From the outside looking in, the holiday season in San Juan del Sur is celebrated with street parades dedicated to Patron Saints, marching bands, nightly fireworks, an elaborate nativity scene in front of the Catholic Church and an impressive array of lights and decorations in the Central Park. On the inside, it’s a cherished time with loved ones, a remembrance of those who are no longer with us and a celebration of faith.
One thing rarely seen in San Juan del Sur is a child’s wish list for Santa Claus. The expectation of lavishly wrapped material gifts is not the highlight of the holidays for children in this community.
However ‘Tis the Season of Giving and here are 5 worthy charitable organizations hard at work in San Juan del Sur. And while the busyness of the holidays can distract from the underlying inspiration of this special time of year, we encourage you to reach deep into your wallet and Give to Good this holiday season.
1. Comunidad Connect
Funded by donations and supported by tourists attempting to make minimal environmental and cultural impact, the organization strives to protect the environment, educate youth and generate future employment for local people. Since its foundation in 2006, it’s impossible to quantify the positive impact Communidad Connect has had on San Juan del Sur. Take a stroll through town and you’ll see its footprints in the recycling bins thoughtfully placed along the beach and in the handmade recycled art products produced by the organizations’ women’s co-ops and sold in a range of hotels. Join their holiday fundraising campaign and make a donation.
2. Barrio Planta Project
A non-profit corporation established to provide free access to English education, arts, communication and job-training to the residents of the San Juan del Sur region. Students come from Rivas to Remanso to attend classes in what is gaining recognition as the most advanced continuing education program in San Juan del Sur. BPP offers the community much more than just a selection of after school classes; it provides aspiring students the opportunity for intellectual advancement, training in technology, English classes taught by native English speakers and exposure to diverse culture, art, and music. No student is left behind. No subject is neglected. No charge to students. Donate directly through their website here.
3. Biblioteca Mobile
The San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Publica is a free public library open to everyone that crosses its path. The library has over 12,000 books, primarily in Spanish, for students and patrons to borrow, browse and return. The library also hosts free classes covering topics such as public health, English, literacy and crafts for children. Three days a week the mobile lending library sends staff and volunteers to distribute books to far fetched schools throughout the region that do not have access to books. Keep this program going by donating now.
4. E.A.R.T.H Fund
Since its formation in 2007, the E.A.R.T.H Fund has built 79 latrines, constructed 2 schools, installed 275 eco ovens, distributed 620 water filters, dug 3 wells, and conducted hygiene training clinics in 8 rural communities. The fund also provides salaries for 21 school teachers and continues the ongoing maintenance and training needed to support the water filters that have been distributed to ensure clean drinking water. Do your part in protecting the planet by making a donation to the Earth fund here.
5. Casa Llanta Fund
The Casa Llanta Fund is a non-profit organization committed to education and sustainable community development in San Juan del Sur. The Casa Llanta Fund provides English classes for students of all ages in the community of El Carizal, University scholarships to aspiring child and young adults in El Carizal, and financial support for Los Pipitos, the center for students with disabilities in San Juan del Sur. When making your donation, you can specify which Casa Llanta Fund project you would like your donation to go towards. A donation without any specification will go to the program most in need. Support these initiatives in 2014 by donating directly here.
Still unsure of where to donate your money? Contact us for more information on each non-profit to best direct your donations.
Happy Holidays from San Juan Live.