Introducing Lan Vwa: A Chance to Dream

Freddy in 2012, at the very beginning of his Lan Vwa journey.

Joconal, Guatemala—“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Karina Leiva asked a group of young children in a small farming village. Looks of confusion spread over their faces. Not grasping what she could mean, one child chimed in, “A farmer? I guess?” And another stated, “I’ll probably be a picker like my dad.”  “A nurse!” a boy named Freddy said with a laugh.  “Why do you laugh?” Karina asked.  “Because it could never happen.” was his reply.

Many kids in rural Guatemala don’t have the luxury of dreaming about their futures. Before 2012, the kids of Joconal couldn’t fathom a life in which they picked their own career. In Guatemala, the public school system runs from 1st through 6th grades. Outside of these six years, school is only for those who can afford it. In Joconal, education past 6th grade isn’t an option for many farmers’ children. For the few in Joconal who can afford to pay, it’s often not feasible given the three-hours-a-day walk. Without access to education the children of Joconal have very little control over their futures.

The Leiva family, who owns a coffee farm in Joconal, has seen poverty enduring for generations. They believe that God has called them to break this cycle by connecting their neighbors to the resources they have long lacked. 

Believing that education is key to breaking the chains of generational poverty, the Leiva family started a school called Lan Vwa to fill the gaps of education that existed for children in Joconal. They currently provide education that the farming village has never had access to before: preschool, middle school and high school.

Seven years later, Karina asks the same group of children, now teenagers, the same question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The question that had once been answered with confusion and blank stares now receives a cacophony of excited responses. “A mechanic!” one boy says. “A teacher!“ one girl says. “A doctor! Or lawyer!” another exclaims.  And Freddy, the young boy who laughed at the possibility of having a career, finished high school and graduated from his nursing program earlier this year. Lan Vwa has done more than change their lives—it has given them the chance to dream.

Freddy in 2019 after graduating from his nursing program. He is celebrating with Armando and Norma Leiva, the coffee farmers who helped found Lan Vwa.

We’re proud to announce our partnership with the Leiva family in their efforts to educate and show the love of Christ to the underprivileged in rural Guatemala. Now when you choose HOPE Coffee, not only do you continue to fund life-changing projects in Honduras and Mexico, but you are also a part of educating the children of the farmers who grew your Guatemalan coffee. You’re helping them break the chains of poverty, meet their potential and causing them to hear about the great love that Christ has for them. Because of you, these children that were powerless over their futures are now giving their lives to Jesus, pursuing careers, going to college and returning to serve their families and community.  Thank you for choosing HOPE Coffee!