Many of our friends at GlobalGiving are aware that 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. Today, 5 years later, we are in the last phase of the embellishment of the 3 buildings that make up the center of Caguas: the “amor” building, the “libertad” building and the recently completed “patria”.
Increasingly, it happens that families 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.
Our most recent achievement was to enable the Patria building to accommodate students in larger and more beautiful classrooms. With this we completed an important phase, the fourth of 5 total phases. Now we can continue to dream of a green terrace, a playground and a cinema under the stars.
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 GlobalGiving 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.We know that the dreams of the fifth phase will be together with each and every one of you who have supported us so much.
At Nuestra Escuela education signifies discovery of oneself, of the fellow other and a glance of reality with an eye on the common welfare. The support of each member of the Global GIving community has helped girls, boys and young people to connect with a capacity for wonder through the beauty that permeates the spaces of the school. We know that beauty is always a mystery for the human being, but also one of his great desires.
Walking through Nuestra Escuela in Caguas connects our students with the magic of this mystery. In their formative process they have an environment that promotes the awakening of sensibility and develops the capacity for resilience with a critical look.
This project began to rebuild the school after the Hurricanes, today the process is in its final stage and all our effort is focused on investing every dollar that is invested in the space for the common well-being of all who are part of this community. There are many elements that allow this to be possible in the daily life of our students:
Each semester the aesthetics of the classrooms change depending on the interests of the students. The space matures with us. In addition, it is the students who are in charge of organizing assemblies and debates in order to improve their organization and design, and how to face the new semester.
Every corner of our school has a pleasant aesthetic design. It is not about the superficial beauty of things, but about how they are placed, how they are arranged, how they are organized, whether there is a harmony in each colors and in the pleasant location, not only to the eye, but also to the relationship of the person with the objects and the environment.
The layout of the spaces is constructed from the point of view of a child or teenager as applicable.
From the entrance to the school you can perceive the care in the details, as is the sign at the entrance that says "Nuestra Escuela. Una Escuela Amorosa" which translates to Nuestra Escuela a Loving School.
Nature enters the classroom. Small and large plants, pots with soil, sand, stones. Everything is in creating a relationship of respect with nature and that is only achieved by interacting with it, not by moving it away from our schools.
Achieving this is a daily challenge that moves us to continue looking for more and better resources so that girls, boys, youth and adults from the most disadvantaged sectors of the country have access to quality education with a Service Model that tends to full development.
Challenges continue to be part of daily life at Nuestra Escuela, yet they invite us to collectively rethink and build new forms of resilience. Going back to school in the last stage of 2020 was super encouraging. We managed to finish the semester with all the health and safety measures in place. We transformed our facilities and evolved to continue to be a community where love and care merge into learning in every classroom.
Physical distancing did not prevent our students from participating in decision-making at the school. The video conferences and virtual meeting technologies allowed us to remain close to each other and make crucial decisions regarding the school's future during a raging pandemic. Training for academic staff continued to be an administrative and programmatic priority for Nuestra Escuela. During the recess, school personnel took a break to focus on campus beautification. We painted our centers and continued the construction of the Caguas school cafeteria. To do this, we installed new equipment and identified funding opportunities for kitchen equipment. Every day we are one step closer to completing the construction of our Resilient First Response Center.
Finally, we fulfilled one of our significant goals: purchasing Nuestra Escuela in Caguas from the Municipality. In addition, the expansion of our headquarters continues with the remodeling of the Patria building, which will house, among other things, three new rooms classrooms, and a store for students to sell products made at school. Reasons for continuing to provide free, quality education in Puerto Rico abound.
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