Community Aid - El Quetzal and El Paraisito, Nicaragua

We began working with this farm, divided into the El Quetzal and El Paraisito estates, in 1998. At over 200 acres alone, the Bendaña family's El Quetzal farm is one of the region's highest producers. Here, the Rogers and the Bendaña families have agreed on a multi-year fixed price deal that includes many social and environmental projects. With a secure contract in place beginning in 1998, the two families have been able to plan how to most effectively apply Community Aid support.

1999-2000 - Initially, a school and daycare were built at El Paraisito. Materials to improve education at the preschool and elementary school were provided (see picture). A college education scholarship to the most prestigious agricultural university in Central America was introduced. A preventative health and Doctor’s education campaign were established and clothing and medicine were supplied. A drinking water system was established and a hydroelectric plant lighting system was installed. The central kitchen was also renovated. Total spent: $59,000
2001 - Funding was spent to maintain the medical and educational programs that began in 2000.

2002 - This year’s budget for the farm was appropriated in the following ways:
At both the El Quetzal and El Paraisito estates, general improvements were made to the furnishings and the structure at the primary school. A bonus program for the teachers was implemented as well.

El Quetzal also received materials and teachers’ salaries for the afternoon adult education program. A multipurpose concrete playground was built and outfitted for both the primary school and the preschool. Also, because wood is the primary cooking fuel, an additional kitchen for the preschool and daycare was built in a separate location to decrease smoke inhalation at the school site. Along with the new kitchen, the existing nutrition program was expanded to provide another meal per day for each child. Other general housing improvement completed included refurbishing ten new kitchens, constructing new bathrooms, and pouring concrete sidewalks. A health center was also built and staffed with a full-time nurse.

At the El Paraisito estate, school supplies and sports equipment were provided. The nutrition program was expanded to provide another meal per day for each child. Structural improvements included maintenance on the roof, concreting sidewalks, and building more bathrooms. Total spent: $18,900

2003 - Funds were allocated to provide medical and school supplies, continue the meal programs, and cover salaries for a doctor, nursery worker, and childcare worker.

The Nicaraguan government, the Bendaña family, and the Rogers Family also collaborated to build a three-room school and a two-room meeting hall for the community of El Parasaito. The hall serves as a center for trade schooling and general education (see picture below and on next page). At the El Paraisito estate, important repairs were also made to the structure of the primary school, its furnishings were upgraded, a bonus program for its teachers was begun, and school supplies and sports equipment were provided. The nutrition program was expanded to provide another meal per day for each child. New water pipes were installed to provide a steady and safe water supply. Other general housing improvements included roof maintenance, installation of concrete sidewalks, and construction of more bathrooms. Total spent: $ 30,000

2004 - The main worker kitchen was destroyed and rebuilt and a meal program for children implemented. Support also continued for the clinic and local schools in both El Quetzal and El Paraisito. Total spent: $19,125

2005 -2006 - Worker housing blocks and bathrooms were rebuilt. Funding for the meal program and support for the health clinic also continued. Total spent: $ 27,853

2007 - In 2007, work to rebuild the worker housing blocks will continue. A new library is also being built to provide students a place to study and encourage literacy and learning by others in the community. Total budgeted: $ 24,855

El Quetzal and El Paraisito
Total spent 1999-2006 = $159,452
Total budgeted 2007= $24,855

- Capital city: Managua
- Population: 5,675,359
- Export commodities: coffee, beef, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, sugar, gold, peanuts
- % below the poverty line: 48% (2005)
- GDP/ capita: $3,100 (2006)
- Life expectancy: 70.92 (2007)
- Literacy rate: 67.5% (2003)
- Environmental issues: deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution

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