Building New Hope is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh and Nicaragua. In Nicaragua, we partner with a worker-owned organic coffee cooperative, operate two supplemental schools for at-risk youth, and provide high school scholarships for students in need. In Pittsburgh, we engage with local schools and universities, faith groups, farmers, non-profits, community groups, and businesses to promote healthy ecosystems and to spread awareness about how fair trade relationships can help to reduce poverty and inequalities. Our reach
may be broad but our mission is simple: help those in need by providing educational opportunities and fair prices for goods and services


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©2020 Building New Hope

Our Staff

María Soledad Cabezas

Executive Director 

Soledad brings a wealth of experience working with businesses and nonprofits, including several Pittsburgh-area NGOs. She has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. A native of Ecuador, Soledad is our first multilingual director, a quality that is increasingly important for our work in Central America and the United States.

Sandi Suni

Accounting (part-time)

Sandi has been involved with Building New Hope for over 13 years, first packing coffee, then packing off two kids as BNH volunteers in Granada. Their experiences highlighted BNH’s important role in Nicaragua. After 21 years as a homemaker and homeschooling mom, she started with BNH in 2011. Sandi was deeply moved visiting the schools and projects in Granada; hope was truly being built through BNH’s partnerships. Sandi served as Interim Director from April – December 2014 and currently serves as accountant for BNH. Sandi has a BS in Accounting from Valparaiso University.


Head Teacher "Quinta Los Chavalos"

Mario earned a Masters degree in Primary Education in 1980. He has worked with BNH for 15 years and is the lead teacher at Quinta Los Chavalos. Before that, he worked in public and private schools in rural and urban Nicaragua. Mario believes that education is the most important vocation one can have because teachers carry the responsibility of turning children and teenagers into thinking citizens of both Nicaragua and world.


Head Teacher "Escuelita Yo Puedo"

 Ivañía joined Escuelita Yo Puedo staff in 2008 after earning a degree in education. She currently serves as the program’s lead teacher.  Ivañía loves her work; her greatest satisfaction comes from seeing students achieve academic success.  She also loves music and her four daughters.