Thursday, February 23, 2012


Saludos DHF Family!
The DiscoverHope team is doing the “happy dance!”  We raised $5,000 through our Microcredit PLUS project on Connecther and a matching donation from the Stahl Family Foundation – enough to fund a village bank for a whole year! From the DiscoverHope staff and board, we want to say THANK YOU to all our supporters for helping us meet our goal.  We are deeply grateful to Lila Igram and Connecther for supporting our work and to the Stahl Family Foundation for their generous matching contribution.
During the past three weeks there’s also been a lot of commotion in   Cajamarca, Peru. I’m proud to announce that on February 6 , 2012 my longtime Peruvian boyfriend, Efrain, and I tied the knot in a simple civil ceremony with 8 guests in attendance. The ceremony itself was very INTERESTING to put it lightly. A typical ceremony lasts approximately 20 minutes. However, the Justice of the Peace felt it was his duty (I suppose because I’m a foreigner) to educate us on the Peruvian marriage code, line by line with anecdotes and tips on how to prevent an early divorce, resulting in an hour and a half lecture. Although our immediate family was unable to attend, we were surrounded by our “Cajamarca Family” who were perhaps more excited than we were to finally make it official.

Overall, it was a surreal moment. I would have never guessed in a million years that after moving back to Peru I’d meet my life partner and be of all things MARRIED. Efrain is my perfect match. Our love of music, dance, cooking, and watching movies keep us laughing and singing even on our toughest days. Our next step is to process our paperwork so I can obtain permanent residency in March and eventually dual citizenship in the next two years. We’re also planning a religious ceremony in Ica (Southern Peru) in early July so that our families can celebrate alongside us and finally meet for the first time. I’ll be sure to keep y’all posted on the big family reunion.

Before ending today’s blog entry, I wanted to provide a quick update on the Hope House and our development trainings. For the past two weeks the entire village banking team has pitched in and dedicated a few extra hours so that our office could receive a much needed makeover. All spaces have been painted in lovely shades of blue in honor of DHF. The Hope House definitely feels and looks much more like a home. Trainings will officially begin in two weeks but several of our newer banks from 2011 will commence crochet classes in community next week.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend filled with happiness and abundance!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Year in Review: Celebrating 2011

Hello DHF Family,

VB "Friends Forever" displays Best Dish entry
I wanted to start the year off right with some great news about out village banking project. On January 27, 2012 DiscoverHope celebrated our 2nd Annual Village Bank Conference in Otuzco, Cajamarca. Once a year we bring together our local staff and village banks to celebrate their major accomplishments and recognize our project milestones. In attendance were 20 village banks, 185 loan recipients, and 50 family members.
To keep the event fun and lively, we organized a Best Uniform, Best Yell, and Best Peruvian Dish Competition. We also recognized our literacy and computer students with certificates of achievement. The prize for “Top Bank of 2011” went to “Progressing Women,” whose picture was placed on the 2012 Project Calendar.  Bank President Isabel De La Cruz stated, “We are proud to be this year’s Top Bank. As one of the original members I feel so blessed that our bank is a place where we can grow personally and improve our businesses. Thank you DiscoverHope.”
In 2011, DiscoverHope in collaboration with our local partners and staff at Multicredit, provided 204 WOMEN with 392 LOANS and 781 TRAININGS while maintaining our signature 100% PAYBACK RATE.  Thanks to your overwhelming support and contributions we exceeded our goals and our expectations! I’m definitely looking forward to another prosperous year helping women achieve their goals and paying it forward. This year we'll provide a variety of blog entries profiling our women and highlighting our work both in Peru and in Texas. Please stay tuned with more to come!
Juliana Rumay receiving certificate from Instructor Lily Perez.

VB Progressing Women receiving "Top Bank 2011 Award"