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've been volunteering with the Newton Sister City Project for years. This group is doing cutting edge work in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, in both education and health. The Free High School for Adults is a one-of-its-kind treasure, offering high quality secondary education to those not welcome in the public high school--pregnant women or mothers, married people, anybody over 18. Newton's work in "Appropriate Technology for Public Health"--BioSand Filters to purify water in the home, EcoStoves for smoke-free cooking, Composting Toilets, etc--reaches high standards and have produced valuable innovations. Dozens of volunteers work for the Sister City Project during the year, and give rave reviews. So do I.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Free High School serves a pressing need in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua--a huge number of people (over 18, or pregnant or with kids, or who have had to work) are simple not allowed to attend the "public" high school. The FHS is a lifesaver for them. They get to complete a secondary education, either in their villages, or by coming into town once a week and studying all day in the Sabatino or Saturday School. And because they follow the national curriculum, their degree has the same value as a public school diploma. It's been wildly successful, so much so that they're bursting at the seams, with enrollments rising steadily year after year. People know a good thing when they see it. Until the government Does The Right Thing and starts to fund secondary educations for EVERYBODY who needs it, we all need to support the FHS, which has been called "a model for the rest of the country."

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Imagine a huge population--over 18, or pregnant, or married, or with kids, or need to work during the week--who simply aren't permitted to attend the public high school. Then along comes a FREE High School for ADULTS and before you know it the new school has more students (and higher morale) that the public school. This is incredibly cool, and a real tribute to the founders, the teachers who give their time and skills, and the students who simply love their school! I've been there, I've seen the energy in the classrooms. It's truly inspiring.

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

learning about how successful they were after graduation and what a difference it has made in their lives to be able to complete high school after waiting for so long.

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

make it a model of adult education for all of Nicaragua.

 
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Review from Guidestar
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I'm an educator, and I love schools. A good school is at the heart of a community. The Free High School, by providing education and services (for 550 people!) is doing something not just for the students, but for the communities they are a part of. San Juan Del Sur is fortunate to have partners here who understand (1) the importance of a good education and (b) that we owe something to the people of Nicaragua.This project makes a difference.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

My visits to the Fee High School for Adults in San Juan del Sur have been marked with admiration and awe for both the students who arrive in large numbers to attend the classes and the project directors who have conceived and sustained such an amazing institution.
The classrooms were so full that folks were hanging out of doors, taking notes in their tattered notebooks.
The women spoke of their hopes for a different future because of the education they were receiving today.

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

planning for future service trips to Nicaragua

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

offer more classes

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

For 20 years, the Newton Massachusetts - San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua Sister City Project has made a dramatic difference in the lives of literally thousands of residents of this city on Nicaragua's Pacific coast. Today the Project has deep relationships with actors throughout the community, and dozens of local and international volunteers, in the fields of childhood and Adult Education -- including the indispensible Free High School -- and Appropriate Technologies, including drinking water systems, kitchen-smoke evacuation, and sanitation. The collaboration is two-way, with many San Juanenos visiting their northern sister city. The Sister City project is a model of international cooperation, and deserves the support needed to sustain and grow its activities.

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

On the ground visits to numerous programs.

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

Seek multi-year financial support for five key programs.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

Newton San Juan del Sur Sister City's Free High School has it right:
Give the struggling poor educational tools and watch them soar.
A well thought out and well managed program. Educating these adults has positive repercussions for the students, their families, their communities and for the small country of Nicaragua where in the past dictators kept the people ignorant and in poverty by denying them the opportunity to become literate.

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

Read the newsletter reports.

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

Leave it as it is.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As a long-time resident and ESL t eaching volunteer in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, I am keenly aware of the great contribution that the Free School makes year after year to this struggling community. This year I was able to offer some assistance to some of the volunteer teachers in the way of ESL materials.

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

As a resident here, I see the results.

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

I would encourage volunteers and donors.

 
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Review from Guidestar