El Paraíso is a growing community of 300 people in the highlands outside of Matagalpa. Families make a living through agriculture. Surrounding farms are mostly privately owned coffee farms; therefore the community is largely employed by such farms as coffee pickers during coffee season.
The local school has one two-classroom structure and a small kitchen. The buildings are in good condition and very well maintained. The school grounds are kept very clean and are planted with flowers and vegetables. However, the school lacks sufficient space for the students, so the kitchen has been converted into a preschool classroom. Since the community is rapidly growing, the local teachers anticipate that the overcrowded conditions will only become worse.
In 2018, Seeds of Learning will work alongside the El Paraíso community and international volunteers to build an additional classroom. We will also partner with the nonprofit organization One Dollar For Life, who is helping to fund the project. When completed, this will become the designated classroom for the preschool students, who will finally have a proper, safe learning space. This will also allow the former kitchen to be used for food preparation. We will also build a covered patio, which will function as a recreation and eating area. Finally, we will build a handwash station, and improve the sloped school grounds with retaining walls, walkways, and an improved rain runoff system. We look forward to working with volunteers from the US and the people of El Paraíso to improve the local learning conditions.
Click here to view a video about this project.
7/24 Update: Despite the unrest in Nicaragua, construction continues and will be finished by the August. Staff and volunteers from the local community are starting to work on the floor and roof, and will soon begin installing doors and windows, finalizing the handwash station, installing electricial wiring, and painting.
Click here to view photos of the construction progress.