In the small town of Esteli, Nicaragua, there’s a beautiful group that is trying to make this world a better place, and we can help.

El Centro Sor Maria Romero is a sanctuary for the street children of Esteli, Nicaragua. As a mission of the Salesian Sisters, El Centro offers three different programs to house, feed, and educate the local children.

La Casa de Menores (The House of Minors) is a home for girls who can no longer live with their families. The center then acts as a safe haven from abuse, neglect, or a family’s inability to financially support the child.

El Comedor de Ninos (The Children’s Dining Room) feeds over 80 children a meal that is often their only meal of the day, usually consisting of a simple bowl of rice & beans.

El Centro Educativo (The Education Center) provides an education for children whose poverty kept them out of school, but who as adolescents walk miles to attend the only school committed to educating them.

Along with our fundraising efforts to aid the center and the community, part of our mission is to provide a week-long experience developed, taught, and run by MANOS volunteers. The classes we teach are not engineered to make us feel good about ourselves or pass time. Our classes are meant to teach them useful skills, to help them build in resourceful ways, and to help them explore their creative minds.

Through the Arts & Crafts classes, the students learn how to make something with their hands. We try to divide the class into things they might need, like pillows and duct tape cases to keep their pencils safe, and a little luxury they might cherish, like colorful clay crosses with plastic Gems. In this way, the kids manifest their creativity. They are encouraged to be proud of whatever work they produce, and they go away with a possession that is bright and new, something most of them have never experienced.

Clase de deporte (Sports Class) is special in nuanced ways too. Taught by a boy and a girl coach, the relationship between the coaches of mutual respect and understanding is something that a lot of our kids have never witnessed. In the midst of their poverty, many of our kids come from broken or damaged homes. Being able to see something of a professional relationship between a man and a woman as equals is invaluable during such a formative time. Moreover, the teams are co-ed, which allows the children to learn about respect for one another as teammates, and cross boundaries they’ve been engendered to hold on to so strongly


To put things into perspective:

Feeding them...
The Sisters feed many of the children of Estelí their only meal each day. Even a small bowl of rice and beans is so difficult for the sisters to provide on their limited means. For only $20 you can help ease the Sisters' burden and honor your loved ones. $20 can feed a family.

Educating them...
What is a Catholic education worth? Consider that for as little as $15 a month, Sor Anita can send a girl of the orphanage to an excellent local Catholic school. Your gift of $150 will cover the costs of tuition, uniforms, supplies, and tutoring to prepare her for her new school.

Housing them...
For a few hundred dollars, we gave little Yendry's family a home. Your donation can keep the rain out and the warmth of a home in. It can turn a bed of cardboard and rags into a place full of dreams. A gift from your heart can help us build homes for many more families.

Our work is necessary, it's powerful, and we aim to empower as we attempt to hand children who have been born into misery, some light out of it.


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Vale Genta 
Los Angeles, CA
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