Rushcliffe students host Latin American festival to help Guatemalan poor

Students at Rushcliffe School held their fourth ‘Esperanza’ Festival on Friday 14 July – to raise money for impoverished students in Guatemala.

They hope to raise enough money to fund the education of seven students aged 14 -16 at The School of Hope in an impoverished area of Guatemala. The school was founded in 2003 and is owned and  run by West Bridgford-based charity  EFTC (Education for the Children).

They recently heard some worrying news about their peers in Guatemala:

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“We were shocked to hear of a recent mudslide followed by an earthquake which has destroyed many of the students’ homes,” says Saeema Ali one of the students planning the Esperanza festival. “They live in shanty housing on a hillside, which is bad enough, but now even those homes are uninhabitable.

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“The students at The School of Hope are our age but their lives are so hard, so we want to raise as much as we can to help them get a decent education and escape the cycle of poverty in that part of Guatemala. That’s why we call the festival ‘Esperanza,” as that is the Spanish word for ‘hope’.

The money so far raised by Rushcliffe students has helped the seven Guatemalan students stay on track with their studies. It has also paid for nutritious meals, health checks and social support. This year, five of the group are moving into further education (their version of sixth form) which is quite an achievement in a country where many youngsters only manage two or three years of education.

There was musical entertainment by pupils of Rushcliffe, Arnold Hill and Farnborough academies, refreshments, games, crafts, mocktails, inflatables and a literary cafe set up by the English department.

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Rushcliffe School’s head of languages, Eva Vicente, said:

“The whole school has been involved in this event and a lot of hard work and creativity has been involved.  This year the Rushcliffe primary family of schools have also supported our work by teaching about Guatemala to their Y6 students as the Spanish transition module. Our Year 9 Language Leaders have even gone back to their old primary schools to tell Year 6 pupils all about the School of Hope and its work”