Puentes de Esperanza Newsletter
View this email in your browser
Thanks for staying up-to-date on Jiquilillo and our projects! Since we were last in touch, we have successfully developed a new health education program, and found an excellent facilitator for Kids Club and the community. Further, we are happy to let you know that our scholarship students remain supported and have been engaged in exciting new projects. Our excellent volunteers, Oliver and Dave, have also implemented monitoring and evaluation in our computer and English classes to strengthen our impact.

We are always learning from our experiences and the community continues to provide the core inspiration for our projects. Our success is not possible without our donors and volunteers, and we are grateful for your continued support. I hope you enjoy reading about our new advancements and feel encouraged to stay involved.

Muchísimas gracias!

Shana Falb
Executive Director
Our scholarship program manager, Maynin, with four exceptional primary school students and their mothers enjoying a pizza party to celebrate their achievements.

Check in with our gifted students

The stars from Jiquilillo are shining brightly in the private school in El Viejo. Alex won third place in the math Olympics for the Municipality of El Viejo, won best 9th-grade student and second best student in the entire school! Anita and Yaritza won the school’s Science Fair with an impressive project on bringing potable water to Jiquilillo. These three students from rural Nicaragua are standing out next to their city peers, and the reviews from their teachers are incredible! We are super proud to be part of their accomplishments and provide them with this opportunity to receive a quality education.
We also have high hopes for the newest generation in Jiquilillo. The majority of our primary school students achieved over 85% in each class in the first quarter! This is an incredible improvement and marks a significant change in the value of education for the people of Jiquilillo.
Future brigadistas learning how to apply an IV from Nurse Bertha.

Health Education and a New Medical Program

We collaborated with another local organization, Circle of Empowerment, to create a health education program for Jiquilillo. With their help, we hosted a successful Health Fair to provide free health check-ups and medical advice from skilled practitioners. A local nurse provided a talk on health issues facing the community, which provoked many questions and a heated debate on sexual assault and domestic abuse. We are happy to have provided a safe space for locals to discuss these topics. The following week, at the request of our secondary school students, we provided three workshops on personal hygiene, puberty, family planning, and sexual health.
In June, we also began a new program to address the medical needs of Jiquilillo. With the help of a local nurse and a licensed medical doctor, we are educating eight community members, aged 14-44, by giving them training in first aid, vital signs, and how to determine an emergency. Graduates of the 70-hour program will receive a backpack full of medical supplies needed to complete their job, and will have direct contact with doctors at the nearby hospital. This program will provide an important bridge between the community’s health needs and medical care.
Sara, mother of outstanding student Adjeris, planting trees during our reforestation project.

Community service leads to a new proposal and projects

We strongly believe that change is most effective when the ideas come from those who need it. At the beginning of the school year, our secondary students wrote essays about problems facing their community and their solutions for these problems. Most wrote about the garbage plaguing Jiquilillo, and over several weekends and afternoons, the kids put their ideas to the test and led garbage collections and educated their neighbors in door-to-door information sessions on how to properly dispose of garbage.
Our scholarship students are becoming Jiquilillo’s advocates for change through their youth leadership and environmental awareness. They have inspired us to create a formal proposal for garbage collection in Jiquilillo. We are working to collaborate with other local businesses to purchase a truck and hire locals to collect garbage. They will dispose of the garbage at a local transfer station to bring the waste to the dump in El Viejo.
Another excellent idea came from mothers during a scholarship meeting when they suggested a reforestation program along the road in Jiquilillo to provide shade from the scorching sun. Everyone agreed, and each scholarship family started growing trees at home. We brought tools, compost, and harvested rainwater, and the community brought their trees. Over 30 community members participated in planting 95 trees in good spirits!
Will working with Marving and Jeisson in a workshop on communication in Kids Club. 

Introducing Wilber

We are thrilled to have found a talented mental health professional to work in Kids Club. Wilber Gutierrez is a licensed Nicaraguan psychologist with years of experience in family dynamics, youth, and gender issues – all relevant areas to our work and the issues facing Jiquilillo. Will has already held workshops and activities in Kids Club covering communication, trust, fatherhood, and masculinity. He is an incredible asset to Kids Club as a positive, local, male role model.

Will has been volunteering with us a couple of days per week, and we hope to make him a more permanent figure in our projects. The Ministry of Education has granted us permission for Will to host workshops on emotions and communication, and assist teachers with behavior and classroom management at the local primary school. We are also awaiting permission from the Ministry of Health for Will to offer one-on-one sessions at the local clinic. 
Nurse Milagro assisting future brigadistas, Sara, Melisa, and Alex, with a vaccination assignment.

Get Involved!

All these exciting new endeavors are costly! The Brigadistas’ medical supplies and training are expensive, and Will’s expertise comes with a well-deserved fee. Please strongly consider making a donation to see our community’s needs fulfilled. We need to raise $1,000 to cover the costs of the brigadista program and mental health workshops in Kids Club and school. Remember, 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes towards the projects as Rancho Esperanza covers all administrative costs and additional program costs. Here are some examples of how your donation can be applied:
  • $80 will cover the medical supplies needed for one medical brigadista to provide first aid and emergency health checks to the community.
  • $100 will sponsor Will to work with us for one month to enrich the community with activities and workshops at the local primary school and Kids Club, and sponsor his work as a psychologist in the local clinic.
  • $170 will completely sponsor a secondary school student for the year.
  • $1000 will sponsor an outstanding student to attend private school in El Viejo for one year and remarkably improve their education.
You can also help by connecting us with any organizations or foundations that may have an interest in collaborating and funding any of our programs, namely our garbage proposal and mental health support.
Thank you again for staying in touch and believing in the work we do. Our community involvement would not be possible without your support. We hope you share our pride in all the improvements in Jiquilillo, and that you continue to enable this important work!
Until next time, saluditos cordiales del equipo de Puentes de Esperanza.
We also appreciate in-kind donations and keep an updated list of needed supplies.

If you are interested in volunteering opportunities, check out our website for more information. 

Lastly, you can shop with Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate .05% of the cost of your purchase to us. It's not a huge percentage by any means, but every little donation helps.

Puentes de Esperanza is a US-registered 501c3 non-profit organization.

Our mailing address is:

Puentes de Esperanza
436 29th Street
West Palm Beach, Florida 33407

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp