PROJECT CHACOCENTE USA INC
Rating: 4 stars 1 1 review
Issues: Human Services
Location: 33 Forest St Ste 310 % Donald H Walker Lexington MA 02421 USA
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Project Chacocente's mission is to move families from the city dump in Managua, Nicaragua to a rural site a few miles outside the city. Families built their own simple houses and each work a small plot of land. Children attend the on-site Chacocente Christian school. Parents must also work toward basic literacy, as well as working to support themselves & the community. I believe there were 10 families in the initial project, and with some changes along the way, I think 8 have successfully completed their 5-year agreement. Which means they now own their houses & land! Nicaragua is a rough place to live and try to support a family, and it hasn't been easy. Chaco still depends a lot on American support but our money has been well used: they have a good sized school with a paid Nicaraguan teaching staff (which some children from the surrounding area also attend), a library, a new large capacity kitchen building, and are completing a building for a high school. I've supported Chacocente for almost 10 years, and have visited them twice. A trip to see the many people who still live on the dump turned my stomach. I've had the good fortune to get to know the founder, Cheryl Avery, and Omar Hernandez. They are both down-to earth people who devote themselves to the project and people. They are now raising funds to buy another plot of farmland and move more families. This is a simple grass-roots organization which doesn't spend much at all for fund raising or administration. All the supporters pay their own way. The reason for not giving them 5 stars is I don't think they do the best job communicating and publicizing their work. I think they could raise more money and help more families if better information were widely available (my thoughts). People who get to know Chacocente often become enthusiastic supporters. You can visit their website at OutOfTheDump.org
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
A visit to Chacocente, especially after visiting the awful dump where the residents used to live, is a powerful experience. I've seen the bright smiling faces of children who have real chance at a better life.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
put out regular mailers or emails to supporters, giving news and stories to encourage further participation & support.
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The founder, Cheryl Avery, visited our church several years ago. We wrote her a check, and she remembered me. She asked me to help - one of the best ways to keep people engaged!