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
Nicaragua has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Central America. According to government between 40 and 45 percent of all pregnancies registered in the country are of women 14 to 19 years of age. The result is a huge number of single mums, because many dads simply deny the responsibilities of new parenthood.
One of the better ways to help combat these statistics comes through proper education and better access to contraception for teenagers. When Quetzaltrekkers heard about a sexual education workshop hosted by three young Nicaraguan women we wanted to know more. Continue reading
Last Tuesday 18th was a busy day for our project Barriletes, in the morning the children attended a dental workshop provided by Quetzaltrekkers Leon and a local dentist, in the afternoon a big party was offered for them as a goodbye to the school year.
Everyone loves to hate dentists, most people in rural Nicaragua don’t have enough money to get their teeth taken care of regularly, but one of the biggest problems starts in their homes where they don’t learn how to take care of their own teeth. Quetzaltrekkers has been lucky enough to find a local dentist who agreed to have a workshop with the children and their parents. The dentist arrived at the school and covered topics on proper flossing and brushing techniques, and common problems such as cavities. When the children were asked who wanted white teeth, some of them doubted at first, but then everyone raised their hand with a big smile. The dentist also talked to the parents who had a lot of questions about milk teeth and deformation of the tooth. At the end of the presentation, each child was equipped with a small tube of tooth paste and a new toothbrush. Also the dentist gave free dental cleaning for three children that needed it urgently. Continue reading
Every June, Nicaragua celebrates the Mes de la Niñez (Children’s Month) with festivals and holidays for local children, as well as children’s rights presentations for the broader community. This year, QT’s four organizations, the Minibiblioteca, Proyecto Barriletes, Las Chavaladas, and Las Tías decided to do something extra special. Partnering with other local schools and non-profits, the four organizations hosted a festival in the municipal theater called Cuenta Cuentos Clásicos (Telling Classic Stories). The event included skits, poems, and speeches performed by children from the different organizations and schools and was an absolute blast. From enacting classic fairy tales to dancing reggaeton to discussing civil rights in Nicaragua, the children worked long and hard to put on a fantastic show. Bien hecho todos!
We at QT could not have been more thrilled for the festival. Not only was it terrific to see the kids express themselves and have fun, but the event also marked the first collaborative effort between the four projects QT supports. (We also got to do face-painting at the festival – hours of fun!) Anyways, we are so pumped for the four organizations can work together and assist each other. All of us seek to improve quality of life for children in León, and we look forward to more joint efforts in the future.
This past Sunday, QT was invited to celebrate Mother’s Day with Proyecto Barriletes, one of the organizations QT supports on a monthly basis. Barriletes is a wonderful organization that serves roughly 200 children living in the Guadalupe neighborhood of León. By offering nutritious meals, academic support, and medical services, the organization seeks to prevent children from turning to a life on the streets.
Mother’s Day was a blast, good fun for the whole family. All the local mothers came out to watch their toddlers and teenagers perform traditional and modern dances at the Barriletes center. From mambo to salsa to Dirty-Dancing style ballet, the kids really went all out to prepare a variety of dances for their mothers. Mothers also competed in dance contests and walk-offs to win special prizes, and enjoyed some tasty snacks prepared by the staff. We also learned some interesting facts about women presented by local police officers. Did you know that women lose 2 of their 3 liters of blood during childbirth? Maybe not the most accurate information, but it’s great to hear women are appreciated. The event then ended quite literally with a bang as two metal “bulls” ran through the crowd, shooting firecrackers and rockets (mostly) into the sky and (sporadically) into the crowd. Probably not the safest activity, but hey it was explosive!
In all seriousness, the whole evening was lovely. Often, children’s creativity is undervalued in education, and QT is so proud to support an organization that allows kids to express themselves. Happy Mother’s Day!
Click here to check out pictures from the event!