A Message from our Executive Board: Who is Fiesta4Hope?

Dear Fiesta4Hope Friends and Followers, 

 

Over the last two years, the name Fiesta4Hope has floated around the ears of those in our community. Since our founding in 2018, Fiesta has grown from a high school summer project to a legal nonprofit organization with a clear vision and concrete community. We are endlessly grateful to those who have supported us from the start, and we continue to welcome new supporters  with open arms. In this letter, we want to share with you where our organization is now and summarize the goals that we are tirelessly working towards. 

 

Fiesta4Hope’s mission is to provide support to vulnerable communities through the promotion of sustainability and we strive to realize our goals through three main pathways: Education, Fundraising, and Empowerment. 

 

Today, we continue to be directly partnered with Centro Paso in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. Centro PASO is a volunteer led community center affiliated with the local Catholic Parish. They address local needs with a variety of programs ranging from urgent medical and food supply, to long term job and life counseling, to educational workshops for adults and youth. At Fiesta4Hope we are dedicated to promoting our three main pathways and effectively pursuing change in order to ensure a better future for those in Aibonito, Puerto Rico and other communities like it.  

 

Education

We believe that an essential pillar in any service initiative is knowledge of the issues at hand. At Fiesta4Hope, our goal is to educate ourselves and our community on all aspects surrounding the work that we do with Centro PASO. We want to create well rounded, holistic perspectives that will make our work meaningful and effective. Currently, our premier team of twenty-one student interns is producing easily accessible research papers that cover topics such as sustainability in Puerto Rico, natural disasters, and the legal and economic relationship between the US and PR. Additionally, other interns are curating an educational curriculum for in-school Fiesta4Hope chapters at the middle, high school, and college levels. We hope to further utilize our social media platforms to educate followers and amplify the voices of those in Aibonito. 

 

Fundraising

The money we raise at Fiesta4Hope directly contributes to Centro PASO’s sustainability initiatives. PASO takes a holistic approach to human services by addressing cases requiring direct aid and then following through with those people until they are self-sufficient. In the past, money raised by Fiesta4Hope has been used by PASO to implement more efficient ways to document aid to individuals by replacing extremely out of date technology. Additionally, we helped fund the addition of private office spaces where poor and vulnerable clients of PASO can be supported in a safer, more comfortable manner. Centro PASO is run by forward thinking, environmentally conscious volunteers who consistently seek to incorporate shifts to sustainable lifestyles into their programs. Currently, our fundraising efforts are geared towards the transition to a solar powered PASO and the launch of a sustainable agriculture education program. We stress the importance of these goals given Puerto Rico’s vulnerability to increased natural disasters and the island's underfunded, unstable power grid. 

 

As community is extremely important to both Fiesta and PASO, we want our fundraising events to not only raise money but bring people together as well. Our goal is to consistently organize engaging, creative fundraisers that allow participants to have fun. We actively pursue this goal with our Creative Team, a group of interns committed to drawing up detailed fundraiser plans that can be used by any Fiesta Chapter. Our plans include a range from small to large fundraisers, both for in-person and virtual communities, in order to prepare for all capabilities and conditions. 

 

Empowerment

We believe that youth empowerment is one of the most valuable aspects of our organization. The Fiesta4Hope project was organized entirely by seventeen-year-olds with the help of other high school students and support from our broader community. This process taught us important lessons about leadership, business, and the power of teamwork. Our goal is to continuously empower young people by giving them the confidence and opportunity to be leaders. We hope to expand on this through an increased presence in schools. Fiesta4Hope chapters not only expand our own community but also introduce more chances for students to take on responsibilities within a nonprofit. In addition to education and fundraising, empowerment will be a main theme in the yearly timeline of our chapters through workshops, discussions, and projects. Furthermore, we plan to continue offering internship positions to high schoolers and undergraduates within the main administrative body of Fiesta4Hope, Inc. throughout the school year. 

 

Once again, we thank you for your support and hope you continue to follow Fiesta4Hope’s growth. We implore you to reach out with any ideas, comments, or concerns that you might have. We hope you enjoy the first edition of our newsletter. 

 

With Love, 

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  Rianna LeHane 

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   Catherine Bagin

Cofounders 

Fiesta4Hope, Inc.