Posted by Erik Moeser on May 02, 2022
         Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) has sent teams to Guatemala in February of every year since 2012 to work with Common Hope. Common Hope is a St. Paul-based NGO, offering housing, medical, social, and educational services.  In 2021 and 2022 the trips were cancelled due to the global pandemic. Because the clients whom Common Hope serves are largely unvaccinated, one way to continue helping has been remotely via Zoom and email.
 
         In 2021 Elmbrook Rotary (assisted by a grant from Rotary International District 6270) provided books, supplemental materials, desks, and supplies for students in the remote village of San Miguel Milpas Altas. The school was experiencing high failure rates. This year the aid was focused on the New Hope community near Guatemala CIty, founded 21 years ago by Common Hope after a disastrous mudslide. The school was built five years later. It was a from-the-ground-up effort to create a model to be emulated in other places over the ensuing years. Teachers were provided with six Dell PCs and peripheral equipment, replacing obsolete technology and enabling them to provide enhanced online learning experiences. This will continue until the Ministry of Education in Guatemala authorizes a return to in-person school attendance.
 
Elmbrook Rotary Club members will again travel to Guatemala in February of 2023 to catch up with onsite work related to the two remotely-provided projects, return to the usual home building, and participate in other program elements to aid families. Contact ERC member Erik Moeser for more information and for details on the February 2023 trip.