Community Development – Many people in Guatemala still cook over open fires in the home. The smoke from these fires causes a myriad of health problems, and burns from fires are common. IEP Community Development volunteers create healthier homes through the installation of wood-saving safety stoves and clean water filters. The stoves eliminate the problem of smoke in the home, use 60% less wood than the open fires, and greatly reduce the risk of burns in adults and children. Women regain a full day of time as the need for gathered firewood is decreased. The water filters provide clean, safe drinking water to families and communities.
Healthcare - IEP’s healthcare missions is to provide free medical assistance to the people of Guatemala who otherwise lack even basic healthcare. International Esperanza Project medical teams are comprised of general surgeons, plastic surgeons, gynecologists, eye surgeons, dermatologists, and clinicians from other specialties who provide quality healthcare to those in need. Since 2017, IEP medical volunteers have attended to more than 6,100 patients and performed 338 life changing surgeries.
Education - In 2018 IEP adopted a single community school in the town of Tecpán, west of Guatemala city, and holistically improved the lives of its 200 students: giving them one guaranteed meal and snack every day, providing them with school supplies and textbooks (which they had never had before), and developing a brand new high school program for those willing to continue their education after the 6th grade. IEP’s view is that when small changes are made in the lives of children, the benefits ripple out to their community, affecting change from the ground up. The School Impact Program has proven that theory beyond a doubt. Attendance at the school has risen by 87% since 2017. In 2019, six students completed the first year of secondary school. Eight more secondary students enrolled for 2020.