Two Land-Based Initiatives in Nicaragua

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A collaborative of single women working together to increase economic opportunity through land-based micro-enterprise. A farm school pledged to develop local capacity for restoring agricultural biodiversity.

Two projects addressing rural poverty in Nicaragua through leadership training and sustainable, subistence-level horticulture.

Maderas Farm School

Nestled on the slopes of an island volcano overlooking the immense Lake Nicaragua, the Escuela de Campo Maderas / Maderas Farm School was founded in December 2006 with the initiative and perseverance of Andrea Calfuquir and support of Bonafide farm and the Wilder Institute.

Vision & Mission

The Escuela de campo emphasizes ecological responsibility and self-sufficiency. We seek to promote the dissemination of knowledge and skills throughout the local community, based in the small town of Balgüe, Nicaragua. We provide farm and garden education for inspired individuals to become community mentors, both in agriculture and in their lives at large. Some pictures of the farm school can be found here.

Rosas De Volcanes

The Rosas de Volcanes Women’s Group, founded in February 2005, consists of 7 single mothers from Balgüe, on the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua. The Rosas’ official mission is to “emancipate women through education, so that we may work alongside the men, and together forge a better future for our families. We are aspiring to create a more dignified life, equally independent, in harmony with nature and human society, defending the rights and duties of women and children”

Project Coordination and Capacity Building

Project Coordinator Andrea Calfuquir reports:

My role has been to facilitate development of both of these organizations, providing support and hands-on work for the Rosas group, and the main responsibility for the operations of the Farm School, including teaching, administration, materials procurement, fundraising and interaction with other local and international organizations.

My work in this community in Nicaragua has a three-year history. I began work in 2005 and recognized the need for the project. I procured funding and spent three 6-month sessions in the community, over three years. The successes and challenges of the projects have been such that my plan is to dedicate myself to the project for two more years (two more 6-month sessions). In this time, I hope to continue the work which has been done and transition the projects to a stage in which a) I am no longer needed or b) a dedicated replacement has been found, preferably from within the community.

Fundraising Effort and Use of Proceeds

We are currently developing a fundraising effort to pay for program expenses. All proceeds will go to support the following projects:

Project Goals 2007-2008

  • Regenerative gardening/farming internship for six locals farmers over a period of twelve months, with Escuela de Campo/Farm School at Bonafide Farm. $4000 over 2 years.
  • Stipend for a Nicaraguan sociologist who will be working directly with Rosas de Volcanes for sixteen months. $1000 over 2 years.
  • Field trips for Rosas de Volcanes and Farm School interns to create networks with other groups in Nicaragua. $400 over 2 years.
  • Nursing school scholarship for Aleida, the only high school graduate of Rosas de Volcanes group. $1000 over 2 years.
  • Agriculture school scholarship for Nevis, the only high school graduate from the Farm School. $1000 over 2 years.
  • Books for the Farm school $600 over 2 years.
  • Community Compost toilet workshop at Dalis‘s home an intern from the Farm School. $400 over 2 years.
  • Workshops held by teachers from nearby on women’s health, social organization skills and empowering women. $800 over 2 years.
  • Expanding plant nurseries in individual households. $600 over 2 years. Weekly cooking classes with Clemencia, a local cook. $200 over 2 years.

Total funding sought: $10,000

Supporting the Project

Thank you for considering a donation to the Escuela de Campo and Rosas de Volcanes groups. Our projects are only possible through the generous support of foundations, service clubs, and individuals like you, who help us grow. To donate, please call: Social Environmental Entrepreneurs at (310) 737-9148. As a memo, please indicate that funds are for the Wilder Institute Rosas Project.