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: 4 stars  

I love the Free High school for Adults because it provides an opportunity for adults who live far away in the country and/or work during the week to get a real education. As a supporter, I have heard the personal stories of people who have attended the high school and it has made an incredible difference in their lives. Some have been able to get new kinds of jobs, some have gone on to university and some have improved their skills, such as math skills, so they are able to work more effectively. It does such a good job of providing education for its students that officials have said it is a model of what schools should be.

The other aspect of the high school that I like is that the students are required to teach others, so that education spreads even beyond the students who are enrolled in the school.

Finally, I am happy to support the high school because all the fund-raising and administrative work is done for free so support for the school actually pays for teachers and supplies.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I live in Newton, Massachusetts and have been impressed by the commitment of the high school students and citizens of Newton in their passion for San Juan del Sur high school. And I I learn more about the Free High School for Adults, I am inspired by how much the students value their education and how much it takes for them to achieve something that we take for granted. As a former teacher of middle school, I believe that education is the answer. Congratulations to all.

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?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Free High School has been tranforming women's lives in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua in a way so clear and dramatic that I feel every penny I can send to support the school is touching a life in a positive way.
Graduations have been celebrations in many ways: daughters are given hope and confidence seeing their mothers affirm the need and right to literacy; sons gain greater respect for themselves, seeing that the family status changes in the community.
This is a wonderful program.

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

conversations with the volunteers from Newton, and in reports they've sent in writing

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

make sure it had funding through the state as well as the private sources it calls upon now

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Great organization, serving women and communities in the south west corner of Nicaragua. Every non-profit should be so effective.

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

I've read reports, seen presentations

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

I would make sure they had enough money to keep their work going for 20 years.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Since 1997 I have worked with my Nicaraguan counterpart, Dr. Rosa Elena Bello, first to improve adult literacy and then to start and maintain a Free High School for Adults. It has had an illustrious history since it opened in 2002. It is open to all the people the other high schools exclude, so it reaches the most disadvantaged and gives them an opportunity they would never have had. In 2006 they opened a Technical High School too, which gives a high-level technical certificate.

Its first graduating class had only 11 people, but now each year we matriculate over 550 people and we graduate about 60, for a total of 346 over the years. Many have gone on to university, to real careers, to positions in local government.

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

I interview students and faculty and administration every year, so I know the diffence that the education and the degree make in their lives. The vice-mayor says that the Sister City's efforts over the two decades, including building schools, have changed rural life so that formerly humble people now speak up, disagree, make suggestions, and in general act like educated people and good citizens.

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

only raise more money for it! With greater funding, we could have a building of our own. Provide a hot lunch to the children in our Daycare Center. Provide bus scholarships for students who live far from town and can't afford the expensive private-bus system fare. Pay our teachers better. Buy better equipment for our Computer Lab. Collect a much better library and have bookshelves made.

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Review from Guidestar