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Bristol-Puerto Morazan:education for hundreds of pre-schoolers

News from Nicaragua | Friday, 27 July 2018 |

In an area of Nicaragua where there has been no conflict, parents and builders begin the construction of a pre-school funded by organisations in Bristol

In an area of Nicaragua where there has been no conflict, parents and builders begin the construction of a pre-school funded by organisations in Bristol

Twenty five years ago, pre-school children in all the barrios of Bristol’s twin town of Puerto Morazan, had their lessons under trees, in shrimp storerooms or makeshift shacks with mud floors. In bad weather lessons had to be cancelled.

Since then Friends of Morazan (Charity Number 1111253) and Bristol Link with Nicaragua (BLINC) have raised over £40,000 to build nine pre-schools some with wells, latrines and water filters.

Funds have come from the Copa Sandino (an annual football tournament running since 1987), sponsored marathon runners, Rotary Club donations and crowdfunding. Additional funds have come from encouraging people and organisations to contribute funds to get their toilets twinned with a pre-school latrine.

The partnership of the Ministry of Education, local people, and funds from Bristol mean that for the first time hundreds of pre-school children have been able to attend schools that have good conditions.

This enables them to play and learn safely and consistently as well as having excellent sanitary conditions and regular access to drinking water to stay hydrated.

Parents and builders started work on the latest pre-school in the Sector Four barrio in Puerto Morazan in mid July using £5,000 raised in part by Bath University Chemistry Department. On 19 July they were joined by secondary school students who wanted to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution by supporting the project.

Community teacher Luvi Llanes reiterated what a difference the new classroom will make to the quality of education for another group of pre-schoolers.

Parents and builders were able to go ahead with the building of the latest school because there has been no conflict in Puerto Morazan, as is the case with half of Nicaragua’s 153 municipalities.

As one local resident commented: ‘it’s as though we were in another country, and thank God for that because there’s no violence, there’s been no vandalism, there’ve been no strikes, no roadblocks…most people know each other and we don’t support violence.’

Another resident, Rommel Ibarra Ríos, stated: ‘I would like a return to the peace we all had as Nicaraguans, for the present government to remain, that we all have the freedom of movement we had before the crisis began, an end to the roadblocks and to violence from whatever side, for dialogue to go ahead and agreements to be reached for the majority.’