Quetzaltrekkers, a Gigantona and a lot of happy kids

Today was a great day for Quetzaltrekkers and one of the local projects that we support. Minibiblioteca Manuelita Sacasa is a social organization aimed at educating León’s youth through various fun and interactive workshops. One of its most successful initiatives is the “Movil,” a library on wheels that travels to different schools to provide educational seminars for young students. Quetzaltrekkers has proudly supported Minibiblioteca since 2012 by keeping the Movil running, quite literally. Paying for the gasoline for the motorcycle, as well as the salary of the travelling teacher and all necessary books and materials he shares, Quetzaltrekkers has paved the way for truly wonderful events like today. Similar to the concept behind the Movil, the event consisted of Minibiblioteca’s travelling to a less fortunate school in order to share resources and laughter. For our hand in the project’s success, Minibiblioteca was quick to invite us to see how our support had fostered a similar bond of support with this new school.

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In what was a great display of educational programs working together to benefit young students, Minibiblioteca took a trip to a small impoverished school in rural León. Traveling with about five teachers and thirty students, Quetzaltrekkers and Minibiblioteca set off to bolster a growing relationship that benefited all involved. Upon arrival, the hosts immediately demonstrated their kindness in welcoming their new friends, leading them to a shaded area where they would be given a small presentation on the importance of the event. After both parties shared their excitement about the opportunity to work together, the real fun began.

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Given the limited resources of the rural school, there were certain materials that Quetzaltrekkers and Minibiblioteca knew would provide a great experience for the hosting students. Most notably, a performance of one of Leon’s most famous traditions: the Gigantona. A historically rich aspect of the local culture, the performance of the Gigantona requires a couple of children to dress up in comical outfits and a couple of kids to play the drums, while some more kids add intermittent rhymes and jokes. Needless to say, the students of the small school were thrilled to have the opportunity to both watch and participate in the performance. And they were just as thrilled to be able to return the favor.

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After the ceremonial Gigantona performance, it was time for the hosts to demonstrate their fun and gracious ways, to the delight of both Minibiblioteca and Quetzaltrekkers. They kicked things off first by hosting a series of group games, from Simon Says to Rock, Paper, Scissors, leading to relentless laughter for the students, teachers, and hiking guides alike. Once everyone caught their breaths, the hosts provided a delicious lunch for all, followed by the presentation of a kind and symbolic gift for Minibiblioteca: an avocado plant and a lovely mosaic of Rubén Dario, representative of the growing relationship between local educators. After finishing the day with a relaxed reading session, in which Miniblioteca shared its many books and the host school shared its creative student-made books, the parties said their goodbyes and looked ahead to the next event together, which will once again be made possible with the help of Quetzaltrekkers and its generous supporters.

An extra education for our kids

As is the case in other Central American countries, Nicaraguan children attend school in shifts. Children typically attend school in either the morning or afternoon. And some children only go to school on Saturdays. After school programs are nonexistent in Nicaragua and children usually have more than half of the day free. Students are typically required to pay school fees for basic supplies and school uniforms. Most schools are unable to afford sports equipment, musical instruments, and technology. As a result, Nicaraguan schools are only able to offer basic subjects to students. Quetzaltrekkers funds many programs that provide children with safe, adult supervised spaces and fun extracurricular activities during the hours they don’t have school. Continue reading

Telica School Project

Special nonprofit project School volcano Telica | Quetzaltrekkers Nicaragua | #hiking

Aguas Frias is the name of a community that is 30 minutes away from the Telica`s crater, one of our famous hikes. The small community has 54 families, all living together as a team. It wasn’t the first time that Quetzaltrekkers helped this community, in 2009 we built a couple of latrines for the school.

One of the biggest needs of Aguas Frias was its school, a place for around 60 kids. The school had only one destroyed classroom where two teachers tried to teach six different grades, the floor was full of holes because of the leaks on the roof and the classroom was literally falling apart.   Continue reading

The right of a playground

School Playground contruction | Quetzaltrekkers Nicaragua | #volunteering

The school Hermanos de Salsburgo is located in the neighborhood of Fundesi in Leon. Around 300 kids attend the school from kindergarten to middle school.

It was the director of the school who came to the Quetzaltrekkers office more than one time asking for help. If the director took the time to come several times it was worthy to check out. The first visit we found a big school with beautiful painting walls but with lots of needs, one of them was the playground for the 30 kindergarteners who were having their break inside the classrooms. The games were old and rusted, and most importantly it wasn’t a safe place for them. Continue reading

MATH COMPETITION

School Math competition | Quetzaltrekkers Nicaragua | #education

Quetzaltrekkers has a good relationship with KM. 18 School, located close to Cerro Negro volcano. We built and painted a library, we donate school supplies every year and we helped with graduation day. Because of all these projects together, Marlene the responsible of the library knock one more time our door to make us part of a Math Competition celebrated with five more schools.

The purpose of the competition was to bring all these schools together and built a relationship between the students and teachers, also it was a way to challenge the kids. Continue reading

Painting the Special School

Painting Special School Project | Quetzaltrekkers Nicaragua | #education

Last Saturday the Quetzaltrekkers volunteers and two parents spent the day painting five classrooms from the Special Schools in Leon. The Special school, located on Sutiaba neighborhood, exists since 1975 and at the moment it has around 150 children between 5 and 18 years old. It is the only school of its kind in the whole department and accepts kids with handicaps as cerebral palsy, blind, deaf-mute, Down syndrome and other special needs.  Continue reading

UNIFORMS FOR THE CHILDREN

Somoto School Donation | Quetzaltrekkers Nicaragua | #education

Quetzatrekkers Leon has been working with communities in Somoto, Madriz since 2009. Our Somoto Canyon hike brings us right into the backyard of many small communities. Our goal has always been to work with these marginalized communities that we come into contact during our hikes.

In the past we built a kitchen and classroom to use as a library in the school. We also fixed the roof and put new floor in three class rooms, all with the help of Henry Soriano, community leader, and the parents who committed their time to help in the construction. Helping this community was really rewarding for us, but we knew that more schools around this area needed our help.

Continue reading

PAINTING KM18 LIBRARY

Painting KM18 school - Quetzaltrekkers Nicaragua

Kilometro 18 school opened in 1989. This school located in rural area away from every major highway, only three buses visits this area every day. The dirt and bumpy road to this school is poor at best. Even with these circumstances, 87 children attend the primary school during the week and 68 teenagers to secondary school on Saturdays. The children live in the surroundings neighborhoods and use horses, donkeys or bicycles to arrive in the morning.

Quetzaltrekkers discovered the school 4 years ago when one of her teachers approached to the office asking for help. Since then we’ve help them with school supplies and materials for special events. Last year we decided to go further and build a library, the school only had three class rooms that couldn`t fit all the children. New library offered an extra space to learn and work for the children. The grand opening was in July 2014, since opening this new space we have 25 children joined the newly created book club. Quickly teachers filled this new space and booked filled the shelves. Continue reading