The sound of the young students singing contrasts deeply with the greenery of their desolate community. Carolina, the teacher, leads the group, clapping as her face brightens with her emblematic smile.
More than 250 kilometers from Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, is El Bálsamo, a community of approximately 80 inhabitants, most dedicated to agriculture. A single school welcomes all the children of this community, where pre-school education came as a gift thanks to the generosity of Fabretto supporters. Here, every day, Ms. Carolina gives her heart to her 20 pupils, who until less than 3 years ago, had no educational alternatives nearby. “They would spend all day here if they could…they love it!” Says the smiling teacher.
Two years ago, Carolina became a teacher at the Center and since then, has received training on innovative educational methodologies through Fabretto’s teacher-training initiative. Like her students, Carolina comes from a family with limited resources. Graduating from college with a teaching degree was a real sacrifice. “As an inhabitant of this rural area, you know that aspiring to a professional career is a difficult dream to achieve,” she says. In fact, in rural Nicaragua, 50% of the population survive on less than $2 a day (World Bank 2015). Extreme poverty is an overwhelming limitation, but so is distance and isolation. For this reason, many inhabitants of rural areas decide to emigrate or remain living in the same conditions in which they were born.
“Due to the conditions in which I grew up, I never imagined learning everything I know today,” confesses the rural teacher. Through Fabretto, Carolina has received training on the Montessori methodology to promote the integral development of the student. Thanks to the LEGO Foundation, in 2015 her school was benefited with a donation of LEGO blocks; Carolina received training on the use of LEGO in the classroom as a tool to contribute to student learning. “When I arrived, the children were very shy and did not participate in class, but with these new methodologies that Fabretto teaches us, there has been a big change”.
Despite all the training that Fabretto can offer, there is one thing that cannot be taught: a person’s vocation. Carolina’s commitment to the education of the children of El Bálsamo goes beyond teaching in the classroom. Every day, the exemplary teacher literally helps her students cross rivers and climb mountains in order to ensure that they do not miss a single day of class. The majority of her little students travel more than half an hour on stony paths that are steep and difficult to access during the rainy season. This remarkable woman’s goal is to be a true guide in her students’ journey towards a better future. With your help, this goal is becoming increasingly possible.
This Holiday Season, find the inspiration you need in the face of Carolina and her students. For all of us at Fabretto, they are reason enough to continue doing our work every day.