US volunteers help pave the road to free education

“For the hard work done, victory is won” is the motto of Smith Academy, a Massachusetts high school. Hard work was definitely done when a team of students visited last week and built ‘vados’ in the roadway at San Ignacio.

Digging up the dirt road and laying 100-pound paving stones, the group ensured that the community’s main thoroughfare will stay passable year round.

Many of the people in San Ignacio have no water piped to their homes and are forced to carry buckets from the standpipes along the road. This led to patches of the road that were constantly wet and churned mud in the rainy season. The road became so bad that last year there were times when the garbage truck couldn’t pass through, causing real problems.

For La Esperanza Granada, and Amped for Education, the major problem was not being able to access the schools with computers. Jeff Pluta, the founder of Amped and a history teacher at Smith Academy, brought a group of his students here to solve the problem. With the support of family and friends the students bought all the necessary materials. With a great deal of effort “victory was won”.

Late in 2009, Pluta contacted La Esperanza Granada about his dream to build a high school in Nicaragua. Both Amped and LEG shared the common goal of improving educational opportunities in Nicaragua.

We introduced Jeff to the community of San Ignacio, where we had built a primary school. From that time on, we worked together to make the dream a reality, and in February of this year Nueva Esperanza Secundaria opened in San Ignacio, the first free public Technical High School in Granada.

Pauline Jackson is director of La Esperanza Granada

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