On the back of the school uniforms at the Comunidad La Esperanza school in Guatemala reads: “Que todos se levanten, que nadie se quede atrás,” which translates to: “Let us all rise up, let no one be left behind.”
Comunidad La Esperanza (CLE) or “Community of Hope” is a middle school founded in 2012 by a group of concerned mothers – several with teaching degrees – who didn’t want to send their children on the long commute to the nearest school in Chimaltenango, a dangerous area with a high prevalence of gang activity. Rather than commute, many adolescents were dropping out of school and spending their time unsupervised on the streets, placing them at risk of gang violence and drug use. Further, as public education in Guatemala is not free, many families were forced to prioritize housing and food over the expense of schooling and materials.
Equity is a core and guiding principle at CLE, a school which believes that all children deserve a chance (and a second chance where needed) to succeed. CLE passionately believes that with sufficient investment, knowledge, encouragement and role models to look up to, the children of Chimaltenango can and will transform their community.