Blog Page – Regular Commentary on Critical Projects
Plant Sale Saturday 7-9-16
Plant sale Saturday, July 9, to benefit Somos Ohana Nicaragua: 8 am to 1 pm, 51 Mano Drive in Kula, with many different large and small potted plants and cuttings. Proceeds all will be donated to help fund construction of the 3rd wing of the regional secondary school we have built and which is now serving youth in rural NW Nicaragua. Thank you, Maui community, for your support!
Directions: Find us in Kula Kai subdivision off Lower Kula Rd. Turn up mauka on Omaopio Rd at Waipuna Chapel, then in 1 block turn right onto Lower Kula, then take first left onto Ka Drive. Mano Drive is the first right off Ka.
For more information, call 878-8015
Grant Awarded for La Carreta Computer Room
Thanks to the Bellevue Rotary Club World Community Service Grant Committee of Seattle, WA, one of the classrooms in the two finished pavilions of the La Carreta secondary school will be used as a computer classroom. The room needed to be air-conditioned in order to keep computers working in the high heat and humidity of Nicaragua. That necessitated, in addition to the air-conditioning unit, insulation of the ceiling, special aluminum+glass windows, 2 doors of similar heat-resistant material, (to replace the standard metal doors and standard metal gratings in the window openings), and electrification of the room with multiple outlets for the planned 15 computers.
Students started attending classes at La Carreta when the Nicaraguan school year started in March. their “summer vacation” being in December-February, similar to the old “coffee schedule” of Hawaii’s public schools, and the computer room habilitation was planned.
On April 15, 2016, we found out that our grant application was approved, and our master builde, Marvin Abad, began work on the special room project.
Somos Ohana Nicaragua’s 2016 summer team expected to bring 10 donated computers for the room, but we were thrilled and grateful to find out in May that the President of Nicaragua was sending 10 new computers along with desks and chairs for their stations. Since then, that office has promised another set of 5 additional. These gifts mean that we can designate our 2016 computers to the other schools and take one each to our 3 new college scholarship recipients.
In early June, a delegation from the Ministry of Education and the partner Rotary organization, the Rotary Club of Chinandega, Nicaragua, visited the school and celebrated the “almost-completion.” Full completion awaits the installation of the electrical transformer. Our first secondary school operated for a year or more with no electricity. La Carreta has electricity to building, but needs to step up the power for the computer room’s AC unit.
Picture above shows 3 Rotarians from Chinandega making their official visit to La Carreta with 2 of the teachers (woman in black blouse and man in blue shirt). Computer equipment, desks and chairs from the President’s office can be seen in the photo taken in the computer room.
New Computers for La Carreta
We are celebrating the inauguration of the completion of the computer lab of the new high school we helped build in La Carreta! Not only is the room completed with air-conditioning as planned, But also, the President of the Republic of Nicaragua donated 10 computers and 10 desks to put them on. These were installed May 25 and a celebration held there at the school. It’s a very positive sign that the President and his staff in Managua are taking responsibility for the success of new school’s computer lab and for the well-being and education of the children of rural families in that area.
This excellent news means that of the 10 used computers donated by the Bertschi School in Seattle, 5 will still go to the La Carreta lab for which 15 stations were planned, and 5 will be available to provide to our 3 new university students who don’t have computers and are on scholarship from Somos Ohana Nicaragua. Two other computers will go to the first rural secondary school we helped build in Rincon de Garcia, for the teachers to help the students learn basic orientation to computer use.
Lots to be thankful for!
Fundraiser April 26
Classes are in session for the 2016 school year at our new high school at La Carreta with two of its wings finished. To construct the remaining wing, Somos Ohana Nicaragua is continuing our school construction campaign to raise the needed funds, around $53,000 more, USD.
Please help us toward that goal. One way is to enjoy brick-oven pizza with us at The Flatbread Company of Paia, Maui, on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. A portion of every size of pizza purchased, including take-out, between 5:00 and 10:00 pm that evening will be donated to Somos Ohana Nicaragua. A silent auction of interesting and valuable items will also be happening.
Muchisimas gracias to the generous owners and staff at Flatbread Paia for their solidarity and on-going, very generous support!
Classes Begin – La Carreta School
The first 2 pavilions of the new La Carreta high school were completed just in time for the beginning of the school year on February 8. Now there are 133 students receiving classes there! We are waiting on a grant from a Rotary Club in Washington State to habilitate one of the classrooms with air-conditioning in order to set up a computer lab with donated computers from a private school in Seattle. This will help the computers survive in the hot and humid climate of Nicaragua.
The 3rd pavilion, for which we are still fund-raising, will house a library, a teachers’ room and a kitchen where the students will clean and prepare the vegetables that they plan to grow in the school gardens.
We believe that with more opportunities to learn a variety of skills, these youngsters can choose to study at a university and to serve their families and their country as health and educational professionals. If they don’t attend university, a secondary education will enable them to find jobs in Nicaragua to sustain themselves and their future families.
What Will the “Ripple Effect” Be?
Somos Ohana Nicaragua started giving bikes to secondary students with long walking commutes to their schools in 2009, the year our first high school-building project was put in service, the José Dolores Estrada Institute at Rincón de García. We worked with the head teacher and the parents of bike recipients to encourage a strong commitment to good attendance. Here are some results from that ongoing program.
Wilber Javier Betanco from Mayocunda got his bike in 2009 in order to ride to the new high school, and in 2015 he graduated from the National University with a licensure in Law.
Holman Arnoldo Cadena got his bike in 2009 and attended the Rincón high school, too, and this year he will graduate with a diploma of Auxiliary Nursing, the equivalent of an LPN degree. Holman’s sister Ingris Waleska Cardena graduated from the high school at Rincón de García in 2015 and has started classes at the UNAN (National Autonomous University of Nicaragua) at Somotillo, majoring in Education with a minor in Language and Literature.
Edgar Efrain Aguilar graduated in 2014 and now works as a health educator for the Ministry of Health (MinSa) in his home town area, the Municipality of Villanueva.
What impact does having transportation to school make? What impact having a school where there was none? What ripples out from the local jobs for teachers? What future good will flow from the hearts and minds of these and other successful students?
Maybe we will never know how far out the ripples will go, but we believe in planting the seeds that the youth of Nicaragua will nourish and develop.
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