Minimum Fundraising Commitment: $2,500
Location: Ojochal, Tola, Nicaragua
Project: Preschool/Primary School Annex
Community Partner: Project Wave of Optimism (Project WOO)
Community and Project Description:
The small community of Ojochal is located approximately 15 minutes away from Playa Gigante, headed northeast. The community was founded based on agricultural production, but in the past 10 years, the community of Ojochal has evolved due to tourism. Before tourism started growing in the area, the majority of the male population immigrated to Costa Rica annually for work. Tourism has boosted the work economy and since then the community has grown significantly and the need for education is more important now than ever. The Ministry of Education in Ojachal and the local leaders of the community have identified the need for an additional classroom as a top priority and have asked for Surf For Life and Project WOO to oversee the project.
There are 308 people who live in the small town, and 108 of them are under the age of 17. Seventy-three students attend the two-classsroom primary and preschool in the community. Two full time teachers teach the primary school children in the main school building, but there is no space to teach the preschool students. A volunteer teacher currently teaches preschool students inside of a local community house, due to the lack of space at the main schoolroom.
Project WOO has been focused on improving the impact of surf tourism in Playa Gigante through community-based development since 2006. Project WOO operates a community health clinic, a bus that takes children to high school in the neigboring town, provides an English curriculum in the Primary school, leads a local youth group, and runs a surf board incentive program to incentivize aspiring young surfers to attend school and be active citizens in their community.
Room, Board & Activities:
Machele's Place is Playa Gigante's newest hotel and sits right in the middle of town and across the street from the beach. Machele's has a pool, a bar, and restaraunt. There are various bars and restaurants just down the street and only 15 minutes walking to a fun surf break.
Beyond working hard to construct the classrooms, volunteers will have time with the kids doing various after school activities, take a tour of Project WOO's latest health initiative, and experience multiple cultural immersion activities such as a baking class and/or going out on a local fishing boat.
Travel to Playa Gigante, Nicaragua:
To get to Playa Gigante, fly into Managua (MGA).
A shuttle will be pre-arranged from the airport to Machele's Place (about 2.5 hours).
All meals during the week will be pre-arranged by Project WOO and provided by local restaraunts in Playa Gigante. It is recommended that volunteers bring about $200 in cash ($20 bills and smaller) for any extras and service tips.