LPSP History

Hoping For a Better Way of Life

Wayne Hess posing with a mother and her children in front of the La Pedrera School

Wayne Hess posing with a mother and her children in front of the La Pedrera School

In December 1996, Wayne Hess and his wife, Barbara, visited Guatemala for the first time. His daughter, Tea, working with the Mayan people in the western highlands as a Peace Corps nurse. Guatemala was just coming out a civil war that had lasted for over thirty years. Much of the indigenous population had be displaced by the war. Wayne was struck by the very generous nature of these people and resolved to be of some assistance.

Seven years later, Wayne was able to return to Guatemala with a Habitat for Humanity team. While there he was introduced to the school at La Pedrera, a one-room cement block structure with no running water. It was poorly equipped by US standards, but the children received a basic education.

The Mayan community at La Pedrera live in poverty. Lacking formal skills or an education, they work at menial and labor intensive tasks to make a living, but they maintain the hope that their children will have an opportunity for an education and a better way of life. After visiting the school and meeting the children, Wayne knew he could make a difference.

What We’ve Accomplished So Far

La Pedrera School Project was founded by Wayne Hess in 2004. With the help of friends, relatives, and generous supporters, we have been able to provide the school with supplies, clothing, text books, computers, internet access. In June 2007, we dedicated a second story classroom, making it a two room school. We are now looking to future projects, including helping the school afford a second teacher.

A Mayan woman, boy, and cow gathering water from open barrels in front of the school.

Before the school was connected to running water, open barrels in front of the school served as their water reserve.

The school with additional room under contruction.

In 2008, an additional room was added above the one room school to house the computer lab.