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School opens Feb. 11!

Monday, February 6th, 2012

I will be in El Sauce Feb. 11 for the official opening of the Las Minitas school, joined by volunteers, dignitaries and other community leaders for the celebration.
Can’t wait!

Friends Project funds English classes in Las Minitas

Friday, January 13th, 2012

English class launched

The Friends Project has launched a three-month English class in Las Minitas, the mountain community in El Sauce, Nicaragua, where we helped raise money for and will open a school Feb. 10.

Members of the eco-tourism cooperative and teens had been seeking such an opportunity for several months. I always choose projects to invest in that are initiated or identified as important by the community and this is worthwhile.

Members of the eco-tourism and basket-making cooperatives as well as younger children and teens attend, paying a small fee per month that signifies their personal investment in the project. English will help eco-tourism host families and guides communicate better with tourists, and help all cooperative members grow their businesses with English-speaking customers. Speaking English also greatly improves students’ marketability for jobs after graduation, especially in areas where few speak English.

Our own Manuel (to the right, in red with glasses) is the teacher! Friends Project secondary school scholarship recipients Alonso and Sergio are also enrolled.

Manuel was one of our first Friends Project grant recipients, in 2009. We provided him about $250 to purchase a used bike taxi, so he could take home more than 50 cents per day after he paid to rent one. He could rent it out or use it, and therefore work less time so he could attend school.

We also bought him glasses. Two and a half years later, at 20, Manuel has graduated from secondary school, crammed about four years of math tutoring into a few months, worked like crazy and was accepted into college… The Friends Project provides a scholarship of $360 for his studies.

He is also the most accelerated student in the El Sauce English classes, and has been teaching English for several months.

Congratulations to Manuel and for all of our supporters.

This is just one of many projects we have been able to accomplish with a small amount of money — English class will cost $210 for 3 months.

It’s a testament to collaboration and proof we choose meaningful projects that has longlasting and a lot of impact … Using our funds wisely!