El Papayal is a rural community located in the municipality of Tipitapa, Nicaragua. Most community members work on cattle or rice farms for very low wages. Out of the 140 people who live in the community, just three people have completed high school. Even in the face of many obstacles, community members are committed to working together to improve local educational opportunities.
The community’s elementary school serves 66 students from kindergarten through 6th grade, who cram into three small classrooms. The third classroom is completely inadequate, as it was made over 13 years ago from a repurposed shipping container, which is beginning to rust. In addition, the classroom gets very hot during the day, which makes it difficult for students to concentrate. On some days, the teacher is forced to hold classes outside because of the heat.
In 2016, SOL worked alongside the members of the El Papayal community and international work group volunteers to build a new kindergarten classroom. It is built of cinder blocks with reinforced rebar columns and beams, windows for improved ventilation and a tile floor. It is also furnished with desks, furniture and a whiteboard. In addition to the new classroom, we will painted the two old classrooms. This project created a safe, clean, and quality learning environment for all students.
Construction was finished on August 30 and was inaugurated with community and MINED participation on September 12.
View more photos of the classroom construction here.
Special thanks: Thank you to the volunteers from Quest University of Wisconsin-Madison and Sonoma Valley High School for helping with the construction of the new classroom.