Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Proyecto Laguna is Making a Difference

Check us out and Join Our Good Work

Since its inception in January of 2007 Proyecto Laguna has achieved the following:

  • 501(c)3 non-profit status,
  • Registered as an official non-governmental organization with the Nicaraguan government.
  • Provided school supplies twice per school year to over 800 students.
  • Provided over 600 pairs of shoes.
  • Provided over 200 school uniforms.
  • Provided 50 teachers with classroom supplies.
  • Provided basic medical care to over 900 students.
  • Worked with the schools to register them with the American Nicaraguan Foundation to receive furniture and school supplies twice per year.
  • Provided furniture, such as a cabinets and bookshelves, to the schools. Furniture was made by a local carpenter.
  • Provided sporting equipment to the schools.
  • Installed wall mounted pencil sharpeners in every classroom.
  • Provided small rewards every month to two students in each class as a form of motivation. A reward is given to the student with the best grades and the student who has put forth the best effort.
  • Formed parent groups in each of the three schools that work in concert with Proyecto Laguna to set goals for the schools. Parent groups are responsible for assisting with grant applications and fundraising. They raise funds through raffles, clothing sales, food sales, and movie nights. Each parent group has a savings account and use the money they earn to assist the school with maintenance and other needs.
  • Formed a cobblers co-op in Diria that makes shoes for the project.
  • Formed a seamstress co-op in Diria that makes backpacks for the project. The seamstress co-op has recently started marketing handmade bags and received contracts from businesses in Managua to make reusable grocery bags, beach bags, and other types of bags.
  • Received a grant from the Pangea Project in conjunction with the Living Earth Institute and installed a municipal water reservoir tank, a rain water collection tank, rain gutters, a drainage system, and repaired latrines in the Ruiz Castillo School.
  • Repaired and remodeled the pre-school building at the Anne Frank School which was previously in a dangerous state of disrepair.
  • Installation of new water reservoir tanks in the Anne Frank School.
  • Provided potable water to two schools with no water source by paying for water and transportation by ox-cart.
  • Applied for a grant to build school kitchens in two schools. The grant was approved and we are now on the waiting list for construction.
  • Proyecto Laguna is currently being considered by Pangea for a second grant for $10,000 to be used to install water reservoir tanks in 5 schools and repair existing latrines.
  • Received a grant from Google for advertising valued at $120,000 per year. (This is not a cash grant but we receive the equivalent from them in online advertising.)
  • Provided emergency food and clothing for families in severe need.
  • Provided medical care to several special needs cases including the following:
    • CT scans and medications for a child with epilepsy,
    • Orthopedic shoes and/or braces to 15 children,
    • Paid for surgery and medication for a child with an intestinal blockage,
    • Paid for physical therapy for several children,
    • Paid for psychological counseling for children with special needs,
    • Currently working to assist a child with an extra digit on each hand and foot receive plastic surgery,
    • Coordinated with Operation Smile to enroll children in Diria with cleft lips and palates to receive surgery, and
    • Paid for a mother with severe heart problems to receive testing and medication.
  • Organized the school gardens initiative in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and the American Chamber of Commerce.
  • and more!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Proyecto Laguna Bazaar-An Opportunity to Support Socially Responsible Nicaraguan Organizations

Proyecto Laguna is holding a bazaar to help support socially responsible Nicaraguan organizations and to give you a chance to do some holiday shopping.

To date 25 socially responsible non-profit and for-profit organizations are attending and will be selling a variety of items such as:

Handmade Toys
Newspaper baskets
Handmade Clothing
Mosaic and painted tables
Homemade soap
Iron Art
Gift Cards
Artisan Chocolates
Handmade paper
Dried Fruit
and more!

This event is hosted by Proyecto Laguna and will be fun for the entire family with a children's story time, visits with Santa, organic food from Ola Verde, a full bar, and much more.

Please come down to Frontera Books on December 6th and support the non-profits of Nicaragua while doing your holiday shopping.

Saturday, December 6, 2008
11:00am - 6:00pm
Frontera Books
Semf. Enitel Villa Fontana, 200 v al lago, Esquina Sur Mama Delfina
Managua, Nicaragua

Changes to Service Delivery in 2009

Dear Proyecto Laguna Supporters,

We hope that as an exciting year comes to an end you are all well and enjoying life.

On behalf of Proyecto Laguna, we are sending this letter to inform you of some changes that will be making in 2009 to how we deliver services to our communities and schools. Proyecto Laguna is currently working in three schools in DiriĆ”, Nicaragua, and we have over 800 children registered in our child sponsorship program. We have decided to reformat the child sponsorship program to ensure that we deliver the best services to the students in our schools more equitably. We will continue to provide school supplies and medical care to children in need but we will no longer run the program through individual child sponsorships.

For those of you who have sponsored children, he or she will continue to be sponsored throughout the time you have committed.

In 2009, we will continue to provide school supplies and backpacks to the children who are involved in our program to help ensure that they are able to attend school. As funding allows, we will also provide shoes and uniforms to those in need. You, our generous donors, can continue to help keep these children in school by making donations to Proyecto Laguna that will be used to help these students. We hope that this move away from individual sponsorship will allow us to support a greater number of students instead of focusing on a select few.

Proyecto Laguna is dedicated to helping the people of Diria. We are working hard to continue our programs with the parent groups, sewing co-op, school directors and the health programs. We still rely solely on the donations of our supporters for funding. This year, your tax-exempt donation will go to benefit not just one child, but many more, and we hope that your support will continue.

Please visit our website frequently for blog updates at If you have any questions about the project or about this change, please don’t hesitate to email.

Thank you for your continued support,

Proyecto Laguna Staff

Proyecot Laguna Supports Diria's Seamstresses and Tailors

Proyecto Laguna is currently working on marketing the products of Diria's seamstresses and tailors to other organizations and businesses to assist in providing a steady source of employment for these residents.
The seamstresses and tailors currently have a contract with Don Pan, a bakery chain, to make reusable grocery bags. They also have a contract with Ola Verde, a restaurant in Managua, to make canvas catch-all bags. There are several other business interested in their products and we hope to be signing contracts with them soon.
The seamstresses and tailors are very happy that they have this source of income and we hope that we will continue to be able to find businesses interested in their products.