A Forever Home for la Puerta Abierta

$107,541 of $300,000 goal

Raised by 142 people in 5 months
Created March 18, 2019

Ten years ago, La Puerta Abierta was created.  What began in 2007 as a one room library with a part-time local librarian has grown into a thriving, multilingual school that provides an early childhood education program, a primary school with 110 students, a traveling library, teen reading circles, parent education, professional development and a hub for a mothers’ artisan group!

For the last five years, we have been searching for a “forever” home for La Puerta Abierta.  As you may know, we are committed to meeting the needs of our community’s families as their children advance in our elementary school.  We have found creative solutions to hosting our classes, including a makeshift school, known to many at the “jungle school,” on borrowed land and with temporary materials.  While we are fond of our outdoor-school and we are proud of our problem solving skills in finding temporary housing for a school, we are very much aware that a school on borrowed land is unsustainable for the long-term vision of La Puerta Abierta.

Recently, we were offered the opportunity to purchase our forever home for La Puerta Abierta, a plot of land just around the bend from our current site.  In addition, this land already has a brick and mortar, two-story structure on it, with seven rooms, one for each grade, plus an administrative office.  This would truly ensure the future of La Puerta Abierta. 

We are over the moon and out of our minds, delighted to finally discover a physical space to  secure the future of our school, though challenged by raising the funds to buy the land and building.

We need your help to make this dream come true.  For the purchase and development of our site, we must raise $300,000.  As a small school serving a community with limited resources, we are counting on YOU!

We hope that you are inspired to contribute to a legacy of dignified, creative and purposeful education for the children of Santiago Atitlan, the future leaders and dreamers of our community.  We would welcome all donors to visit our village and school, to see for yourself the difference your contribution makes!

Any donation will help make impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to our community.

At the end of the day it's not about what you have or even about what you have accomplished...it's about who you have lifted up, who you've made better.  It's about what you have given back.
--Denzel Washington
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Thank you for being a part of our village!

Over the past six months, we have collectively raised $105,000 which has been applied to the "Forever School" Campaign at Puerta Abierta Atitlan!

Here's how:

*Locally la Puerta Abierta has hosted bake sales, snow cone sales and garage sales to support the purchase of our new school.
*Globally friends from near and far have come together to monetarily contribute to our cause.

And a few sweet anecdotes:

*Great Expectations Preschool in Arlington, Massachusetts has been collecting spare change for la Puerta Abierta! Thank you!

*Mrs. Gabriela's 2nd grade class at Oakley Elementary School in North Carolina created a Global Market to sell artisan products made in Guatemala to their classmates. Part of the profits have supported our "Forever School" Campaign. Gracias!

*Isaias, our librarian has been offering story hours in the community in exchange for donations for la Puerta Abierta. Maltiox!

We are one-third closer to meeting our financial goal! Thank you for believing in our future!

With gratitude,
La Puerta Abierta
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Hello World! This year, Puerta Abierta Atitlán is celebrating 12 years of service in Santiago! In honor of our journey, we are posting stories as part of a series, "Humans of La Puerta Abierta," in which we highlight students, teachers, parents, volunteers and friends who create community at our center.

This week I would like to introduce you to Mia, kindergarten botanist, and share a small piece of her story.

Mia comes to garden club every week with her caregiver Emilsa, sister Anina and neighbor Thelma. Her favorite activities at garden club are playing with her friends in nature and creating art projects with plants. One lesson she's learned is that you can plant stems of plants in water and they will grow roots! Emilsa also loves coming to garden club and has learned how to prepare a nutritious organic potting soil with a mixture of cow manure, compost and soil.
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Week by week, day by day, we are working together globally and locally to raise funds for our "Forever School" Campaign at Puerta Abierta Atitlán. Last Tuesday, Chonita and teachers hosted a "venta de garaje" aka garage sale in our community park to generate funds for our project. Together, over the last three months, we have generated over $70,000! Mil gracias!
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Hello World! This year, Puerta Abierta Atitlán will be celebrating it's 12th anniversary! In honor of our twelve year journey, we will be posting stories as part of a series, "Humans of La Puerta Abierta," in which we highlight students, teachers, parents, volunteers and friends who create community at our center. This week I would like to introduce you to Cruz and share his story!
Last Monday morning I walked into the Puerta Abierta office and I found 150Q (roughly $20) on my desk. Below the small stack of bills was a note:
"A donation to the future Puerta Abierta School, a portion of my earnings from a weekend birding tour."
In addition to being father to Eric Cruz, a delightful 1st grade student at our center, Cruz Senior is also a local guide and leads birding and walking tours through the cloud forests behind our village. He works hard to provide for his family and continues to study botany and birds to steadily improve his knowledge in his profession.
And yet what struck me most about his gesture, was his sense of generosity and giving back to our school and his act of reciprocity for the education his son is receiving.
Thank you Cruz for being a model parent at La Puerta Abierta!
If ever you find yourself in Santiago Atitlan and need a guide, please contact Ixbalán Birding!
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$107,541 of $300,000 goal

Raised by 142 people in 5 months
Created March 18, 2019
Funds raised will benefit:
The Sparks Foundation
Certified Charity
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Houston, TX
EIN: 263473292
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