Monday, April 9, 2007

April/May Newsletter

The last two months have been busy for Proyecto Laguna. We have been moving forward with our plans as well as gearing up for our child sponsorship program. We have registered over 500 children between 3 schools who need sponsors to help pay for their school supplies, medical care, and support their school.
Also, we have started working with the parents at Ruiz Castillo to set goals and fundraise for larger projects.
We met with a local shoemaker in Diriá and put in an order for over 270 pairs of shoes! Buying directly from a shoemaker helps increase the quality and durability of the shoes. It also provide a job within the community. So far, he has delivered half of the order and the shoes are high quality. The children and their families are very happy with them.
We also decided to start helping a third school.

Nicarao School
The headmasters of Anne Frank are also headmasters of the Nicaroa school in the rural community of La Zopilota. They approached Proyecto Laguna and asked us to work with this school. They explained that this community is very poor and needs help. The Nicaroa school serves just over 50 children in 2 multi-age classrooms. The nearest water source for this school is 6 kilometers away. Many children are unable to go to school because they are busy transporting water during the day. This is a rural community and many children work in the fields to help support their families. The children at Nicarao were a beautiful and polite group. As we entered the classroom they all stood and said "Buenos Dias", at recess time many of the children stopped to chat with us. We at Proyecto Laguna feel that this school deserves whatever assistance we can lend.

Child Sponsorship
For $100 a year you can supply a child in Diria with school supplies, basic medical care, and support their school. You will receive a picture of your child and letter from him or her. You also will receive information on the family of your child and the child’s goals for the school year. All sponsored children and their families have completed a contract with Proyecto Laguna. They have set goals for the school year. The children have agreed to attend school regularly and to put forth their best effort. The parents have agreed to support their child in attending school and completing their schoolwork. The parents have also agreed to participate in the school; attend parent meetings, assisting the teacher as needed, etc. We have completed registration at all three schools and have over 500 children in need of sponsors.
If you would like to help a child in Diria succeed in school and in life, sponsor a child now. If you are interested in sponsoring more than one child we can assist in finding a sibling group so you can sponsor children from one family.

To sponsor a child see our website-

Here are some examples of children who need sponsors:

Naydelin Nohemy Roderiguez, Pre-School
Naydelin is 4 years old and in pre-school. She has an older brother who also goes to Ruiz Castillo. Naydelin’s father works as a money taker on a public bus and makes $2.25 a day.
Naydelin’s favorite animals are bunnies and her favorite color is red. She likes to eat beans and rice and hopes to be a teacher when she grows up.

Jonny Pedro Franco Gómez, 3rd grade
Jonny is 10 years old and in the third grade. He lives in a large extended family with 13 children and 6 adults in the home. His mother makes and sells tortillas and brings home approximatley $10 a week.
Jonny’s goals for this school year are to study, attend class daily, and to pass his grade. He likes to play basketball and his favortie animals are dogs. Jonny hopes to be a police officer when he grows up.

Berta Adilia Gutierrez Mercado, 6th grade
Berta is 11 years old and has a brother, Francisco, who is also in 6th grade. Berta lives with extended family, there are 3 adults in her home, and 4 children. Her mother, Margarita, works cleaning and ironing clothes. Margarita makes $40 a month to support her family. Berta works before school and on weekends selling clay whistles to toursists, in nearby Granada, to help support her family.
Berta reports that this school year she wants to graduate from primary school and improve her reading skills. She hopes someday to have a career with computers.

Parent Meeting
Proyecto Laguna held the first parent meeting at Ruiz Castillo. There was an impressive turn out of 26 parents who were all motivated to improve their children’s present and future. In this meeting we explained to the parents the model we are using of community involvement and investment. We explained that our position is to help the community learn how to set goals, plan, fund, implement, and support projects. We will assist in facilitating this process and in funding, but that the community would be responsible for raising money to make a symbolic donation toward the project. The parents were excited and motivated and had many ideas on how to proceed.
The parents, and school administration, set the goals of building new latrines and setting up a water tank (this would be back up water as the municipal water system is often off). The parents have started fundraising and in their first raffle raised 1000 cordoba (about $55 dollars)! The parents were very excited about their success and plan on having regular raffles as well as setting up a monthly movie night at the school to raise more money.
Proyecto Laguna is working with engineers in the states on latrine design and implementation.
If you are interested in donating towards the building of a latrine and/or a water tank please visit to make a donation.

Clean Water
Proyecto Laguna has also been busy contacting organizations who specialize in installing wells to see if they may be able to help in this area. There are three small villages in this area, without access to water; Palo Quemado, Los Jirones, and La Zopilota. We are hoping to join with a well building organization who can help these villages. If any of you could help link us to organizations who build wells please contact us at

If you are interested in fundraising for Proyecto Laguna there are many options. You can put out a challenge to your business, church, professional group, or extended family to raise money or to sponsor a large number of children. You can start a penpal/fundraising relationship with a classroom in Diria. You can have a fundraising event in your community. Proyecto Laguna can provide you with fundraising information, including a slideshow explaining our project, the community, and the needs of the community.
For more information on fundraising, e-mail us at

Thank you to all of you who made donations in March, your donation is appreciated and has made a difference in the lives of the children in Diria.
A special thank you to Hazel, Raul, and Ramon who helped greatly registering the children for sponsorship, and to the Nicholls State University in Louisiana's nursing program for thier donation, we look forward to working with you in the future.

How you can help - To make a donation now connect to our website
For questions or comments feel free to contact us at

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