Nicaragua School & Costa Rica Comedor 2013
Searez Preschool, Nicaragua
Update June 2013 – The school is now finished.
Costa Rica Comedor
A Comedor is a dining room and kitchen attached to a school. In Costa Rica, the government only funds food in schools if there is somewhere to cook and eat it. The Trust has therefore funded the building of one here.
San Ramon is a municipality in the department of Matagalpa in the central highlands of Nicaragua. Searez is a small community in the municipality with a population of roughly 800 people. It is on the edge of the Los Apantes Nature Reserve and protects important biodiversity through its coffee industry – the main economic activity in the area. The coffee farmers are organized into a cooperative and they sell their Fair-Trade coffee through the UCA (Union of Agricultural Cooperatives) San Ramon.
Working in partnership with UCA San Ramon, the cooperative members of Searez and the Ministry of Education, Raleigh International intends to improve the infrastructure for the delivery of educational facilities in the municipality of San Ramon. There is no preschool in this area and the children share with the primary school. There are 4 teachers currently sharing two classrooms – which is causing a great deal of disruption both to the preschool and primary school students. Parents believe that the current set up isn’t working.
There are 77 students in the primary school and a further 35 in the preschool. However, there are over 300 children in this area, many of which are not going to school. Some parents are sending their children to a school further away and others are not sending their children at all. The building of a preschool will resolve a number of problems in the community as well as ensuring that the children receive a preschool education.
The Nicaragua Ministry of Education is ultimately responsible for the delivery of educational services to the people of Nicaragua. In each municipality the various schools are managed by the local Ministry of Education. Each school has a school director who is responsible for managing the school and they will work with a local parents committee for organizing education in the village and through this mechanism the relationship with the community.
Raleigh proposes to build a 2 classroom preschool, which has been funded by the Myles Robinson Memorial Trust.
From one of the volunteers
We are staying with six different families who all have young children. They are all so grateful to Raleigh for building the preschool which will be so beneficial not only to the community as a whole but particularly to the young women of Siares. The preschool will give the children a safe and less crowded place to receive an education. It will also allow the young women more freedom and time to provide for their families and even gain an education for themselves. As we can see how it will benefit so many people it makes all our hard work worthwhile. Seeing how the families live and how they take such good care of their homes and families even though their means are so basic makes us all grateful for our own home comforts. It definitely has made us realise how lucky we all are and how much we take things for granted.