|Palo Solo Project||
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Backpacks, uniforms, and school supplies donated in the last 2 weeks to the students of Palo Solo.
See some of the pictures below. Thanks again for your support.
We donated school supplies in 2012 such as backpacks and school uniforms which are always in need! Especially in areas with rough climates.
Furthermore, one of the top high school students in the village finished and earned a vocational degree in craftsmanship. His goal is to pursue an engineering degree at a university level after high school, but this degre gives him a great opportunity to start working on the side and make some extra money to help pay for college and help his family.
Pictures of the mudslides and the damage the heavy rains have caused to Palo Solo in recent weeks. We took these picture ourselves and have been conducting diligence on the damage and impact the heavy rain has had on the village and families. As you can see from some of the pictures below, mudslides have opened dangerous holes next to houses and streets.
Heavy rains across Nicaragua and the rest of Central America have been causing mudslides and hurting families across the region.
The community of Palo Solo was affected earlier this month by the heavy rains, which have damaged the infrastructure in the community. Many families in this community have lost what little they had.
Roads and houses have been heavily damaged. The single road to the community is surrounded by dirt walls and thick jungle on both sides and is highly vulnerable to heavy rains. Houses, mostly near large declines, have also been damaged. The video below is a report from a local news channel on a recent disaster and how it left nearly 20 families from Palo Solo and another village nearby - also part of Las Conchas - without homes. The families had to be evacuated.
We will provide another report on the mudslides and the impact the heavy rains have had on the community. Donations for the Palo Solo Project go to education and other basic necessities. During these difficult times, families are in dire need of food such as rice, oil, sugar, red beans, and other necessities.
Yader Antonio Manzanares Carballo is teaching an English class to 22 students in the Palo Solo Community. He began teaching English classes with a budget of US$150. Learning English gives students from Palo Solo more job opportunities. A person who can speak English can earn US$300 a month working in a call center, and salaries increase to US$600 per month at intermediate levels. Whereas most people, even sometimes with a professional degree, only earn close to US$175 a month if they do not know English. Palo Solo Project is currently funding this project – and we would like to continue receiving donations to continue supporting projects such as this one. You can do a lot with a little.
Yader is also one of the students from the village studying English at a college level thanks to donations by the Palo Solo Project. Yader would like to work as a Call center coordinator one day and earn more than US$1,000 a month. If Yader had not had a chance to go to college, he could be working as an agriculturist – and have less opportunities. Now that he knows the importance of a college education and in particular learning English he has a bright future. We thank him for giving back to the community.
We have awarded scholarships to eight students from the village.
Students from Palo Solo have a hard time paying for college and very few can afford to enroll in school. A very high percentage of students that enroll in college dropout due to the cost associated with tuition and especially transportation.
We decided to create a new educational initiative where we help college and high school students pay for tuition, transportation, and in some cases meals. The country subsidizes some school tuition, but transportation is the biggest cost item for students living in rural areas such as Palo Solo.
An interesting approach we have taken is helping high school students enroll in vocational schools. These high school students are learning skill sets early on in order to start earning money on the side - with the goal of saving enough to help pay for college down the line. Examples of trades include: Computer Repair, Beauty School, and Electrical work.
Several of the students are also taking English courses on the side. We encouraged many of the students to learn English given the growth of various sectors such as Call Centers and Tourism in the country.
Five out of the six students below are in high school. One of them (second from the right), is a college student.
Some of the schools the students have enrolled:
Centro de Capacitación Profesional Nicaragüense Alemán (CECNA)
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua UNAN-RURD (Managua)
Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería UNI-PAUS.
Universidad de Managua (U de M)
Cornerstone English Institute
Victor has been working with us for a while now and has been instrumental in helping us launch new educational initiatives such as the college and high school grants program. Victor is studying to be a civil engineer in Nicaragua. We thank Victor for all of his hard work and dedication to the project!
Hear the stories of two graduates from the Palo Solo village whose life changed thanks to your help.
Maria Soledad Acunya Diaz, is a 29 year graduate student who lives in Nicaragua. She was ranked one of the top students in her elementary school. Many women in Palo Solo as well as other areas do not have the privileges to have an education, and end up earning low wages – (under $100 per month like her first job). Most women like Maria become pregnant at an early age and have to take care of several children for the rest of their lives. Despite this, educated women can benefit from job placement services that can help overcome the salary disparity and job discrimination that takes place (often inadvertently or unrecognized) in Nicaragua.
When she finished high school, Maria wanted to attend a university; however, she did not have the financial means to afford it. Her first job was a grocery store clerk where her base salary started at $65 per month. A year after she graduated, Palo Solo donors funded her college education. She graduated from University Polytechnic of Nicaragua; a public school that requires private tuition for a bachelors degree in Marketing.
She has professed an interest in studying chemical then industrial engineering; however, there are no jobs in the area. She ultimately studied business administration and graduated with high marks in 2004, which would allow her to find an occupation. Her first job was in real estate development as an Executive Assistant/Office Manager for $200 per month. Four years later her job pay increased to $400 per month. She is currently unemployed and taking care of her grandmother and seeking employment in Nicaragua.
Reynaldo Acunya Diaz , is a 35 year old graduate student who was raised with little education. After finishing high school, Reynaldo among other villagers have to start work and earn a salary of $100-150 per month with little prospect of improvement. He thought he hadno hope of a college education because of the cost.
He received a scholarship from Palo Solo donors, which enabled him to graduate from National University of Agriculture with a bachelor’s degree. It took him 6 years to work full time, and successfully graduated in 2001.When he graduated he could not find a job in agriculture for 6 months, being difficult for him to network.
Eventually, through a connection he was hired to work for a Nicaraguan pharmaceutical company, RARPE, where initially as a Lead Generator for the Sales Representatives and had a base salary of $200 per month.
That steadily grew with promotions. He is now a Sales Representative to pharmacies and makes between $750-1000 per month. With the money he earned, he paid for his youngest sister to attend a University, where now she will graduate in 2010 in Nursing.
Reynaldo is married, has two kids of 3 months and 5 years old, and is able to afford a house and car. He plans on obtaining a masters degree paid with his salary while studying weekends. It is a four year program that, once finished, will allow him to sell to doctors that write prescriptions, and earn a higher salary. Through Reynaldo’s hard work, he is committed to help his children obtain an education.
Reynaldo is a great example of someone with a strong work ethic and great values. With a donation, he was able to afford a university degree and break the cycle of poverty for his family and generations that follow.
Palo Solo Blog
We will post all new updates on this blog, as well as in the Palo Solo Project Facebook group