I just received word from Free The Children that a location has been selected for one of the schools we are building. We requested that our donation be used to build a school in India and one in Nicaragua and that the balance be used to fund the operation of both schools. The first school will be built in the Parish of Mulukuku in Nicaragua. Here is some information:
The Parish of Mulukuku was created in January of 2000 and includes 45 rural communities scattered in the mountains of northeast Nicaragua. The center of the parish is located in the small town of Mulukuku on the Tuma River, 246 km northeast of Managua. The population in 1999 was 3500 and it is estimated that there are approximately 5000 inhabitants at this time. Mulukuku was formed as a center for families displaced by the counterrevolutionary war in 1986. The location was chosen for the nearness to the river and the presence of the military base in the area.
Many of the surrounding communities are accessible only by foot or horseback although some can be reached during the dry season (March through May) by lumber roads cut by companies who have exploited the forests which once covered the area. Only four communities have electricity supplied by generators and two have water that is piped to central locations. There are no telephones or mail service in the area.
The community members are subsistence level farmers who raise beans, corn, bananas, and yucca. Some plant rice but few cultivate any vegetables. The few families that have cows sell the milk to buy other necessities. The diet of the majority of them is very limited to beans, rice and corn. They eat some fruits and very few vegetables. Although many fruit trees do grow in the zone, the families plant few trees. Life is consumed with the needs of one day at a time. There is little time or energy to create a different world.
There are almost no state schools except along the highway. Consequently, few children have access to education. The teachers in the few schools that do exist are campesinos who live in the community and who themselves are still completing their studies.
The parish is providing teacher training, primary education, supervision and didactic materials for the teachers. The situation of health care in the area is also of concern. The nearest hospital is 45 km southwest in Rio Blanco, so families must depend on local health leaders in case of emergencies. There is a health center in Mulukuku that is staffed by a doctor some of the time, but there are almost no medications in the center.