Guatemala to help out, come back to the US due to safety concerns at the time, husband and wife plan to go back, wife dies, husband and son go back to continue work they started, husband joins seminary to become priest, son continues and expands organization. Not bad, huh?!
Anyhow, Common Hope works primarily with sponsorships for children, but they take a wholistic approach to things: you don’t just educate the child, but you help the entire family. The parents must take responsibility for the child’s education, and the whole family works together with a social worker to see how the families situation can be improved.
In their own words:

The work of Common Hope is based on personal relationships with people. We work with sponsored children, their families, and the communities in which they live. We believe it is especially important to work with the entire family, because a child cannot be healthy unless his or her family is healthy.

Our work is comprehensive and holistic. In everything we do, we strive to support families in their struggle for independence and dignity.

Our programs are carefully and thoughtfully developed in response to the expressed needs of the financially poor. We try to do only that which people cannot do for themselves.

Each program falls under one of these four areas: Education, Family Development, Health Care, or Housing.

I know not all of us are in a financial position to sponsor a child every month, but there are other ways you can help:

  • Make a one time donation
  • Visit Guatemala
  • Volunteer
  • Collect supplies
  • Host a party to spread the word

Please check out their website, see what they’re about, see what they do and how they do it. Then see how you can help.