Coatepeque House


Two and a half years ago, we made the decision to offer an intensive English program only. The high school was becoming very problematic and ineffective. Covid did not help the difficult issues. We are now building an English where graduates are able to be ready for work in a year, more or less depending on their level on arrival and effort.

The applicants have to have graduated from high school in order to find work. This means they are a little more mature when we get them.

This is a program in process od development. The foundation is teachers from the University of Idaho and our tutor volunteers. Depending on entry English level, each girl will have one or more tutors, once or twice a week with each tutor.

Our girls have good pronunciation due to this exposure to American teachers and tutors. In addition, we use a 90 lesson audio program directed specifically to building basic vocabulary and pronunciation. We also have a complete computer program similar to Rosetta Stone and recorded books.

The primary learning tool is having the girls study and live together in order to use the language daily. Sometimes this is difficult for them, as speaking their native language is more comfortable, but those that do speak English are ready for work sooner.   

In 2022, our first students to reach employable competency went to work in June. Others were ready in November. The remaining will come back for a few months in 2023 to further polish their skills. There comment before going home was they were disappointed in themselves for not working in Spokane English more and earlier. They learned the easy way wasn’t meeting their goals.


We rented a house in March 2013 in response to parents concerned about the many assassinations on the bus lines. It was amazing that none of the girls had been caught in the crossfire. This was a radical idea for these traditional families, so acceptance was slow for some and impossible for others. Those that stayed showed us startling results that were unplanned for and unexpected.

  • Their GPAs increased some 3-6% in one semester.
  • The new students living in the house, speak better English than those in the program 2-4 years. New girls not living in the house did not progress nearly as much.
  • Parents reported they were very happy knowing their girls were safe, not traveling daily.
  • Having a Spirit location allows us to have remedial and other supplementary classes for the girls.
  • We have a place for internet access. Internet is expensive, but required for their homework and the families have been suffering to provide this.
  • We can accept applicants from father away as space permits. They can live in the house, rather than attempt traveling long distances. Our first Mayan girls arrived in January 2015 and it was a huge success. Two more distant students came in 2016.
  • The girls have a more balanced diet, one with vegetables and some protein.



In January 2014, we found the remaining undeveloped land near the school. The angels must have been working that day, because he agreed to sell us a large square piece.

We are using the back part for the house and the three front lots for bananas, avocados, oranges, lemons, rambutans, cinnamon and the 2 huge mango trees. This year, Dora is growing squash and watermelon.  Our objective is more shade and fruits and veggies for the girls and Dora’s family.

Plaque Oswaldo

The house has room for 29 girls in 7 dormitories. Four of the rooms are gifts of individuals or families, each with their name on a plaque above the door. The girls, now and in the future must understand this is the effort of many people. Joe chose the dining room, because he likes to eat.

Our builder with 40 years experience had a huge desire to be part of the organization that has helped his daughter. He considers his contribution to this future for young women to be the greatest honor he could receive. He took a considerably lower salary and when he saw his plaque, he choose the computer room with a huge smile.

The Coatepeque house also has internet, therefore Skype. This has made it possible to introduce the very successful “English Angel” program, where Americans donate an hour per week on Skype or phone to receive conversational English with native speakers.
The English Angel program also validates the worth of each girl. An American believes she has value, therefore, she believes that she does.

Please visit the donation gift giving page. Give your family and friends the gift of a safe house.

We want to be self sufficient as much as possible. We have bananas, avocado, lemons, oranges and  huge mangos.

Main floor diagram
Main floor
Upstairs dorms
Upper floor


5-5 found1
House foundation

The large house foundation, built to withstand 6+ earthquakes. You can buy insurance, but if your  house falls down it is your fault- it was not constructed well  enough. The house has withstood 3 – 6.9 quakes and a 6.1 without a single crack.


15 bldg patio sm hse
Making a patio for the caretaker’s house
15 cistern pre-pouring
The cistern and well
15 well 2

The house has water! We have a 800 cubic foot cistern plus a 40′ well to fill it. Toilets flush, showers run, and sinks fill up. No more trying to get by on a few hours of city trickle some days.Using only city water was not enough to use the shower on the first floor. The neighbors were in revolt due to no water for 8 days in June 2015. It is nice to be able to relax about something.


They couldn’t wait to do the second floor and move in.

June painters 1
June painters
Wendy Moving 3
Wendy moving in