Love Guatemala Coffee Project
Vision: To break the generational cycle of poverty in the community of Magdalena, Guatemala and beyond by giving hope through vocational training and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
About: Love Guatemala serves people in the rural village of Magdalena, Guatemala and beyond through vocational training in our art, cooking, carpentry and English schools. We also have programs that support these schools such as a literacy program, health/medical program, feeding center, and computer laboratory. We identify families who have the ability to gain the skills necessary to provide for their family while also providing for others. The schools provide the social fabric to ensure sustainability and stewardship with support we have provided since 2009.
Art School: The Art School began over 9 years ago through a vision of Carlos and Thelma to love their community and share their gift of art. They began the art school with just 3 students and a dream. They had very little space and no resources but they knew God was calling them to do this, so they used their own space to start the art school. Little by little God began to bring resources and the art school began to grow. About 3 years ago, they started an afternoon class as well and hired another teacher, Patty Hernandez, to teach in the afternoon. The art school has since moved to the Love Guatemala Vocational Training Center and now has 55 students. This school is a 3 year program in which the students learn drawing, painting, crafts, pottery, and many other art techniques and forms. When students graduate they are ready to be artists art teachers and live successful lives full of hope.
Cooking School: The cooking school began in 2010 through a dream of a young girl that wanted to attend a cooking school. Because of her dream, along with the support of Indy Metro Church, Carlos and Thelma, the cooking school quickly became a reality. This school started in the kitchen of Antonietta (the teacher) with just 4 students. It is now located in the Love Guatemala Vocational Training Center and has 2 different class sessions with 31 students (women ages 15-50). In this school the women learn to bake, cook, and are prepared to work in a restaurant, bakery, or any food related job. This is a 2 year program.
Carpentry School: The Carpentry School began in March of 2012. Carl Bunso helped us get the school started and when he had to return to the United States we hired a local carpenter, Pedro Cutz, as our teacher. There were just 5 students in a small 10×10 room, and very few tools when we began. At the end of 2012 we had a church in the states (Mosaic Church in Indianapolis) that gave their year end offering to support the carpentry school and with this we were able to purchase a significant amount of additional tools and properly equip the school. Now, the carpentry school is located at the Love Guatemala Vocational Training Center in a much larger space allowing for more students and room to work. We currently have 16 students. The Carpentry School is a 2 year program, and when students graduate they are ready to work as a carpenter.
English School: The English School is our newest school. It started on March 23rd, 2015, and currently has 20 students. There is a great desire for English learning in our community and this language skill will give these students many opportunities for their futures they otherwise would not have. Our school is located just minutes from one of the largest tourist cities in Central America, Antigua, where being fluent in English provides significantly more job opportunities. This is a 3 year program.
Literacy Program: The literacy program began out of a need for some of our students who could not read or write. The first part of 2015 we had several students who could not read or write and we wanted to help them to be able to do this so they could excel in their perspective vocational schools as well. So this is how the literacy program began. It has since expanded into a program as well for those who want to finish their elementary school. They can complete their elementary education in 3 years.
Health Education/Medical Program: This program both educates our students on health and hygiene issues as well as trains pregnant moms on how to take care of themselves and their babies during and after their pregnancies. Through this program, we have 2-3 medical teams that come down and serve pregnant moms and kids in the community and we have a staff nurse that does follow up on these patients.
Feeding Center: This initiative addresses the malnutrition problem in Magdalena and surrounding areas. We feed 50 kids 2 times per week with a goal of expanding this.
For more information check out our website: www.loveguatemala.org
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