A Note from Our Founder
In 2009, I started the Barrio Planta Project (BPP) at the request of community members from Barrio la Planta, a neighborhood in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. They required improved education access to keep up with emerging industries, reduce marginalization and work toward breaking the cycle of poverty for future generations. As a foreigner to Nicaragua, I utilized my international networks to contribute to the development of the organization by creating a US-based 501©3 nonprofit organization, BPP International.
In the first couple of years, I was joined by San Juan del Sur natives Denis Calderon and Damaris Obando, who became integral leaders of the organization. In 2011, we incorporated a national non-governmental organization (NGO) - BPP Nicaragua - which is now led by Denis and Damaris. For ten years, the two entities worked together to invest international and national resources in the creation of educational programs for the community of San Juan del Sur and surrounding areas.
To achieve successful sustainable development, the ideal outcome for a foreign-funded NGO is to eventually withdraw foreign involvement. A variety of factors including a challenging global economic climate, the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and an unstable national socio-political situation made the US organization’s involvement in Nicaragua prohibitively challenging in recent years. As a result, we acknowledge now is the best time for BPP International to withdraw and pass the reins to BPP Nicaragua.
During this interim period, BPP Nicaragua is closed and will relaunch in 2023 under local leadership. For this next chapter, it is essential that the NGO be able to restructure its identity independently. BPP International will cease operations of the US 501©3 nonprofit as we make this organizational transition, and is no longer accepting donations.
Since the inception of BPP 14 years ago, our entities have collectively raised $3.5M in donations. We taught ESL, the arts, music, sports, computer science, leadership, entrepreneurship, and much more to more than 6,000 children, many of whom are now adults with promising careers and children of their own. BPP also provided meaningful professional experiences to dozens of staff members who have gone on to do incredible things. The organization set precedent for the emergence of other nonprofits in the area and has inspired several volunteers to pursue careers in social impact and make a difference in their communities. The direct impact BPP has had on the communities we’ve served has been impressive, and the indirect impact is immeasurable. We are so proud of what we have accomplished together.
We are grateful to the kind and generous supporters we’ve had over the years. Thank you for helping us build this organization from scratch, navigating us through many challenges, and consistently demonstrating compassion and commitment to vulnerable communities. We are honored to have had the opportunity to support our Nicaraguan neighbors for so many years and are excited to see this next chapter unfold as the organization continues to provide meaningful support to the members of the Nicaraguan community.