Esperanza para Guatemala (Spanish for “Hope for Guatemala”) was developed under the direction of Jose Armas, who grew up in Guatemala City's Zone 18 watching his parents give food and other assistance to families in need. Even as a child, Jose felt burdened to help people less fortunate. At the age of 14, Jose began to travel extensively as a missionary, at the age of 23, Jose felt called to leave his comfortable business life in the United States and minister to his own people in Zone 18 of Guatemala City. The ministry started with Jose and his family serving about 25 children a snack 3 days a week. Using borrowed pots and pans from his parents and holding on to the vision placed in his heart for many years before, Jose launched Esperanza para Guatemala in 2004.
Today, Hope for Guatemala directly serves over 950 children who represent about 900 families, positively impacting the lives of more than 4,500 people. The program offers a hot breakfast and lunch program 5 days a week and provides fresh produce to the childrens’ homes for the weekends. Additionally an education program provides access to books, study support, computers, tutoring, and school supplies; there is a health, hygiene and basic medical program; vocational workshops and training in carpentry, computers, bakery and crafts and a spiritual and cultural program designed to build hope and self esteem for the youth.
Gnu Foundation provides funding for creative social business grants to support local vocational and business initiatives for the young adults and families associated with the program.