The summer of 2006 was the first high school youth exchange between Spokane and Huisisilapa. Twelve high school students and 6 adults visited Huisisilapa. All visitors were hosted by the families of high school students. It was the first time the village hosted international visitors. They had the confidence to do so because of the established solidarity between the women leaders and Hermanas Spokane.
The first group of 18 from Spokane each took a computer donated by St. George School to set up a computer lab. Throughout the next 4 years Hermanas Spokane, Rotary Clubs, along with youth from Lewis and Clark High School, raised over $40,000 to help establish the high school program by helping to build a classroom, buy some internet connections, hire teachers, buy some curriculum materials and novels for the high school students. This effort is still very much appreciated in Huisisilapa by all. The first high school graduating class in Huisi will be graduating 4 young people from the university. A phenomenal accomplishment given all the obstacles the students had to overcome. Several families who have visited Huisisilapa throughout the years have consistently donated money to help these brave young people pursue a university degree.
Currently Hermanas Spokane is supporting the community’s desire to build a library. They need curriculum materials, books for the children to read, and internet connections for the students to do reading and research online. There is no telephone land line so internet connections are through cell towers which are expensive. We are working to raise $50,000 to build a sustainable library in the next couple of years. The thermometer shows a balance of almost $31,000 in the library fund. You may donate online on this website through PayPal.
We in Spokane and other parts of the U.S. have had wonderful experiences visiting Huisisilapa. Some of us call it our second home. We have gained so much understanding and compassion from our friends in Huisi which have made us better people and in turn made a better world.
The tree was the heart of the community and is the one depicted in our Hermanas logo. Because it was in danger of falling it had to be cut down, but the strong spirit and determination of the Huisisilapa people forges ahead.