Check out some of our many programs below…
Our Feeding Program (Dale de Comer) provides lunch for 150 kids Monday through Friday year-round. For many kids, the meal they eat with us is their only meal for the day. Beyond filling bellies, Dale de Comer also instills a sense of community as the kids talk, play and eat together day after day. Older children are often seen feeding the toddlers who are still learning to eat by themselves. Every child washes their own dish, and the older kids who come to eat are expected to help with clean-up after lunch is over. This helps them learn the value of responsibility and that they have a role to play in making Dale de Comer happen each day.
In July 2017, we began English classes with 21 students. Following the textbook “Learning English With Laughter,” we take a speaking-based approach to engage the students in speaking and hearing conversational English right away. Some students have dreams of becoming translators, while others dream of using their English to study abroad one day.
Our school scholarship program was started in 2014 to help ensure that all children in Bienvenido receive an education. Although public schools are free, there is limited space and not all children are able to register for a spot. With only one small public school in the community of Bienvenido, many children were being left outside the education system.
We also ensure that scholarship recipients have uniforms and materials needed to attend school, that they receive a hearty breakfast each morning, and that they attend tutoring to ensure success in their schooling.
Kid’s Club is a space for both fun and learning, where the children of Bienvenido, ages 2-11 years, learn important values through group games and activities. They learn to share, work in teams, and even lose with dignity. Without fail, the program center is filled with laughter, music, and shouts of delight every Saturday morning.
Our homework group, Sala de Tarea, is offered twice a week as a supplemental education initiative where kids practice reading, writing, and other basic skills. Many kids in the school system fall through the cracks and never learn to read, and this initiative helps to combat that. In the past, Sala de Tarea was implemented only during the summers as a way to make sure students were prepared for the upcoming school year. In 2017, Sala de Tarea was implemented for the first time throughout the school year to reinforce and supplement classes during the school year. We also brought on new tutors and now have three qualified tutors working with our students. Over 50 students participated in this initiative in 2017.
We currently have a team of 15 youth, ages 16-19, that work closely with our Director and extended team to not only support the program in it’s daily operations, but be developed into leaders. They learn communication and organizational skills through regularly planning meetings, and gain invaluable leadership experience through their roles as mentors and teachers to the younger kids. They learn that they are intelligent and capable, that they have dignity, and that each one of them has something to offer. Many of these youth have been with the project since its inception 9 years ago, and when they arrived were kids with little direction or sense of self-worth. Some were extremely timid and others had energy that was not directed. One of our greatest accomplishments is to seeing how these young people have blossomed into strong and capable leaders who play an active role in our community, and have strong relationships both with one other and our team.