El Chaguite is a rural village of about 250 people located in the municipality of Ciudad Dario, Nicaragua.
Most community members work as subsistence farmers, or outside the home as door-to-door salesmen or in other entrepreneurial endeavors. There is potable water and electricity in most houses, and most homes have latrines.
Youth in El Chaguite are committed to going to school. There are over a dozen high school students who commute daily into Ciudad Dario for class, and an equal number of students who attend university. This is an impressive number for such a small community.
Learning conditions in the community are far from ideal. The local school consists of one small classroom that houses all primary school students, from preschool through sixth grade. The space is far too small and overcrowded, and is in desperate need of improvement.
In 2017, SOL will work alongside the members of the El Chaguite community and international volunteers, to build one new classroom and refurbish the existing structure. The new classroom will have sturdy brick walls and a tile floor, and will house the preschool students. The old classroom will be repaired, painted, and newly furnished. An existing internal wall will be demolished to create one large space for the remaining students.
The community will provide labor and some of the construction materials, while SOL will provide project coordination, a construction supervisor, and the majority of the building materials. We also anticipate hosting a number of international volunteer groups at this site. Together we will provide a brighter future for the students of El Chaguite.
January, 2018 Update: We are happy to report that this project is complete. The roof went on in August, and the floor and much of the painting were completed in September. October was dedicated to repairing the existing classroom. This included installation of new doors and windows, building a new fence, painting, and furniture repairs. The community, and especially local students, were very involved throughout the construction process.
An inauguration ceremony was held on December 10th, along with the preschool and 6th grade graduations. The community is already commenting on how nice the school looks, and the teachers used the new classroom while the repairs of the old classroom were underway. There were a lot of jokes about how nobody could wait to use the new classroom…even before the work was finished!
El Chaguite community member Freidy Castro commented about the project, “How can we forget the great work that was done for our community and our children, without anything being expected in return? This support is important and will help our children have access to a good education from a young age.”
View photos of the finished school and the inauguration ceremony by clicking here. Thanks to the many generous donors who have supported this project.