HOPE Worldwide Guatemala, a nonprofit organization in Guatemala City, was concerned about the lack of educational opportunities for the children of the railroad track squatter community. They began a renovation of a small abandoned cinderblock building along the tracks for use as a community school. Additional support was provided by Ericsson Guatemala, and in 2003 La Escuelita de HOPE began the school year with 38 children. La escuelita means “the little school.”
In time the school gained three classrooms and two toilets, and received accreditation from the government as a private school. In 2006 the name was changed to Colegio de HOPE to reflect that status.
The school year begins in January and runs through October, with around 200 students enrolled in Preschool through the 6th grade. Students attend half-day sessions, as there is limited space. The quality of instruction and genuine concern for the children sets this small school above the average Guatemalan public school.