Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico

by Nuestra Escuela, Inc
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Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico
Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico
Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico
Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico
Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico
Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico
Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico
Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico
Rebuild a School for 120 Students in Puerto Rico

We started the reconstruction project of Nuestra Escuela in Caguas more than 3 (three) years ago. It has been a unique adventure: in 2017 we found ourselves with our students in a powerless building, completely destroyed, but with the clear vision that we wanted to transform that space into a safe space for the community and a landmark for the city. Today, after going through more than a year of continuous emergencies, our experience could be summed up in one word: enriching.

We have rehabilitated three buildings, and also acquired a fourth to create a first response center for possible new emergencies.Our dreams were transformed into concrete realities: classrooms that are spaces to cultivate love and carry out projects; a radio room for recording podcasts; a care and development center with environments inspired by nature; a workspace based on a collaborative model, meeting areas, a theater, and many corners full of life stories that mark the transformative course that inspires our vision: A great family, that by believing in themselves and in others, develop a sense of belonging, based on love, peace and service, to achieve their goals in life joyfully and in solidarity, obtain victory.

During the earthquake’s emergency and the crisis provoked by COVID-19, we have conducted follow-up surveys to 100% (one hundred percent) of the families to support their needs; and continue creating a sense of community and familiarity, which is the cornerstone of our community-based work. Despite the crisis, we managed to sustain all of our projects with a methodological adaptation that implied developing our model remotely. It was a challenge, but the families and the community were present and aware on a revealing level: 90% of our students remained linked to the same groups they had at school. 

Our students are eager to return to school. Nuestra Escuela is home for all of us who day by day live there. When we return, we will return to a more beautiful school. Thanks to the support of GlobalGiving, we succeeded to day by day move ahead to build a school that is even more beautiful than the previous one. A school where its students learn that in every emergency and in every crisis, there is a valuable learning experience to build a solid community that promotes the collective emancipation foundation of each one of its members.

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The Rebuilding Scholl project has been most medullary for Nuestra Escuela. After hurricanes Irma and María, the spirit of resilience in our communities have been a great example and inspiration to us. Thanks to the support of GlobalGiving we have been able to rebuild our facilities in the Caguas center, getting us closer to the school that we dream of.

 Our Mission of Love guides us, seeing our students and their family’s happy faces, while reaching their goals it’s our main motor.  It’s a challenge to provide good quality education to the most vulnerable sectors, but it is also a great opportunity to construct a world of more solidarity and justice. Quality Education also defines the best resources to service our people, and that is the goal we pursue every day.

We are standing on the fourth phase of recovery of our buildings.  Thinking back of the state that we received the school and remembering our first assembly right after the two hurricanes, it is such mesmerizing and proud to see how it looks and stands today. For now, the challenge is to close this cycle and that this school, more than strong, beautiful and resilient, can be sustainable, with clean energy and economic entrepreneurships that are capable to sustain in a permanent matter.

Our intention is to complete this project with much success and to share with the GlobalGiving community the faces of realization and collective overcoming from our participants from the island to the whole world.

 

*Each person that appears in this report provides complete and total authorization for GlobalGiving to use their image and name. 

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This period has been one of constant challenges but also a period full of opportunities for all our
projects. Just while we were trying to face and attend the crisis caused by a series of earthquakes on
January, the COVID-19 crisis came and changed everything. Our plans had to be adapted to a new
reality, but our spirit of service continues to move in the same direction: empowering our communities
to build together a better quality of life and a more stable future. Nuestra Escuela conceives education
as a liberating practice, so going through the COVID-19 experience has been purely a learning process.

What have we done to continue the project of rebulding the school ?


Although at this point, donations for this project were less than on prior occasions, we continue to
advance towards our goal of having a safe and comforting space, imbued with the power of the beauty
and the resilient spirit of our people. We have gathered sources of funds to advance in the necessary
structural reforms to continue with the planned phases in our 3 buildings in Caguas: Homeland, Love
and Freedom.

With GlobalGiving funds we have continued to equip our spaces, with bookshelves, desks and racks.
This has enabled us to move forward in creating welcoming learning environments that are inspiring for
our youth. This spaces also provide a collaborative work environment for our staff, where creating with
young people is part of the daily enjoyment of being part of Nuestra Escuela.

Although we have been able to continue with our projects, all our energy has been focused, as always,
on responding to the needs of our students, their families and our community in the face of the
onslaught of the aftermath of the crisis. We have worked in alliances with many third sector
organizations, and we have managed to attend to three main aspects: well-being, food insurance and
access to technology. All of this has been part of a comprehensive and overall response strategy,
designed and implemented to ensure that our services can continue despite the physical distancing
measures taken during the pandemic.

Our goal is getting closer. We are sure that as soon as we can return to our facilities, the building will be
more beautiful, safer, and ready to continue building up from a resilient spirit.

*Each person that appears in this report provides complete and total authorization for GlobalGiving to use their image and name. 
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The children are our greatest treasure. 

 

The passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria taught us about the importance of preparation, and that our resilient spirit must be accompanied by adequate safety and prevention plans. That is why day by day, in the process of rebuilding the school, we integrate all the necessary measures so that our children and our youth are in spaces prepared for possible atmospheric or natural events. One can never be sufficiently prepared for a disaster and its consequences, but still, safer places can be built.

As we advanced in the reconstruction of our educational center in Caguas, to have an increasingly beautiful and functional school, as well as the school that our community deserves, a series of earthquakes occurred and caused damage throughout the South region of the Island. It was then that we invested in replacing the glasses of Nuestra Escuela in Caguas, to ensure that in the event of an earthquake, no boy or girl is injured by the breaking of it. This was possible thanks to many small donations that trusted on Nuestra Escuela again. We continue to rely on our ability to undertake the day-to-day challenges to rebuilding our school, and allow ourselves to be a safe space for hundreds of lives of children and young people to rebuild themselves in a space of love, beauty and healing. .

The school continues to grow and advance in the reconstruction of the last area still without remodeling in the building. It was necessary to conduct environmental studies, to ensure that the old building was not affected by asbestos. Thanks to the support of GlobalGiving we were able to hire a specialized company to carry out this study. We now have the certification to continue advancing in the last steps of our great dream!

 

Nuestra Escuelita

 With our spirit full of strength, love and desire to be the Puerto Rico we dream of, we acquired materials to create an outdoor recreational space in the public square of Caguas. This outdoor space is for boys and girls to grow by educating themselves in a service model that addresses their interests and that is designed based on their needs, but above all, that respects their own rhythm. We are clear that Our Mission of Love is to continue creating spaces where joy, play and challenges are a significant part of learning in Nuestra Escuela.


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The lessons of Hurricane María present day by day

A month after Hurricanes Irma and María, our students decided on an assembly to work providing services to the community, fundamentally cleaning areas devastated by the hurricanes, and offering hot food for the nearby communities. In the collection of waste, tree trunks that had been uprooted by the strong winds were recovered: these trees were turned into work tables, where our young people study to build day by day the future they dream; They share dreams of building a stronger, fairer and more supportive Puerto Rico.

The power of beauty

Every time a family arrives at Nuestra Escuela looking for a way out of the difficult circumstances they live in; every time a visit gets to know of our work; Each time a staff member joins to serve with us, the reaction is the same "This is beautiful". Thanks to the support of each of you, we continue to build the school we dreamt of. The mission of love of Nuestra Escuela is fulfilled every time a young person finds himself in a safe, clean and comfortable space; every time a child can grow in a space of love, where their growth and learning rhythm is respected.


Each of the spaces that we rebuild and equip become a corner of hope and healing. Nuestra Escuela exists so that those who grew up in vulnerable situations can rebuild their spirit and become the person they dreamt of. Being part of Global Giving means a lot to each of the lives that are transformed here. It has been a gateway towards quality of life and common well-being.

*Each person that appears in this report provides complete and total authorization for GlobalGiving to use their image and name. 

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Organization Information

Nuestra Escuela, Inc

Location: Caguas - Puerto Rico
Website:
Project Leader:
Ana Yris Guzman Torres
Caguas, Puerto Rico
$63,929 raised of $100,000 goal
 
305 donations
$36,071 to go
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