Latin American Community - Toronto
Studies indicate that we are witnessing an alarming drop-out rate of 40% among Latinx (Latin American / Latin@ - Hispanic) students in Toronto - a rate that far surpasses the national average - and one which appears to be growing. In response, since 2012, Casa - Pueblito has been working with the Latin American diaspora in Toronto to provide educational programming addressing issues surrounding this critical issue. While we will always continue our work in Latin America, we strongly believe it is important to connect our international work with the struggles of children and youth in our communities in Canada. We are dedicated to addressing issues affecting Latinx children and youth at home as well as abroad. Through Voices for Change: Developing Leadership in Inclusive Education, we are aiming to increase Latinx student success and retention rates in Toronto-area schools by working with both local teachers and youth.
The Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Cooperative developed out of the social needs of the Santa Julia community, which include limited availability of sanitation and restroom services. Statistics have revealed that only 40% of families have latrines in their homes while the remaining 60% either use those of their extended family or defecate in the open. In addition, existing latrines are not evenly distributed among community residents and many are too old for effective and sanitary use.
Casa - Pueblito began working with the Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Cooperative in 2009. Our upcoming project, “Building Latrines for the Community of Santa Julia” aims to improve access to hygienic restroom services, and reduce the risks of health problems caused by unsanitary conditions.
uca tierra Y agua cooperative
Casa - Pueblito has been working on the promotion of organic and ecological agriculture through the establishment of bio-intensive family gardens. This project is being carried out in partnership with the UCA Tierra y Agua Cooperative. The Cooperative first began working with Casa - Pueblito when it funded a scholarship program in 2008. Over the next few years Casa - Pueblito and the UCA Cooperative collaborated on the construction of two community libraries. Most recently, in 2013 we funded a project focused on strengthening youth leadership in the communities. The first phase of the project is complete and the second phase is underway.
One of the main components of the first phase includes training and development activities in bio-intensive agriculture. Phase two was initiated in 2014 with an emphasis on practical activities, including the creation of five gardens in each of six member communities of UCA Tierra y Agua. The primary focus for 2015 is the continuation of Phase Two.
Throughout our second phase we plan to expand training in theoretical and experimental farming practices in order to reinforce the knowledge and put into practice organic, ecological and bio-intensive agricultural techniques. We will also train 30 families and help them establish 30 family gardens. Lastly Casa - Pueblito is aiming to replicate the experience through information sharing and networking with all members of the UCA Tierra y Agua.
christine king cooperative
The Christine King Cooperative grew out of an adult education project in 1999 and officially began two years later. The cooperative currently offers a variety of services and training workshops in education, healthcare, microfinance, and agriculture. Casa - Pueblito first started working with the Christine King Cooperative in 2012 by supporting the Cooperative’s pastry-making program. Our support has led to the purchasing of a new oven, which has made it possible for the cooperative to continue offering pastry-making courses. The impact of this project has been significant on the lives of the beneficiaries as they have gained the tools and skills needed to earn additional income.
Casa – Pueblito is once again working with the Christine King Cooperative to strengthen and broaden the offer of arts and culture education for children from low-income families who live in the surrounding neighbourhoods. This project seeks to expand the youth orchestra and youth dance groups. In addition, we hope to initiate arts and crafts activities, like drawing and painting classes.
Casa - Pueblito has been working with and serving the Jiñocuao community since 2012. By funding the construction of 3 classrooms at Jiñocuao Secondary School, Casa – Pueblito has made it possible to accommodate 94 students. This new, safe and secure study space has given 36 first year students, 33 second year students, and 28 third year students the opportunity to continue their education at the secondary school level.The students and their families have expressed their gratitude for the benefits that the additional classroom has provided. This new space means that more students are able to attend the local school, and represents improved access to education for the community.
Casa – Pueblito will continue to further the education of young men and women in the community.
Our aim is to continuously serve the youth from Jiñocuao and the surrounding communities by improving the access to and quality of education through the construction of an additional secondary school classroom. The extra classroom is expected to accommodate an additional 120 students.
Casa - Pueblito and York University have teamed up to improve the quality of pre-primary and primary education in some of the most neglected regions of Nicaragua, which includes Pearl Lagoon. Due to its location, small population and isolation from the national government, the Pearl Lagoon community is disadvantaged in its receipt of government support and funding. By using the MyBEST education model, Casa – Pueblito, along with our implementing partners, will help support the bilingual education system in the region. This will allow students to be educated in the first language of their community while still learning Spanish as a second language.
Casa – Pueblito has begun to offer welding courses for disadvantaged youth in Cinco Pinos. The students live in four municipalities that are collectively known as Cuatro Santos, situated about 250 kilometers northwest of the capital, Managua, in a mountainous area along the border with Honduras. Cuatro Santos has 25,000 inhabitants residing in 5,000 households. Agriculture and cattle breeding are the main economic activities in the region, and beans are the principal crop grown for consumption and marketing. Poverty is still widespread in Nicaragua, especially in rural areas, where 68% of the population lives in poverty or extreme poverty. This project seeks to enable community members to develop skills and expand their opportunities for economic growth.