Students from the Emprendedora Technical School
Nearly ten years ago, Opportunity International embarked on a new program, expanding our mission to help Nicaraguan families and farmers unite to fully utilize their community’s economic, social and cultural assets. Today, all of the major programs, including the new yucca processing plant, the Emprendedora Technical School and the Pacaya Lodge, are achieving measurable success. We are grateful for your support and are excited to share the latest updates on how we are empowering Nicaraguans to improve their farms, businesses and entire communities.
Opportunity nearly doubled the number of Nicaraguan farmers it serves with technical support to 1,165 in March, up from 687 a year ago. Construction and installation continue at the new yucca processing plant which is now operational and will eventually help more than 1,000 yucca farmers extend the fresh time of their yucca from 24 hours to seven days. This will help marginalized farmers in remote areas increase their profits and better provide for their families, especially when combined with resilient farming techniques developed by agronomists. We are even collaborating with NASA’s climate team to inform weather projections and to provide farmers with better seeds, drought resistant measures and training.
The Emprendedora Technical School continues to redefine education by instilling ecological and environmental awareness through the Three R concept: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The students receive a quality education while also managing an agro-business which provides experiential agriculture training and a strong source of income for the school. Excitement is also building as this year’s 48 seniors prepare to graduate - Emprendedora Technical School’s very first graduating class! These seniors are attending workshops where they are building resumes and practicing interview skills to empower them on their journeys toward independence.
Students are also receiving professional development opportunities at the Pacaya Lodge, a new environmentally sustainable lodge in the vibrant community of Laguna de Apoyo. In a country where fewer than 10% of rural youth finish high school, the lodge supports 296 students by contributing a percentage of revenues to Emprendedora Technical School. The lodge will not only create jobs and support education, but will also bring tourism and an influx of new businesses to the region, benefiting the entire community.