We are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

WHAT WE DO
We collect used computers and monitors, test them, repair them and pack them in corrugated boxes for shipment in a container to various organizations in Guatemala. We have sent 2500 computer systems to schools, libraries, orphanages and NGO projects in 110 different locations, as well as 64 individual students, in partnership with Peace Corps, Catholic Charities, Miracles in Action projects, Child Aid libraries, two seminaries, and students in a Quaker non-sectarian scholarship/loan program. Recently most computers have gone to Peace Corps projects so we know the computers will be well used. In Guatemala we have our co-founder Eulalia Paiz, our
Director of Operations Kirk Lightfield and computer technicians Benjamin Tzunun Tua’ and Cesar Lopez who will make site visits.
The computers are packed with stuffed animals and good used clothing, to save on packing materials, but also to donate to kids and adults in Guatemala. We have also donated 8 computers to Kenya, Uganda and Ecuador, and to 40 local Connecticut organizations and individuals.

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Boarding school in Colotenango

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We hesitated to provide computers to this primary school, rather than a high school which seemed a better use, but we took a chance because a Peace Corps Volunteer’s sister-in-law taught there. It turns out to be one of our best schools.

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In the future all laptops will go to special needs students in a Vamos Adelante project. Here board member Kirk Lightfield (standing) is giving a laptop to Mario (left) at the Seminario Biblico Guatemalteco where Kirk is an IT missionary. Amarilis Oliva (behind) is the director of Informatica Amigos that provides support to special needs students. She needs laptops and wheelchairs for her sudents.
Nina Jorgenson, founder of Vamos Adelante, says “There is a crying need for laptop computers for use by disabled students in Guatemala. Those attending colleges or universities need the portable units for doing their homework or taking notes in class. If they had a laptop at home, they may be able to earn some income. They could teach basic computer classes, help other students with their homework; do research on the Internet or offer basic accounting for small businesses. Many disabled can not sit in a wheelchair all day, but have to lie down and rest frequently. A laptop on a small tray would enable them to work more easily in bed. Many also live in small homes where there is not room for an extra table for a desk top computer. Here a laptop would be ideal. Some of our students have amazing potential. For example, Mario, who is in his twenties and has a severe case of cerebral palsy, is a true fighter. We found him without a wheelchair, crawling on the ground several years ago. We sent him through high school with a scholarship and on to university where he is now. He has formed a group for others with cerebral palsy and motivates them to deal with life in a positive way. He tries to convince them to study, to become more independent and even to make a living if the situation permits. Mario also shares happily and I know that he will not be the only one using the laptop donated to him by John O’Leary. I truly hope that you will meet Mario one day.”

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Community center and computer lab, organized by Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Kutner. June 2009.

 

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While Peace Corps Volunteer Michael Bergstrom was setting up his computer lab he said the kids came every day for two weeks to play on the computers.

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Brooke Avery donated this Mac computer to Fotokids, a project that teaches photography and graphic arts.

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Tutoring class at Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos orphanage. The kids are playing a computer maze game.

Volunteer tutor Christine Andrews wrote “The impact of the computer in the tutoring program is immense. It provides a more multi-sensory approach to learning for the kids that have a difficult time learning in a conventional classroom setting. And they love it! They have very little access to these types of things, so to be a part of it is really exciting for me. I’ve also set up a positive behavior and reward system for hard work and good behavior. The kids light up when they know they are close to earning game time on the computer! But I think the more important point is the educative aspect of the computer. It enhances perception, hand-eye coordination, logic, and memory. The classrooms/teachers lack stimulating visual and auditory resources for the kids, so the computer provides more visual, auditory and tactile sense stimulation for the kids with learning disabilities. In general, it’s great!” Christine adds that about 30 kids in the tutoring program use the one computer, 5 or 6 per day, with a one-on-one personal tutor, for a total of about 15 hours per week.

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Students doing homework in a Child Aid library in the town of Chicacoa.

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Kindergarten students in the library of the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (Our Little Brothers) orphanage.

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Computer lab at Casa Shalom orphanage.


Casa Shalom orphanage, with computers donated by New York University law school.

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Peace Corps Volunteer David Doane setting up a computer lab in an aldea of Chicaman, Quiche. New World Brands’ nonprofit arm Plante Verde paid for these computers that we provided. Plante Verde hopes to offer further help.

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Peace Corps Volunteer David Doane’s students get their first look at a computer.

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Computer lab in Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango, November 2008.

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San Mateo Ixtatan, Huehuetenango, March 2009.

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San Mateo Ixtatan, Huehuetenango.

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Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango.

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Catholic priest Guadalupe Velasquez is building this room for a computer lab that will be open to students from the whole town, with internet video conferencing between this town and relatives in the States. Christie Brown and her Lutheran church in Cincinnati are partnering with Father Guadalupe and arranged for a grant from Miracles in Action to pay for the computers; a perfect four way partnership.

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20 computers being delivered in Colotenango to a Mam-speaking, co-educational, boarding, secondary school.

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Barillas, Huehuetenango

 

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L-R: Shiro Ninomiya, a Japanese fellow who brought his family from Japan to volunteer for one year in Guatemala, using his personal savings, to help set up computer labs in schools, fix computers, and run training classes for computer teachers. He was introduced to us by Matthew Rutman, founder of Partners in Solidarity that runs a program very similar to Computers for Hope. Matthew has given us a lot of great advice. In the middle is Benjamin Tzunun Tua’, who Shiro trained to take over when he left in October. Benjamin does site visits to our organizations that are having technical problems, for $23 per day plus expenses. On the right is our deceased Field Coordinator Rafael Juarez enjoying Shiro’s expertise. September 2008, in Shiro’s office in Quetzaltenango.

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Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos orphanage where we sent a computer for their library and one for tutoring.

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They call this two year old “terremoto” (earthquake) because he wants to learn everything, and NOW!

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Tucker Lee provided this computer to 25 students in Huehuetenango in a weekend boarding program for teachers who take turns all night using this computer.

 

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Quaker scholarship student Micaela Tzaj Cotiy receiving a computer, monitor and printer, October 2007.

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Jaime Torres (left) and Meme Romero, staff of the Quaker Scholarship Program, picking up computers at the Catholic Charities warehouse in Guatemala City. October 2007.

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Eulalia and a Capuchin nun helping deliver three computers to Peace Corps Volunteer John DeMatteo in San Pedro Nectar, October 2007.

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Delivering a computer to a home for 16 abandoned and abused girls, in Salcaja, run by Capuchin nuns. October 2007

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Computers in use at parochial school in Barillas, Huehuetenango. January 2007.

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Computer lab, Barrilas, Huehuetenango. First shipment of 20 computers in use in parrochial school, January 2007

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Father Yerbo on the way to mass in Mexico in 1885 noticed this scene and decided to build a shelter for the abandoned young and old. He founded the order Siervas del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus y de los Pobres (Servants of the Sacred Heart Jesus and the Poor) and was canonized in 2000.

UNLOADING FIRST SHIPMENT AT PARROCHIAL SCHOOL IN BARRILLAS
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Unloading first shipment in Barrilas, December 1, 2006.

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Visiting with the madres in Barillas to see their school and computer lab.

LIBRARY IN IXTAHUACAN WHERE WE WOULD LIKE TO PUT TWO COMPUTERS
here too!!!
Darien Book Aid donated books in Spanish to this library in April 2007. They also donated books to a school in this same town in 1968 during my Peace Corps days there.

 

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