We’ve finally decided to dip our toes into the wonderful world of blogging in an effort to keep you – our supporters and donors – up to speed on our on-the-ground efforts. We will try to post at least a couple blogs each month but ask for your patience and understanding as internet remains a challenge in our isolated little paradise.

2011 was an incredible year for Waves of Hope – supported by our amazing interns from all over the world and 2012 is going to be even better!!!

In 2011, we launched a new scholarship program, which now supports 18 local students in their efforts at continuing education. We also launched a youth tutoring program that is focused on increasing literacy rates in the local community. This is one of my personal favorites since this program connects local youth with local kids who need the extra support and it has been great to see the community rally around this cause. Our third new program since August was our Family Food program, which was set up to support families in serious need as a few families were unable to properly care for their children. We now feed nine children and four adults on a daily basis. Thank you to those who made this possible.

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Our first group of scholarship students

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scholarship recipient Carloshelping out at our Tutoring Program
Scholarship recipient Carloshelping out at our Tutoring Program

We also launched our new website, thanks to the generous efforts of so many of you… you know who you are. While we are still fine-tuning, we feel it is a great platform to celebrate and share our successes with you and the world. Hopefully it will help to keep donations flowing as well. Please check it out – www.waves-of-hope.org. Feedback is welcomed and appreciated!

We also saved over 3,600 baby turtles this year, a 64% increase from last year. And if it hadn’t been for one strange ocean surge in August (which at least brought incredible surf), we would have been closer to 6,500. Our community’s goal this year is to collect and hatch over 10,000 eggs. If you would like to participate or help out, turtle conservation season starts in May.

Jaime carefully collecting turtle eggs
Jaime carefully collecting turtle eggs
Releasing baby turtles at sunset
Releasing baby turtles at sunset

 

 

 

 

There were so many more incredible 2011 highlights to be shared, but without rambling on too much, I will share one last moment. My personal favorite was Kim Hargrave’s breathtaking goal for the Coco Locinators in our last soccer game of the season. While this may not seem like a Waves moment, in many ways it was because Kim is a female, a very strong and proud one at that. By her not only playing in but dominating the men’s soccer league taught so many young girls from our community to dream BIG and to believe in themselves. Kim – thank you for inspiring so many!

Kim setting an example of awesomeness for all the young girls in our community
Kim setting an example of awesomeness for all the young girls in our community

Ok – so 2012. We are only 45 days in and wow what a start. The year started off with a group of High Tech High School students from San Diego, California who came down to help build a new classroom at our elementary school. We had 17 of them join us for 10 days plus two teachers and their efforts were awesome and greatly appreciated! Please check out this video to learn about the experience and how it affected them personally.

The High Tech High crew hard at work
The High Tech High crew hard at work
The almost finished product
The almost finished product

Our new schoolroom opened this Monday and we now have 25 very happy fourth through sixth grade students attending class. I still need to crunch the final numbers, but the cost was about $7,500 all in (construction, labour, furnishing, etc). Thank you to Jay Harmon and Cisco Breweries in Nantucket for the successful fundraising over the summer that helped make this community dream a reality.

We have also recently welcomed our newest interns – Aisha, a recent high school grad from Sweden and Genny from Berkeley University in California – into the Waves of Hope family. These brave girls are our first interns who are living Nica style with a family in our community. This is going to be an incredible experience for them and we are very grateful for their trust and commitment. While they have only been with us a short time, their energy and love have already touched so many and we know we are going to have an amazing three months working together.

Lastly, our community has been working very hard over the past few months to construct two new Waves of Hope homes for two families that were selected by the community as being amongst the most in need. These homes are just about finished which means two families (4 adults and 10 children) will soon be able to sleep under a proper roof and in a real bedroom for the first time in their lives!!

New home #1
New home #1

 

 

New home #2
New home #2

Looking back, it’s a bit overwhelming to think about how much has been accomplished and we are just starting to hit our stride. Over the next couple of months, construction will be on it’s way to build another house, as well as a technical school for the local community that will help build skill sets for opportunities to earn a decent living and provide basic needs and provisions for families. We will be looking to YOU to come and help share your skills (e.g., mechanics, carpentry, baking, computers, art, and so much more), especially to those who speak Spanish.

Every dollar counts. Please visit our website to learn more and DONATE now! You can trust that every penny donated will have an impact in our community.

Thank you to all of your generous love and support that has helped make this all possible.