Milagros Cordoba is a sixteen-year-old who lives in a small house with a dirt floor with herparents and three brothers, two of whom are developmentally delayed. The family lives in Barrio la Planta, a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
The families of Barrio la Planta once supported themselves through traditional fishing, but that trade ended with the influx of transnational fishing companies that pushed out the traditional village fishermen. The children are the hope of the families in Barrio la Planta, and they must take on a large role in taking care of their families.
Milagros is no exception. She wants to succeed for her family and works very hard in the local public school. The public schools in Nicaragua, however, are underfunded and only provide a half-day program. Children in wealthier families go to private schools to obtain a complete education, which includes learning English, a requirement for many of the new jobs being created in San Juan del Sur, as well as computer skills and other important aspects of education.
For the past five years after school, Milagros has attended Barrio Planta Project, an educational program that teaches English to the children of poor families in San Juan del Sur, as well as computer skills and the arts. Over the past five years, Milagros has gone through all five levels of the English program, and today, Milagros speaks and understands English very proficiently and uses it frequently to translate for her family.
Because of her participation in Barrio Planta Project, Milagros has been interviewed in the media and has appeared on national television in Managua. She is well-spoken and passionate about the education she has received at Barrio Planta Project.
When we asked her mother how she felt about Milagros' education at Barrio Planta Project, tears welled up in her eyes. “I could only imagine how different my life would have been if I had had these kinds of opportunities when I was a child.”
The story of Milagros emphasizes the importance of Barrio Planta Project in providing educational opportunities for students in Nicaragua who can't afford private school. For six years, Barrio Planta Project has been helping the children of Nicaragua grow.
This year alone, more than 200 children participated in the programs, and they now come from other towns and villages in area. Keyler (age 11) and Bryan (age 12) Estrada live in a village eight kilometers from San Juan del Sur, but they make the long daily trek to Barrio Planta Project on foot. They just started this year, and have never missed a class, winning perfect attendance awards.
“We love it here,” Bryan says. “It’s fun, and we learn a lot.” They plan on continuing as long as they can.
Barrio Planta Project is an NGO that can only do what it does through the generosity of its supporters. For the 2015 school year, the program needs English training materials, computers for the children, arts supplies, chairs for the growing number of students, and repairs to the old building where they operate.
Join the Board of Friends of Barrio la Planta, an organization dedicated to providing support to Barrio Planta Project by making a gift of these needed items today
¡Felices Fiestas! Happy Holidays!