Pedro Arauz is located in the municipality of Tipitapa, Nicaragua. Most of the 480 inhabitants of this rural, low-income community work as farmers. In 2013, Seeds of Learning partnered with Pedro Arauz to build a small elementary school. Classes were previously held outside, with students sitting on the ground under trees. The entire community pitched in to help build the school, and they responded enthusiastically to SOL’s work model.
In response to continued needs, in 2014 SOL partnered with Pedro Arauz, international work groups, and the Canadian nonprofit Students Offering Support (SOS) to build a Community Learning Center. This community meeting space includes a small learning center that will be equipped with computers, books, and games. The Center also functions as an agricultural school to teach local community members to use their land sustainably to grow more crops and improve their incomes.
In 2015, SOL continued to work with the Pedro Arauz community and SOS. Together we built a large fence outside the school and learning center, to create an enclosed agricultural training garden and keep out grazing animals. SOL staff and community members also worked with volunteers from Student Offers Support to install a water supply and irrigation system. This includes a submersible electric pump that feeds into a 6,000 liter tank that supplies water to the learning center, school and agricultural training gardens.
The learning center was also the site of a six-part series of lectures and labs, led by representatives from the American Nicaragua Foundation. The lectures taught farmers in Pedro Arauz the best ways to manage their crops with the resources they have at hand. The class made full use of the newly fenced training gardens. We look forward to working with the community and other organizations to plan other workshops in the future.
View photos of the fence construction here.
Thank you to the volunteers from Sonoma Valley High School, who helped build the new fence; the Coffee Tour group, which helped set up a training garden; and Students Offering Support, for working on the water pump system.