Circulo De Amigas

Rating: 4.96 stars   26 reviews

Issues: Education, Human Services, International

Location: PO Box 6605 Huntington Beach CA 92615 USA

Mission: CĂ­rculo de Amigas (CdA) is a volunteer-run, registered 501(c)(3) secular non-profit, working to alleviate poverty in Nicaragua one girl at a time. In conjunction with the Nicaraguan Center for Education and Social Promotion (CEPS), we help girls and young women acquire the skills and tools needed to improve their lives. In doing so, we enable children to attend school and give direct aid to victims of severe hardship or regional crisis.
Target demographics: Young girls and women in poverty
Direct beneficiaries per year: 100
Geographic areas served: Jinotega, Nicaragua
Programs: -Sponsorship Program With approximately 100 girls currently sponsored, we offer students the ability to attain an education without becoming dependent on foreign aid. Each student receives a monthly stipend that helps cover cost of living, allowing her and her siblings to remain in school. Students have access to a lending library, community center, art classes, and computer lab. Academic success is ensured by our staff psychologist and students receive scholastic support from our full-time tutor. -The Ayudate Project Promotes family autonomy and nutritional health by teaching the art of family home gardening. -Recreational Reading Changing community literacy patterns with a full-time librarian, book club, contests, and news kiosk. -Lowering Pregnancy Rates In conjunction with US universities, the Peace Corps, and local health authorities, CdA is currently developing a program aimed at reducing teen pregnancy rates. -Community Health The Jinotega Department of Health is now providing free medical to the local community at our facility on a periodic basis. This includes well-baby check-ups, inoculations, and ob/gyn services.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

This non profit was started, as I understand it, on the west coast but I am from Massachusetts. Fifteen years ago I was in Costa Rica and met a young women who impressed me greatly. She spoke of Circulo de Amigas and I, who had just finished putting my two daughters through college, decided we as a family could help one girl. So we were assigned our "Nicaraguan daughter ," Maryouri, who has now finished high school and is in her second year of a five year college degree program.
At the time Maryouri began grade school, the tuition was $25 a month and that included the staples needed at her home. Today the monthly donation is still very low and the monetary sacrifice very little. Be honest, don't most of us spend more than $5 a week on bottled water and Starbuck coffees. Most of us can educate a young lady and change her life. To educate a woman is worth triple the amount put into her education. Her family is helped immensely, her future children have a huge advantage and she can be independent. This is so important in poor countries of the world.
To open a door to the world of education for a young woman is possible through Circulo de Amigas, and it can can be done so economically through this nonprofit. We are proud of our "daughter" and we know she must be proud of herself.
My own daughter who is fluent in Spanish has gone To Nicaragua to see Maryouri and her family. She has seen first hand the great work they are doing. Our family is pleased that there are people like Pat McCully, Denise Flanagan and many others that are so generous with their time.

Pat Jackson
(suburb of Boston, MA)

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

We have been sponsoring a student through CDA for about ten years, since she was eight years old. We have watched her move gracefully through high school and now we are immensely proud to sponsor her studies at a university in Managua. The work of Pat McCully and CDA in Nicaragua have given us an opportunity to watch and participate in what a small community and group of volunteers can accomplish

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As soon as I met founder Pat McCully, I was a fan of this NP org. doing amazing work in a small village in Nicaragua. From providing sewing machines to helping girls go to secondary school and now with a much broader focus and so many many donors and sponsors, CdeA is a sterling example of the impact of one woman on her world!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There are no changes to the org. Only wish more donors and sponsors would give.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Five years ago, I discovered Circulo de Amigas through my Unitarian Universalist Church when founder Pat McCully came to give a presentation. Immediately I was struck by her passionate commitment to these impoverished women and girls who have few options because of early pregnancies and illiteracy. I adopted a girl that same day and the reward to MY life (which was completely unexpected) has been amazing. Over the years I have witnessed the contrast in photos of my little girl from wary and insecure to smiling and open...it makes me cry to know I have been a small part of her happiness and increasing options. I adopted a second little girl this year and, in July went down to Nicaragua where I had the incomparable experience of meeting "my girls" and seeing first hand their dire living situations. In spite of the extreme poverty, they are rich in spirit. I was made to feel a part of a community so foreign by the top-notch staff and felt both safe and useful. To see first hand the work that the community center does and the opportunities they provide through their computer lab, library, counseling and more, has inspired me to be increasingly involved. I cried when I left, and am counting the days til July when I am fortunate enough to get to go again. Through this organization, I have found my life's work and my calling and it has inadvertently changed my life in so many ways. I think it would change yours in unexpected ways as well, and it is with great hope and sincerity that I hope you will sponsor a girl and that I might one day meet you in the beautiful mountains of Nicaragua!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

We have been sponsoring a young girl who, at 12 years old, had never been to school. She is now able to read and write and her life and the lives of her family members have been incredibly changed by our humble donation. Her family also eats better now and her younger sisters also go to school. It is so amazing what a huge change your sponsorship can make in many lives in the poor village of Jinotega. Because of this wonderful experience, we have started sponsoring a second girl. We were able to visit Jinotega this past summer and had a life-changing experience. Though the village is very poor, the people are very warm, welcoming and grateful. Circulo is staffed in the US by volunteers who work very hard for this wonderful cause. All the money donated goes to the girl you sponsor or to support the wonderful community center supported by Circulo in Jinotega. I cannot say enough good things about the worthwhile and worthy organization!!

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My family and I have been Circulo de Amigas supporters, donors and sponsors for the last thirteen years. CdA has taken our hearts and has taken our lives. We spend our summer volunteering in Jinotega and our winters raising funds for the programs there. As a community volunteers with experience as Girl Scout Leaders, AYSO soccer coaches, Boy Scout volunteers, PTA officers, we have found that our efforts at CdA have been most meaningful and affective. Circulo de Amigas is well run and every penny goes to the education and health for the impoverished community of Barrio Linda Vista Sur in Jinotega, Nicaragua. Please consider donating and volunteering in the US and in Jintoega and sponsoring a girl for her education. It will change your life and her life too!

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a donor supporting Daryeling since she was about fiteen. She is now preparing to graduate from the University in Leon as a Pharmacy student. Since I have no children of my own and my last niece had been funded in her college 501 program (as my grandmother did for me) I was seeking a more direct contact that I could be responsible for in order to pass on my grandmothers tradition - but this time outside the family. In my first few years I wrote my check and recieved updates, but it was not until I was both inspired by Pat's actions and selfless giving in building a dormitory in Leon that I decided to visit Jinotega with my own mission in mind. With finanacial support from friends and family I was able to buy and oversee the installation of a generator for the night school students.Later, after meeting Daryeling and her family, I made a $100 donation for her school expense and clothes. I later found she bought a pair of shoes and the rest went to her family as their needs were also great. I am very proud to have been able to help in her education and watch as she has matured into a thoughful and level headed woman building her nest in preparation for her future. After my visit over five years ago I have served as Parlimentarion on the Board. I recommend a visit to Nicaragua to see the many needs firs and find where you may become a "part of".

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

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Definitely

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was introduced to this wonderful nonprofit by a Rotarian from Villa Park, CA in April 2011. There was a request for vegetable seed to provide a variety of fresh vegetables to the needy girls and young women in Nicaragua. This was a terrific new contact for SEEDS OF HOPE!. I have been to Nicaragua and I have seen the malnutrition among the children. CIRCULO de AMIGAS has done a great job in taking seed to Nicaragua and working closely with local people in developing the gardens, harvesting the vegetables and feeding the children. I will continue to provide vegetable seed as needed by this highly organized group of individuals from Southern California. In the area of humanitarian service, CIRCULO de AMIGAS is a super succes story.

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Definitely

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Definitely

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

CdA has given our family of avid readers and library patrons an opportunity to share our love of books. We sponsored a librarian's salary and then a tutor's salary. Seeing the smiles of the students in the reports we get make our small sacrifice well worth it.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My mother and I had the opportunity to visit C d A in early April 2012. We had the opportunity to meet both younger girls waiting for sponsorship as well as older girls who have been in the program for a few years. The need and the opportunity in the younger girls was apparent, but, importantly, the impact of the program on the older girls was very obvious. These are poised, confident, and bright young women with clear and positive ambitions. C d A does real and important good in the city of Jinotega and we are proud to be able to contribute to this amazing organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We visited the facilities in Jinotega, met the staff, and visited with the girls in the area who receive the benefit of C d A and it's program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Create a template to replicate it to other towns and cities in Nica and elsewhere.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Educational opportunities for young, impoverished women in Nicaragua.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

No particular reason. Wish we'd known about it earlier.

What would you tell others about this organization?

What I said in my description and that sponsoring C d A gives you the chance to make a true connection that will not only expand your worldview, but expand your family :)

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