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Complete: Aura’s Elementary School Water Project – Guatemala: $1,601 Raised! THANK YOU.

22 June 2013 5 Comments

Launched: January 30, 2013.
Completed: June 21, 2013

See the photos and updates from this now complete project.

Special Thanks to: Elvis Kibiti for his generous $125 donation that was matched by his employer and to Suzzanne and Jeff Cutler for their generous $300 and later $500 donations that closed out this project.

May Update (May 31, 2013): All donations between May 31st to June 30th (our website’s 9th birthday!) of $9 or more will get an entry into our raffle.  (Example: $9= one entry, $18=two entries, etc…) The raffle will end once this project is complete and winners will be chosen at random roughly 1-2 weeks after the project is completed. First prize is a $100 Amazon gift card or donation to the charity or project of your choice. Second prize is the same, but $50. Please share far and wide so we can help this deserving community with their health and education needs. Thanks!

Our goal was to raise $1,520.

$1,601 raised. THANK YOU!


Aura as an elementary school student. Age 9, circa 2003.

The village of this website’s namesake, Aura Yesenia Solis Hernandez has a local elementary school in need of a potable water supply. Children International writes that they have no running water, which makes it very difficult for the children to remain in class all morning. The teachers have to ask their students to bring water from home in order to use the bathroom and wash their hands.

The school needs a plumbing system to be built and safe water storage. The approximate cost of the running water project is $1,000 and would take approximately two months to complete. The school also is in dire need of books and learning materials, especially for the kindergarten and first grade. We aim to raise $1,520 for a plumbing system and learning materials such as crayons, paper, books, and coloring books. If any money is raised beyond our goal, it will go towards desks which the school also needs desperately. All projects on the Aura’s House site are 100% US tax deductible and 100% of donations go to our projects and the communities served.



Tania Paola (6) and Tania Fabiola (6)

Meet twins, Tania Paola (6) and Tania Fabiola (6) who are two students that, currently, attend the school in Aura’s village.

Female students of Guatemalan elementary school.

Female students of Aura’s village elementary school.

Male students of Guatemalan elementary school.

Male students of Aura’s village elementary school.


Project Breakdown:

Plumbing system – $1000
Didactic material such as crayons, paper, books, and coloring books – $520

TOTAL: $1,520

*If we happen to raise any money beyond our goal, it will go towards badly-needed desks for the school.

Meet two students of Aura’s village elementary school, Tania Paola and Tania Fabiola, who will be benefiting from your donations.

Aura’s former sponsor is Kristen Palana, the founder of this website.

Kristen writes:

Hi Everyone!

Aura, third from front left, at secondary school

Aura recently graduated from Children International’s sponsorship program when she turned nineteen in June, 2012.  I had sponsored her for ten years and when we first were “introduced” she was living in a mud home that leaked and had big dreams of becoming a teacher, even though in her village, schooling only is available up until the 8th grade.

I was moved to try and help her even though I had my own college student loans to pay back at the time. My solution was to create this website and to tap into the power of “crowdfunding” years before fund-raising sites like Firstgiving, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo even existed. I started Aura’s House to try to raise money to build her a safe and sturdy brick home. We were successful and we continued trying to help other needy kids via projects on this site. A few years later we raised funds to send Aura to Secondary School. She graduated last year and will now soon attend University in Guatemala City in 2013! I couldn’t be more proud.

Aura’s graduation (with parents)

I’d like to extend some of this success and goodwill that we’ve achieved on the site to Aura’s Community as well. They have no running water and most families get their water from a nearby river which is down a very steep ravine. I’ve been there personally (in 2006) and can tell you that it’s hard to climb down there on the best of days, let alone carrying full buckets of water and during the muddy rainy season. Children are usually the ones who gather the water in their families.

It would mean a lot to Aura’s community if their children could stay in school all day and not have to worry about bringing their own water. It is my hope that if the school was equipped with running water, that the larger community could also benefit from this during non- school hours and weekends and perhaps make life a little easier and more sanitary for all. Also, I think that books and didactic learning materials are in dire need and would be put to great use by the teachers and the children.

Aura teaching 3rd grade in the village’s Elementary School

Thanks for learning more about this project. I hope you might consider making a small donation towards our goal. Every bit helps, even $1.

Best wishes,
Kristen Palana

*This project is now complete. However, please consider helping another deserving child and community by visiting one of our active projects.


  • Kristen said:

    Thank you SO MUCH to Barbara R., Olivia P., T.K. L., Sabrina P., Patricia B., Suzzanne and Jeff C., and Christina S. for helping to get this project off to a great start so far!

  • Connie said:

    a great project! I sponsor several children in Guatemala. I hope some day I can manage to visit them. Two of my friends belong to an organization that collects books and teaching supplies for schools in Guatemala. They travel there yearly. Many of the schools they visit serve students who speak Cakchiquel. My friends bring back stories of the conditions in the schools and communities.

  • Sabrina said:

    You should know that, on this web page, there are two “Make a Donation” buttons. The upper one DOES NOT work. This may lead some potential donors to give up before they scroll down to the bottom of the page to the one that does work.

  • Kristen said:

    Thanks so much for the heads-up Sabrina. I will look into this now.

  • Kristen said:

    A huge and heartfelt THANKS to everyone who donated to this project. I can’t wait to see the photos of the new water system and children with their books. You’ve all truly made a huge difference in the lives of this community.

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