Community Building Projects

Las Mesas Library and Learning Resource Center Construction, Ciudad Darío, Nicaragua

PROJECT SUMMARY

Work with the people of the Las Mesas, Dario community to refurbish an old school structure into a library and Learning Resource Center.

DIRECT PROJECT PARTICIPANTS/ PARTNERS

  • 40 preschool/primary students
  • 15 high school students
  • 2 teachers
  • 70 families total
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THE NEED

The original structure was built in the late 60’s or early 70’s as a multi-grade primary school classroom and was replaced by a new two-room school in the early 90’s at another location in the community. Like many rural communities, access to books, educational resources and activities is very limited. There is a deep desire to create a learning center where community members can creatively facilitate learning through educational programming such as literacy programs, book sharing and community led courses. The space will also be used for community gatherings and meetings. The small existing library which is crowded into a corner of one of the classrooms in the school will also be moved into this newly rebuilt community space.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Las Mesas is a rural village located on the western edge of the municipality of Ciudad Dario, Nicaragua. It is about 15 km outside of town. There are over 50 houses and approximately 70 families in the community (population approx. 350 inhabitants). The community’s inhabitants mostly provide for their families by means of local subsistence farming, keeping a small number of livestock or by commuting to urban centers to work in the informal sector. There are over a dozen high school students who also have to commute to neighboring communities to further their education on the weekends and currently only a few students have the means to study at the university level. Over the years, SOL has provided over nearly a dozen high school scholarships to the youth of this community, facilitated a Sister Schools program and provided many years of support to the teachers and students of the primary school.

Currently, SOL provides one student from Las Mesas a university level scholarship and he has recently developed a Reading Campaign to help promote a love for reading among the younger students while also supporting the mini-library initiative in the community. The community has potable water and electricity and most homes also have latrines. The community is accessed by a steep dirt road and has a public health center, a chapel, and strong Catholic lay leadership. The people of Las Mesas are known for their hospitality, strong sense of unity, and community spirit.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This project would consist of remodeling the current structure, which has been out of use for over a decade and is completely missing its roof, doors, windows and protective grating. The building also needs new flooring, interior and exterior painting, electrical installation and some structural repairs and improvements.

The community will provide and organize local labor and is already fundraising locally in support of this project. (They have already raised $300!) SOL will provide leadership/ project coordination, a construction supervisor, and the majority of the building materials.

PROJECT DATES

March – August, 2020

COST

The project will cost approximately $18,000.

To make a donation and support this project, please click here.

Las Mesas: Project Site Photo Album
Las Mesas Community, School, Library & People

Google Earth coordinates: 12°42’56.50” N 86°13’20.00” W

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