Newton San Juan Del Sur Sister City Project Inc

Rating: 4.93 stars   46 reviews

Issues: Education, Job Training, International

Location: Rodney Barker 49 Wooodcliff Road 02461 Margaret M. Gullette 68 Pembroke Street 02458 Newton MA 02458 USA

Mission: Our mission is to empower the 18,000 far-flung people of San Juan to develop their education and skills and improve their health. Current programs include maintaining school buildings, providing biosand filters and eco-stoves in the rural areas, and overseeing the free High School for Adults/ Technical Institute.
Results: By the end of this year the Free High School will have graduated 616 people. It enrolls about 700 every year, the most-underprivileged in the region. Over 700 biosand filters have been given out. We built or renovated 17 schools, including new pre-schools in rural villages.
Target demographics: Under-served low-income women and men who have been excluded from regular high schools
Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2013, 681 people enrolled in our three high-school programs
Geographic areas served: The 250-square mile area of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a volunteer at the school and am staying for 10 months here in San Juan Del Sur. This organization is doing great work! The motivation of the people working here is amazing. But I believe it's not just the teachers and volunteers that make this project so successful. The real power comes from the people that take the classes. They really WANT to attend the classes and study and improve their standard of living. I've witnessed several times that a student goes up to the teacher and asks for extra classes. Many times this can't be done because the students don't have any extra free time in their schedule or live too far from town. To attend the Saturday school, some students get up at 4 am to take the bus!

They have my utmost respect and I'm proud to be helping here!

Pieter Timmermans

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

volunteering at the school in San Juan Del Sur.

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

have the local people of the organization make time in their (very busy) schedule to take english classes. This could help improve personal relations and publicity.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a volunteer advisor on the Free High School for adults. I have had an opportunity to meet the director and to read the reports of the work that is done there. It is the most exciting education project I have ever been involved with. The director and Margaret Gullette do a terrific job of keeping us informed. I plan to go to San Joan del Sur to visit in the near future. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer, both here in the US and in San Juan del Sur. Also, the project makes such good use of the funds we raise that I am always happy to contribute.

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

Meeting people from San Juan del Sur and hosting a teacher in my home for 2 months. It was a great experience.

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

Try to let more people know about it.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Es muy lindo ver el entusiasmo y el motivo de los estudiantes y los profesores. Gracias a Rosa Elena, Margareth y Patricia que han dado vida a este proyecto y mucho mas en San Juan del Sur!!! Es muy importante de tener personas como ellas que tienen tanta energia para ayudar a otra gente que necesita salud y educacion!

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

Porque soy presidente de la fundacion patricia claeys, aqui en Belgica, tengo bastante comunicacion con el proyecto. Lo que hacemos desde Belgica es enviar de vez en cuando voluntarios y organizar fiestas, vender flores, ... para ahorrar plata para el proyecto.

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

Hare lo mismo que estan haciendo ahora!! Con mucha energia ir adelante y estar conciente de que podemos cambiar y mejorar para el ser humano!

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The FHS is an organization with incredibly passionate workers. It is filled with people who sacrifice a lot to do their best and to help poor, difficult to reach communities who would otherwise have no access to secondary education. There has been an impact already from the FHS's presence, and this should continue to grow as the rural communities that it operates in become more and more educated and (hopefully) more wealthy as the people shape how they want to direct their own economic future. They operate efficiently and effectively and also happen to be incredibly nice, wonderful, inspiring people.

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

seeing classes taught by excellent teachers to students who were incredibly attentive.

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

find a way to get their model out to other rural locations in Nicaragua.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Newton Project aims to improve the lives of the citizens of its sister city, San Juan del Sur, and does so in such significant ways. The Free High School allows those otherwise unable or incapable of attending school the chance of a FREE education -- how great is that? It fulfills a basic, necessary need so that graduates can go on to improve their lives. The project is also building schools in remote communities, to further ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn.

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

seeing a very excited community get involved, roll up their sleeves, and pitch in to help build their school.

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

build more schools ;-)

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Great institution, extremely important for poor Sanjuanenos.

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

Very impressed with its far reaching success.

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

Get the word out how amazing it is.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered in the Instituto Libre for an afternoon, and I was so impressed with the motivation of bpoth the students and the staff. This place is really filling a need.

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

Seeing working adults finish their high school education

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

Put one in every town in Nicaragua

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Free High School for Adults provided me with a unique opportunity to contribute to the education of a population of San Juan del Sur residents who would not have had educational opportunities otherwise. Women with children and students over eighteen aren't eligible for public education, and the Free High School was developed to change a harsh reality for many who still wanted to learn.

My experience working with those students was very powerful. Many had professional goals and personal goals that motivated them to travel, weekend after weekend, to our classrooms to practice English and other subjects.

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

Because of the large number of students interested in learning we had to schedule extra classes after hours. The motivation and enthusiasm of the students was most obvious during those classes when they could get more personal attention and more practice. Because of the commitment of all teachers and those running the organization, those classes were made possible despite major resource shortages (like the ability to make copies).

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

This organization makes a tremendous impact. I would not change its mission in any way because providing pathways to education for adults and mothers with children is an important goal. That said, the school could use more supplies and a better infrastructure.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as a teacher at the Free High School in 2010. Along with two other teachers, I taught English to a large class of enthusiastic students. I also provided tutoring in the evenings to smaller groups. During my time in San Juan del Sur, I found that the Free High School inspired passion among teachers and students alike. The school serves a very important purpose in the town by providing an alternative means of education and excels at this cause because of the obvious passion of those who participate.

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

Many students were eager to schedule appointments with me to study English outside of the regular school day. Teachers exhibited their dedication by regularly meeting to prepare class materials in accordance with the curriculum.

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

Secure more funding for improved facilities. Interest in our English class was so widespread that we couldn't fit everyone in one classroom. Instead, we held the conversation portion of each class outside the walls of the classroom, while topics that required use of the chalkboards were taught inside. The school accomplishes a lot with creative solutions like this, but money always helps!

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked as a volunteer for Newton San Juan Del Sur in several ways, including teaching in the Free High School. This school is making a big difference in the lives of adults who haven't had the resources to continue their education, especially to learn English. It was heartening to see the increase in self-confidence and outreach that resulted from these classes. The Newton project is well run and is greatly respected by the local people.

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

talking with adult students, who were inspired by the opportunity offered by Newton Sister City to continue their education.

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

Increase publicity on the needs for the project.

 
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Review from Guidestar