29 Mar Giving back to Nicaragua…
I was very moved by my experience in Nicaragua. By the breathtaking beauty of the sunsets, the relaxed and simple way of life, the delicious food, the list goes on and on… But mostly, I was inspired by the locals. Two of my close friends Lindsey and Seth have lived near Rivas in Nicaragua for about 5 years now, have fallen in love with it and have decided to make it their home. In order to thank the community that has so graciously welcomed them they have found a way to give back. I think that it is a beautiful gesture and one that can truly make a huge difference with a bit of support! For this reason, I wanted to share a little information about their project on my website (see below). Please take the time to check it out!
Free English Classes for the Local Community
Many of the residents in this area have lived here their whole lives and have seen Hacienda Iguana and the surrounding communities develop. They have played a large part in making these communities what they are today. Many of them are the local faces you see around every day, your housekeeper, guard, pool guy, construction worker etc. They are wonderful, cheerful and giving people.
We have been thinking of what would be the best way to give back to our local community. In this search we have found that there is a huge interest and need for more education. In our region, the highest level of schooling is the 6th grade and the few that can afford higher education have to take a 30-45 minute bus ride to Tola, Rivas or Salinas. I have also heard many stories from adults who loved studying but weren’t fortunate enough to be able to stay in school, due to deaths in the family, the necessity of having to raise the younger kids or work the fields or the inconvenience of the distance of the schools.
In June of 2012 we started free English classes for the local community. Since then we have offered multiple English classes each week, for beginner levels, intermediate levels and children’s classes. Classes have been made available throughout the day and into the evening so that the opportunity to learn is available to everyone.
We have recently added an exercise class where the local community comes for a crossfit class on the golf course. As we continue to grow we hope to expand to fulfill other community needs over time. Our goal through the English classes is to give the locals the opportunity to further their education while at the same time giving them a skill that is becoming more and more valuable as this area develops. With the ability to speak English (as very few locals in our remote area are able to) they will have opportunities to enter into better paying jobs and the non-Spanish speaking foreigners that come here will get to know them as we know them.
We have both Nicaraguan and American teachers that teach our classes for $5/hour. Our main expenses are paying our teacher’s wages, covering living expenses for our American teachers and getting copies made or buying textbooks. Any monetary donations, school supplies, beginner level English books, etc. would be very much appreciated!
If you are interested in making a monetary donation, you can do so through Paypal on our blog page below or at Sant Marta Community Foundation
Please check out our blog at surfteachnica
If you are interested in experiencing Nicaragua first hand, meeting Lindsey and Seth and seeing their school in person check out http://www.iguanasurfrentals.com.
***I will also be holding a Pilates/Yoga/surf Retreat in Nicaragua January 12th – January 18th, 2015. Please send me a message or click on the link below if you are interested and I’ll give you more details!!