Friday, December 18, 2009


Yes folks, the move went smoothly. (I may have scared you in the last post?) My moving truck was a little rusty and lopsided, but nothing got lost in the shuffle. Hope House is packed up in a safe location until Feb. classes start next year.

Why is Hope House moving?

1. We found a more central location
2. With lower rent costs!
3. The new Hope House will have a full kitchen stove - so no more appetizer mishaps, like this year
4. Computers for computer classes are part of the new Hope House
5. And, a room full of sewing machines will also be part of the Hope House!!!!

We have lots of things to look forward to in 2010 with DiscoverHope Fund's work supporting women in poverty. While the year comes to end, it provides DHF a good chance to celebrate, rest, and recharge for another year of important work in the year to come.

Paz as you also celebrate, rest and recharge ~ Nora

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Packing up Hope House

Folks, this is an exciting, busy, and emotional time. The Hope House is turning into boxes. Since Hope House will be changing locations next year, it is my task to make sure with the move all of DHF materials make it from point A to point B. The moving task is a bit stressful, as it involves going to the designated location in Cajamarca where you negotiate with guys that have big trucks. Once you strike a deal, the moving begins. Moving has to be done with two people - why? - because you leave the stuff out in the truck on the street by itself and it may not be there when you return with the next load.

The exciting part of this time of the year (besides on the verge of getting married!), is reflecting back on the year and punching the numbers of goodness that DHF has created. I am so proud. We've done good this year. Women have generated more than $3,500 of additional income as a result of our classes. We've held more than 240 activities to support women in their personal and business growth. And, we've reached more than 800 total participants in all our activities this year. Amazing!

Thanks to all the supporters out there that make the DHF machine run smoothly and impact women in Cajamarca beyond what we can measure.

Paz ~ Nora

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Big Chocolatada

Hot Chocolate and Paneton and craziness. The basics for a Christmas celebration in Peru. In other words: The Big Chocolatada

DHF and Afider held our last big event together for the year this afternoon, the 2009 Chocolatada. We invited more than 200 women to join us in celebrating the holiday season. Thankful only half of them came because otherwise there just wouldn't have been room in the office. We were scheduled to start at 3:30, which means 4:30 Peruvian time. At 3:30 we had only just begun to cut the Paneton (sweet fruit bread). We filled 3 big boxes with cut Paneton and served pipping hot cinnamon hot chocolate all afternoon. There was Christmas music, speeches reflecting on the year, little gifts for the kiddos and Santa hats.

For me it was surprisingly an enjoyable afternoon. I usually get stressed out during these big events: starting late, making women wait, is there enough crackers? But not this afternoon. I enjoyed the presence of the women present that have shaped my life these past two years. Women that have inspired and challenged me. And I gave them thanks and upon popular demand even sang Jingle Bells in English to show my gratitude. And, let me tell you even though I didn't remember the 2nd verse of Jingle Bells the women still gave me a standing ovation. Only in Peru.

Happy hot chocolate drinking and sweet bread eatin',

Paz ~ Nora

Thursday, December 10, 2009

DHF Winter News

Dear DHF Family,
Happy Holidays to all of you! Please enjoy our Winter Newsletter for all the year-end news about DiscoverHope and a glance at our new logo!

Sending Light,

Maggie Miller
Founder/Executive Director

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Some of our loan recipients had a new experience yesterday coding their jewelry. Why were they coding? A fellow in the chamber of commerce that had heard about our Export Facil endeavor was curious to help us out. As an export 'expert' and professor he offered one of his business students, who was looking for an artisan group, the chance to work together with our women on a jewelry catalog. A win-win. Ever, our lucky business student gets to do his homework for international business class and the women get the chance to put their products into a catalog. Ever was asking the women sizes, prices, material costs - very detailed questions that our women hardly ever answer. It is good food for thought for them to put more detail into their jewelry. If they are thinking export in the future, they need to be able to answer those questions and much more. The coding represents the different models that the women make. Even if we don't go international with our sales - if the women can streamline and develop many replicas of the same model they can start to expand their businesses and enter into new, bigger markets. Don't worry Austin - we have you in mind, depending on how the catalog turns out, we would love to send it to Texas and place orders!

Paz ~ Nora

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sell on the Bus!

This is the sign of a true business woman:
After our last class of the year - Crochet Christmas Boot - one of the students told me she was going to take her Boot on the Combi and show it off and maybe sell it. Now that is a true business go-getter. "I am not going to wait for someone to come to me and maybe buy something I make, I am going to go out there and show the world what I got."
That's the attitude!

Paz ~ Nora