04 Nov
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

“I am a crazy dictionary”- Isai

by Linda Billotti Isai is a 14 year old boy that I give English classes to twice a week. He is in the 6th grade, with his brother Rudy, because he repeated a grade when he was younger. Isai is one of the sweetest and most talkative kids I have the pleasure of working with. […]

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27 Oct
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

Los Programas de Vacaciones

by Linda Billotti November will be a very busy month for Reforzameinto! The kids just all finished their exams and are done with school for the year! (In Guatemala the school vacation is November and December rather than the summer months that I am accustomed to in the US) To keep the kids entertained, off […]

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25 Oct
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

Preppa Graduation!

Thursday was an exciting morning for Reforz as they celebrated Preppa (Kindergarten) graduation!  

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15 Sep
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

¡Feliz dia de Independencia!

A sea of patriotic blue and white flags and banners hang from windows and public buildings, the drumrolls of marching bands, melodies of marimbas, and chirps of parade whistles play rhythms in the air. Symbols of national pride: the national flower (Monja Blanca), bird, (the Queztal), tree, (the Ceiba), and adored national hero, the Mayan […]

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12 Sep
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

Miss INDEPENDENCE!

September 15th is Guatemala’s Independence Day, and it is no small event on the calendar. Last week, UPAVIM celebrated the coronation of Miss Independence Day for UPAVIM School. This title is quite an honor; the winner represents her school, leading the way in our Independence Day marches. Competitors were selected by their classmates, one girl from each grade.

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08 Sep
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

“This is your life; are you who you want to be?”

by Caitie Lezell “This is your life; are you who you want to be?” – Switchfoot Monday begins my third week working at UPAVIM, and though I still have an extraordinary amount more to learn about this organization and this neighborhood, I’ve certainly more or less established a daily routine. And so, I figured that it would be […]

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05 Sep
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

Preppa Gimnasio Competitio

On Thursday, September 4, UPAVIM’s kindergarten class participated in a multi-school Gymnastics Dance competition. All the kindergarten classes in Villa Nueva, nine in total, participated in the day’s festivities. The dance routines were all choreographed by the kindergarten teacher and parents, set to a mix of patriotic marimba music and English pop songs. An UPAVIM mom […]

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01 Sep
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

A Day at the Water Park!

The entire Reforz took a trip to a local water park in August. Trips like this would not be possible without the generosity of our volunteers who paid the bus fees as well as entrance to the park for most students. [slideshow type=”nivo” source=”{s:waterpark}” height=”612″][/slideshow]

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14 Jul
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

Our Community is Under Attack

But, just as the name of this community means hope, esperanza is still alive in the hearts of the women and children in this small but brave community. UPAVIM was here long before the gangs made Esperanza and the wider Villa Nueva part of their territory. And while the violence is heavy on our hearts and minds, UPAVIM will continue to be here, a positive force and rock of strength that will serve this special, beautiful community – staying united to fight for a better life.

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24 Jun
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

Meet Reyna

A special part of UPAVIM is Reforzamiento, a place where students of UPAVIM and other children from La Esperanza can come and receive help and tutoring. In charge of the program is Reyna. She has celebrity status in La Esperanza and the reason is clear, there is so much charisma in this tiny lady it […]

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