Blog: Stories from Nicaragua

The latest updates, news, and stories from the Seeds of Learning team in Nicaragua.


Builders Beyond Borders starts walls on the preschool

By Casey Callais 02/28/2017 — Eight days came and went in the blink of an eye but left a lasting mark on the community of El Jicarito and 29 brave souls from Builders Beyond Borders.

The group hit the ground running and worked both mornings and afternoons on various jobs around the work site but pri [. . .]

Jicarito Roof Going Up

By Casey Callais 2/6/2017 — Still at it. It’s good to watch the progress of this project. Now it is starting to look more like what we have been imagining the school to look like. Walls and roof make all the difference.

This photo is from last week. This week they have the nail beams welded on [. . .]

Happy New Year!

By Casey Callais 1/20/2017 — Our New Year’s resolution is the same as last years. This year we resolve to better the access, relevance and quality of education in Nicaragua. So how are we going about meeting those resolutions for this year?

Access – We are getting closer to the finish li [. . .]

Happy holidays

By Casey Callais 12/16/2016 — Dashing down the road
In a one-way dirt road track…
O’er the bumps we go
Never looking back.

In Ji-ca-ri-to
Arriving to the site…
Oh what fun it is to stuff a sack with all your might!

And mix cement, and erect colu [. . .]

The first window has been bagged

By Casey Callais 11/18/2016 — One of the most well-known truths in the history of construction is that the arch is one of the strongest figures in architecture. This week we built our first window and utilized the power of the arch to create it.

That and a tire.

Community members from El Triu [. . .]

SOL equips teachers with computers in Tipitapa

By Casey Callais 11/5/2016 — Thanks to generous donations from Seeds of Learning supporters and work groups, four more teachers received laptops and teaching materials such as pens, pencils, notebooks and crayons in the Tipitapa region of Nicaragua.

This makes 17 teachers in the region who have rece [. . .]

The day has finally arrived

By Casey Callais, 11/04/2016 — All the hype over this project in El Jicarito is finally starting to become the reality now that we have started laying the first rows of superadobe earth bags. That’s right, we are finally able to show the locals in El Jicarito and the world just how bombproof this new [. . .]

That is called teamwork

By Casey Callais 10/28/2016 — For those of you who are following the progress of our superadobe school construction in El Jicarito, Nicaragua, this update will come as good news. The footings of the elementary school building have been finished and the first half of the columns have been poured.

We [. . .]

Cement mixer working like a dream, rain every day

By Casey Callais 10/14/2016 — We are moving right along on the super adobe school building project in El Jicarito. We finally located a cement mixer and, after some small repairs, are filling forms faster than we can put them up.

The project should be ready to start laying down the super adobe bags [. . .]

Movin on up in El Jicarito

By Casey Callais 10/07/2016 — We love to see up construction. So far we have filled up footings with cement, put up columns for the main classroom and tied up the bottom beam. We still need to fix up the cement mixer and, um… install up the U-shaped support brackets that will sandwich the super adob [. . .]

Seeds of Learnings 25th Anniversary

By Casey Callais 10/04/2016 — It was a celebration a quarter century in the making and the Seeds of Learning staff in Ciudad Dario pulled it off in a spectacular fashion. On the first of October staff, friends, family, volunteers and beneficiaries gathered at the SOL Learning Resource Center to celebrate t [. . .]

Welding workshop graduates receive their diplomas

By Casey Callais 09/28/2016 — The graduates from a Winds of Change sponsored welding workshop received their diplomas in a ceremony at the community house “Casa Verde” in Pedro Arauz, Nicaragua.

The workshop that was held earlier this year was certified by INATEC, the national technical [. . .]

Inauguration of school in Papayal

By Casey Callais 09/16/2016 –– This week we were proud to inaugurate the one-room school house that we helped the community build in El Papayal.

We were fortunate to have two work groups building alongside us in the community so big thanks to Sonoma Valley High School and Badger Quest. This is [. . .]

Jeramiah explains why you should join a SOL trip

If anybody is wondering what a trip with Seeds of Learning is like, let Jeramiah tell you in only a minute and a half.

Thanks for your hard work, Jeramiah! [. . .]

The architects get dirty in El Jicarito

By Casey Callais 9/9/2016 — Four members of Knitknot Architecture Group who created the design for the earthbag school in El Jicarito visited the worksite this week. Their mission was to get to know the community, clarify questions the foreman had and to grab shovels and dig. And that is just what they did [. . .]

Reading campaign with Global Shapers Community

By Casey Callais 3/09/2016 –– Today we had the good fortune to help coordinate a reading campaign in El Triunfo with Global Shapers Community. It was the idea of Maria Ximena, an ex member of the SOL board and member of GSC who organized the group of young [. . .]

We welcome the rain in Tipitapa

By Casey Callais 2/09/2016 — The rain has been a welcome sight here in the Tipitapa area of Nicaragua. Farmers have been busy planting crops but we have also had a good turnout of locals helping with our Jicarito school project.

We rented a couple of compactors to flatten out the worksite and have s [. . .]

Bodega expansion, community inputs

By Casey Callais 26/08/2016 — Our little Jicarito project has outgrown its bodega. This week we worked on two things: expanding the bodega to accommodate the needs of the next stage of the project and bricking up the top side of the latrine.

We would have moved faster but the SOL family was struck b [. . .]

Video of the Portland open visit

By Casey Callais 08/19/2016 — Check out this time lapse compilation of the visit of the Portland Open group that visited us to work in El Jicarito last week.

Huge thanks to everyone on the trip! And thanks again for putting up with the constant “Hang on, let me take a photo (but it’s rea [. . .]

El Jicarito: Let the construction begin.

By Casey Callais 08/19/2016 — It has been a hard two months but we have finally gotten the ground prepared–so we can confidently say that construction can now being. *whew!*

Massive thank you to the open enrollment group from Portland (which included all-stars from Portland Jesuit HS, Universi [. . .]

Hills of filler spilling hither

By Casey Callais, 8/05/2016 –– Huge, huge, huge thanks to the Portland Jesuit High School and the Sonoma Valley team for all their hard work in the last few weeks. Finally the holes have been dug and filled!

This week we have brought in truckload after truckload of dirt to raise the level up h [. . .]

Many hands make light work - El Jicarito, Nicaragua

By Casey Callais 7/29/2016 –– Like the old-fashioned Quaker barn raising, it’s been all hands on deck to get this school ready for construction. Aside from the 23-strong Sonoma Valley group, people from three neighboring communities came out to work in solidarity with the good folks of El Jicar [. . .]

El Jicarito plus Sonoma Valley means good stuff

By Casey Callais 7/22/2016 — What a difference a group makes.

This week we have been lucky to share our passion for education  with 23 fun-loving, hard-working individuals from Sonoma Valley, California and of course local community members from El Jicarito and beyond.

The work

So f [. . .]

Winds of Change rebuilds water pump in Pedro Arauz

By Casey Callais 7/15/2016 — Water changes everything.

It was a long week of cutting metal, welding parts, making it work and getting it right but on Friday morning the Toronto-based organization  [. . .]

Still moving dirt in El Jicarito

By Casey Callais 7/8/2016 — The Seeds of Learning office in Managua has seen rain nearly every day for the last two weeks. El Jicarito, only about 15 miles north as the crow flies, has been lucky to receive a few light showers here and there. Supposedly it has to do with the local effect of global climate [. . .]

Finishing up the school in El Papayal

By Casey Callais 6/27/16 — The one-room school building that Seeds of Learning has been constructing in the community of El Papayal has made major advancements toward its development. The school building now has a floor, sidewalk and roof. And as you can see, has just been painted.

The ne [. . .]

Moving dirt in El Jicarito

By Casey Callais 6/24/2016 — Four dump trucks of dirt. That is how much sticky black mud has been removed for the foundations of the columns so far. Big thanks to the Jesuit High School group from Portland Oregon and the neighbors in the El Jicarito community for helping to make the first week of construct [. . .]

Starting the foundations of education with the Jesuits

By Casey Callais, 6/17/2016 — This week we have been honored to have a 21-person strong group of dedicated volunteers from the Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon working with us. And when I say work, I mean hot, muddy, dirty, fun work. 


Getting started i [. . .]

Designed to educate: breaking ground on the school in El Jicarito

By Casey Callais, 6/10/2016 – There are three areas of education that Seeds of Learning Managua envisions to change in the Tipitapa region: access, quality and relevance. SOL Managua’s latest project isn’t just about giving kids a new place to learn. It’s about providing an quality educa [. . .]