November 4, 2017

Helping HOPE International in Parrequnea Guatemala

Passion Projects

Have you ever thought what it might be like to not have access to clean water? To have to travel for it for an hour each way through a mountain trail, carrying the weight of it on your back to your home, only to get up and do that again the next day as well?

Ever since growing up as a child I have done my best to water conscious. My father was very strict about our water usage; it might be because being from Brasil he grew up more mindful of how precious this natural resource is, not to mention he was in the Navy so he never understood the need to stand under a long hot shower. Showers were to quickly get cleaned and start your day, pronto!

Water is life, we need it for everything. It helps us grow our food, hydrate ourselves, clean ourselves, and in something I need it for daily it helps make my morning coffee! We also need it to run our toilets, have showers and some even utilize it for leisure. Water is a resource that we need to protect, keep clean and help others have access to. The United Nations considers universal access to clean water as a basic human right, yet so many live with dirty polluted water, in which they travel often by foot for miles a day just to access. This dirty often carries diseases that can kill people, leaving others often sick by the host or water-related ailments. When communities don’t have access to water they are also economically poor. Leaving them stuck in a cycle of poverty.

Photography has brought me so many amazing experiences and I am excited to share that in January, I will be traveling with HOPE International to Parrequena, Guatemala to photograph the completion of their clean water project. As part of my volunteering with HOPE, I have the goal of fundraising $2500 for Parrequena and villages like it that don’t have access to clean water. I would love your help in reaching my goal. You can make a one-time donation or consider becoming a monthly donor through my fundraising page: MICHELE’S FUNDRAISING PAGE

WHY I WANT TO SUPPORT THE WORK HOPE DOES

In 2016 I was taking a photography class at Langara and met Rainbow Choi, Program Manager for HOPE, and I am pretty sure one of the kindest purest human beings I have ever met in my life. She shared what she did for work with me and I was instantly intrigued. As someone who studied Social Justice in my undergrad, I have always wanted to do International Development work but the opportunity never presented itself. I have always made a commitment to be active in my local community and after talking to Rainbow and learning more about HOPE she re-ignited my interest in doing volunteer work beyond our borders as well. She invited me to join their trip to Guatelama to help document the opening of a clean water system that they have been working on and I instantly said yes! What could be more amazing than using my skills and sharing my passion for photography than helping document such an important celebration for the villagers of Parrequena and for HOPE. I feel blessed that I am able to do this and so grateful for any help you can offer.

ABOUT HOPE

When asked to join HOPE on this trip I researched them, a lot! I wanted to ensure this was an organization I could align my personal values with and quickly found that it was.

Their mission:

“HOPE International Development Agency exists to improve the supply of basic human necessities for the neediest of the developing world through self-help activities, and to challenge, educate, and involve people in the developed world regarding development issues.” – HOPE International Development Agency 

HOW THEY DO WORK

AND one of the most amazing parts about HOPE is that 95% of your donation goes overseas to do this important work. That’s only a 5% overhead, and I can tell you as someone who has worked in non-profits for the last 15 years, that is beyond impressive!

WHY HELP ME HELP HOPE?

It’s no news that storytelling is so important not only for non-profits to fundraise to help continue the work that they do, but also to celebrate the achievements of people they support. We are so fortunate in the West to have more than we need, and I encourage you to think beyond our borders to make a donation that will celebrate the people of Parrequena and help HOPE continue the work they do. It’s my promise to you do, HOPE International, and to the villagers of Parrequena to capture their stories and celebrations of this new clean water system in a way that truly honours them. I am making a personal commitment to ensure that they are gifted with prints of their memories, that they can look back on to see how far they have come and a way to remember all the hard work they collectively put into making this clean water system happen.

HOW TO MAKE A GIFT OF HOPE

  • Make a one-time donation on my fundraising page, every little bit helps! Even the change between your couch cushions will make a difference! MICHELE’S FUNDRAISING Page
  • Consider Giving Monthly! My self and my husband are proud to support HOPE monthly as we truly believe in the work they do and $20 a month has been so easy to live without knowing it’s going to such an amazing organization. Plus you can DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT for the month of November! HOPE has a generous donor that is willing to match those that are able to make a monthly commitment. Donate as little as $10 a month and that becomes $240 for the year with the help of this kind private donor! Visit my fundraising page to become a monthly donor: MICHELE’S FUNDRAISING Page

CALLING ALL SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS COUPLES!

Want to make an impact with your wedding? Want to extend your love beyond your wedding day? For the first three couples who book an 8+ hour wedding photography package with me, $500 will be donated to HOPE International to support their clean water projects. So not only will you be getting beautiful wedding photos, you’ll also be helping people across the world access clean and safe water. Plus, you get a tax receipt for your very generous $500 donation! Win Win for all!


I want to send out a BIG  Thank you to Peter So, a long time Hope supporter and fellow Photographer who has gone previous HOPE trips to Guatemala to document,  for sharing his work with me for this blog post and my other upcoming social media posts about the project.

Much gratitude for any support you can offer! I look forward to sharing the stories of Parrequena when I return in February!

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