From November 20-28, Misha Collins, Osric Chau, the Random Acts team, 25 volunteers who each raised $5,000, and one lucky raffle winner journeyed to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua for the first time. We met the students and teachers at the Free High School, and we put some sweat equity into building their new campus. We also worked (and played) with children and staff from other local organizations doing great things around San Juan del Sur.
The Free High School
Volunteers spent time getting to know students in an English class and helping them with their homework.
New Free High School Campus
On campus workdays, volunteers bent metal, welded steel, mixing cement, dug foundation pits, painted purlins, and more.
Rural Community: El Remanso
Between building BioSand water filters and EcoStoves, our volunteers got a chance to bond with some of the local kids.
Barrio Planta Project
Our volunteers and BPP kids split into teams, painted their faces, and went on a scavenger hunt around San Juan del Sur.
Every Saturday, students stream in from the many rural communities around San Juan del Sur to attend a full day of classes at the Free High School. Following an introduction ceremony during which we met the school’s founder, Rosa Elena, along with other staff, our volunteers sat in on an English class and had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with the students, practicing English with them and helping them with their homework.
In the afternoon we visited the Free Technical School and met some students there who were busy pursuing their certificates in accounting, construction, tourism, or business administration.
These are the students at the heart of the project — the ones we’re raising money to build a campus for — so it was great to be able to meet them and hear their stories.
Upon our arrival at the site of the new Free High School campus we were met by Austin Drill, the general contractor, who explained to us the vision of the campus layout and buildings.
In the following days, we had the opportunity to return to the site and work on a variety of construction tasks including bending metal, welding steel plates, mixing and laying new concrete, digging foundation pits, constructing metal support columns, and more. Our work at the campus was a highlight for many of the volunteers, and most went back to work even on Thanksgiving Day!
On this trip we visited a rural community called El Remanso to help the local families construct BioSand water filters and EcoStoves (which involved flinging balls of horse manure, among other more strenuous tasks). During breaks, many of the volunteers bonded with both children and dogs, and a few chickens as well.
Another highlight of our visit was meeting the Barrio Planta Project children and staff. We spent an afternoon playing games with them, face painting, and going on a scavenger hunt that had us searching all around San Juan del Sur for everything from acts of kindness to rice and beans. Of course the kids did most of the hunting, but our volunteers had a grand time running around after them.