To empower children, youth and families in Nicaragua to realize potential and contribute to society in a free and productive way, through experiential, relevant, community-led education.
CircAsana: "What are your ambitions, Harold? With your abilities, wisdom and commitment to hard work, there isn't anything beyond your reach, in Nicaragua or elsewhere."
Harold: "Well, the thing is, I don't want to leave my community behind. My ambition is to uplift my community as I grow."
CircAsana: "We want to support that!"
We envision a flourishing Nicaragua, where communities inspire and support their children, youth and families to develop to their full potential, in body, mind, relationship and community.
In turn, these children, youth and families will express this potential as contributions to further uplift their community, thus creating a cycle of continuous community and individual growth.
The change starts with the individual, but needs to be supported by the community.
Source: World Bank Report No: PAD2208
Source: World Bank Report No: PAD2208
Many families in Nicaragua live on very low incomes or as subsistent farmers. Some children drop out of school early to work to earn money for their family, such as working in farms or selling tortillas in the neighborhood.
Parents often have a tough time providing food for the family, let alone books pens, uniforms, or additional educational courses. Education feels expensive, and therefore isn't often encouraged within the family.
Despite improvements in Nicaraguan education in recent years, teachers still lack training and resources to promote student engagement. Classes are often limited to memorizing notes on from a teaching board.
With little arts, sports or technology training in schools (only 6% of schools have internet access), it is hard to make school feel fun and relevant.
With a history of political uncertainty and natural disasters in Nicaragua, it is difficult to value the far-off, long-term benefits education can provide.
Only 47.5% of the population have any level of secondary education. As such, some parents view education as unnecessary, and/or unable to support their children through the process.
Founder of the social circus project Nido de los Artes, Lester Zeledon, speaks about his experience as a student and now leader of social circus in Nicaragua
This presentation was made at the American Circus Educators Conference in 2021 by Nido de los Artes Founder Lester Zeledon and CircAsana Co-founder Amy Rowland
The children of the small farming community of El Remate, Nicaragua, have been practicing yoga on weekends for 2 years, on a dusty, sunny baseball field, sharing 10 yoga mats between the 50 of them. Their teacher, Harold, also from the El Remate community, has been teaching himself yoga and mindfulness techniques to share with the children. He is motivated by the great improvements he's seen in the children's emotional health and communication skills since beginning the programs, as well as a developing love of learning he sees in the students.
In El Remate, many of the parents are subsistent farmers, who can generally provide food for their children, but don't earn income to pay for school books, pens, uniforms or other resources. There is a local school, but it similarly lacks resources. Most of the population does not travel far from the village, so see little point to their children obtaining a broad education.
Harold has seen an incredible shift in the children in the past 2 years, in terms of their curiosity for learning and development. We were really excited to hear about this amazing initiative, and want to support it! We investigated similar projects in Nicaragua, and found a number of extra-curricular circus and arts schools that have seen similar amazing results. Check out Escuela de Comedia y Mimo, Nido, and Proyecto CocoMango.
We want to give El Remate the chance to develop their program. The El Remate community has donated land for the project, and CircAsana has trained Harold in their 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. We now need funds to construct a space for the yoga (and circus) classes to continue. We also dream of helping them design the curriculum for this project, in collaboration with other social circus providers in Nicaragua.
All retreat profits will be donated to the project
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