Prelude to Nicaragua

Friday, January 05, 2018 - By: Hannah R, Mackenzie ‘18; Photo by Ian McPherson

On the website for Monty’s Beach Lodge, the words “Stay, Play, Change the World” are displayed. This Spring Break, thirteen Brentwood students and two staff members, Mrs Martin and Mr Kleinschmidt, will travel to Jiquilillo, Nicaragua to do just that, with an emphasis on the service projects that Monty’s supports. 

This will be the third time students from Brentwood have travelled to the small fishing community to lend a helping hand to the people who live there.

While we’re there, we will teach English classes, prepare lunch for a community that lives off a garbage dump, and release baby sea turtles as part of a conservation project. And, of course, we’ll receive surfing lessons from local children!

Perhaps the most ambitious project that Monty’s Beach Lodge supports is construction of houses for single mothers and their children whose homes have been washed away by rising ocean levels. While Brentwood is there, we will begin construction on a new house. Last year, working on a building alongside local citizens was a highlight of the trip for many students.

Mrs. Murtland, initiator of the trip, said “In 2016, the difference between my trip in March and when I returned in July was shocking, after strong waves in June left many of these single mothers and their children homeless”.

Even today, it is difficult for women to earn an income in Nicaragua, making financial issues prevalent among single-mother families. To help these families after their homes are swept away, the Together Works Society has organized the construction of ten houses so that they can stay and have homes in Jiquilillo.

The Nicaraguan government supports this affordable housing project, but the building materials are not free. So, before we leave, Brentwood students must raise $12,500 CND to cover the costs of constructing the house. We have created a fundraising page, so that anyone can contribute! You can get a tax receipt for donations made through this page.

Thank in advance for your support in rehousing of a family in Jiquilillo.

Hannah R, Mackenzie ‘18

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