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From Packages to Possibilities: Inside Common Hope's School Supply Fair

Member of Common Hope's team during the festival.
Pictured from left to right: Luis, Patty, Laura, Ana, Mari, Nineth, Beatriz, & Nidya

Luis, who is part of the Scholarships Administration Department, has had a busy month leading one of Common Hope’s most important projects: organizing the school supply fair. The fair is a month-long event where students and their families receive school supplies, take their school photos, and enroll in Common Hope's educational programs. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for them to correspond with their sponsors through letter writing.

“I love seeing families leave with their school package because I know that the small blue package can make a big difference for them,” shares Luis.


Over the past month, the Common Hope team in Guatemala has distributed 3,245 school supply packages to students across five different locations, including Antigua, New Hope, San Rafael, Zapote, and San Miguel. This remarkable achievement was made possible through months of logistical planning and teamwork, as shared by Luis. "Social workers surveyed the population of each site and asked them which date worked best for them to attend the festival," Luis explained. This communication was done to ensure that as many students and families as possible were reached without disrupting their daily lives.


The average daily income for families in Guatemala is less than $4, with a significant 26% of the population living on less than $2 per day. Luis shared that this year, he struggled to find a package of school supplies for his nephew that cost less than 600Q ($76). He believes that if a family can save money by participating in the school supply festival, they can utilize it to purchase other necessities such as shoes for a student or to put food on the table for the month.


Though the team is working long hours, they find it worthwhile as they get to spend time with families who are eager to share their goals for the year. “It’s exciting to see parents taking the time to support their kids and realizing that education is a big investment that involves the whole family,” Luis shares. It reminds him of his days as a student and his family's experience, as three out of his five siblings were sponsored by Common Hope.

"Common Hope did so much for me, and three of my siblings received scholarships. This allowed my mom to focus on our education and help us graduate. Thanks to Common Hope, we were all able to achieve our academic goals." 

Just like Luis, Common Hope believes that through education, there is a way forward. Now, students have the tools they need to start the year and have been made aware of the programs Common Hope provides to continue supporting them as the school year progresses.


The Common Hope team is a team of dreamers and achievers. As the festival begins to wrap up, Luis leaves you and his team with one question:

What else can we do to keep the excitement going and get students more excited to return to school?

The festival officially ends on March 13 and will have supported 3,300 students.




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