Last week on Feb. 27th, we celebrated a huge accomplishment for La Esperanza Granada... the opening of our brand new technical high school in San Ignacio!
This project has been a long journey, supported by many generous individuals and groups. We broke ground December 31st, 2010, putting up fencing around a plot of land located just down the road from the primary school Nueva Esperanza. Over the years, thousands of dollars and many people have supported the project, from gathering funds to constructing latrines, building classrooms, and painting the buildings. Thanks to all of this hard work, we were able to officially open the high school for the 2012 school year with a class of over 50 students!
We of course celebrated the occasion with much happiness, appreciation, and gratitude! After the ribbon cutting, we welcomed words from early donors to the school, Karen Van Eijk and Tom Daniels as well as the group Amped for Education. Without the early support and enthusiasm of these donors, this project simply could not have gotten off the ground. La Esperanza also sent a deeply felt "thank you" to groups from Westfield State University and Builders Beyond Borders who constructed a total of 7 classrooms for the school! Several school directors also shared kind words about the wonderful opportunity this school represents for the young people of San Ignacio.
Perhaps the most moving speech came from a parent of one of the students. Many families living in San Ignacio come from circumstances of extreme poverty and need, and education beyond the 6th grade often seems like a lofty goal for children of these families. Hearing this local mother say that this school, a school built entirely from the goodwill of caring individuals, will give her child an opportunity that she thought never possible is what truly makes our work worthwhile.
With many of our supporters, volunteers, school staff, and the new San Ignacio students present, we wrapped up the ceremony with Nicaraguan folk dancing, local pastry treats, and lots of smiles!
LEG Operations Officer, Pauline Jackson, and Delegada del Ministerio de la Educación, Luisa Amanda, at the ribbon cutting ceremony for San Ignacio High School
Our 2012 Ayudantes
A great turn-out of volunteers, students, and friends of LEG!
You can also find more photos from the event on our Picasa website here!