Please help raise money to expand a pre-K classroom in Costa Rica so that all children have access to early childhood education and nutritional meals every day. Even a small donation can make a huge difference!
In January 2008, I moved to Potrero Grande, a rural farming town in southern Costa Rica. I taught English in the public elementary school to approximately 140 students aged 6 to 16. It was a life-changing experience, the catalyst that uncovered my passion for teaching and led me to where I am now -- working tirelessly to improve learning for all students in urban Dallas schools.
I am grateful for the lessons I learned in Potrero Grande and will always acknowledge that it was in that small, remote town that I accepted the mission to do whatever it takes to make life better for others, whether it be in on the rocky roads of a rural village or the rough neighborhoods of an American city.
Each year, I return to visit my precious host family and the school that taught me so much. I have been amazed by the growth and development in the town. There is wireless internet at the school, a real grocery store, even a hardware store. There are two new subdivisions full of tiny concrete houses. Land has been cleared for another new neighborhood on the outskirts of town. The school has added two new classrooms to accommodate dozens of new students.
Del Monte vastly expanded their pineapple farm just up the mountain from Potrero Grande, which led to the population growth. Workers from around the region flocked to Potrero Grande to take advantage of the abundance of new jobs. The men and women work in the fields planting and harvesting the pineapples, some of which likely land on our own tables here in the United States.
Many of the public services have had a hard time keeping up. The preschool has completely outgrown its space. The school operates to provided a few hours of educational play in the mornings and also free lunch to the toddlers and their mothers. The number of preschoolers has doubled in the past year with more than 25 kiddos now attending each day. The tiny space just isn't sufficient anymore. The picture below shows the space available now for 25 kiddos and their mothers to eat lunch.
The pre-school association has worked hard to raise the $5,000 needed to expand its space. Association members have hosted community dances, sold raffle tickets, and peddled homemade tamales. They have raised $3,000 and secured a commitment from a local builder to do all of the construction work for free. They only lack the remaining $2,000 to purchase the remaining materials. The plan is to expand the building into the existing yard, pictured below.
Please help this wonderful community of hard-working men and women get the space they need to provide necessary services to the youngest in their families.
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