The lack of education and poverty are directly linked. Our programs are based on support and empowerment, not hand-outs. Empowerment creates pride in the person, generates confidence and keeps decisions within the community. The Alianza works with the community, parents, students and teachers to focus on the tasks they feel are important to their community. This strategy empowers the community to take care of itself and create its own future.
We work to create a self-sustaining growth cycle where parents and students learn to do for themselves. It is our goal and their goal for them to be self-sufficient. Self-sustainability takes serious time and effort but we are seeing progress and experiencing the benefits.
CPU (Capacitación para Universidad) University Prep. and Solentiname Scholarships 2012
We envision a world where all students have access to quality education that allows them to reach their full potential.
Our mission is to complement high school education by providing advanced classes and tutorials. We challenge and help students to prepare for the trials of university. We provide a sustainable system of scholarships and the academic and emotional support necessary to graduate.
CPU was conceptualized by the Alianza de Solentiname with UNAN-León colleagues Dean Alberto Cerda, MS and Vice-Rector Flor de María Valle Espinoza, MS. CPU began as a pilot in 2009 with the support of collaborators Huelva con Solentiname, and has continued through the two full years of 2010 and 2011.
We provide a preparation program throughout the high school years and a system of financial and academic support for the duration of the university career:
Intensive Weeks in Solentiname
Our preparation program consists of one intensive week monthly with six full days of classes, Monday to Saturday from 7:30am to 4:00pm. The core courses are Spanish, Mathematics, and English. Our students are divided in groups based on competency; in the highest we teach at university level. Additionally, each Thursday we offer computer class and tutorials to reinforce the material learned during the intensive weeks. Professors come from UNAN-León to teach Spanish and Math, and our English teachers are native speakers certified in TESL/TEFL/TESOL.
Scholarships and University Support
We continue supporting our students with a tutoring and scholarship system when they go to university. The scholarship intends to motivate and assist students in continuing their studies at the university level, helping them to realize the investment of a superior education.
In Solentiname, the challenge for motivated students has been the lack of preparation to attend daily university. The distance-learning high school here only provides teachers for 1.5 days of class every other weekend; the rural geography, difficulty of transport between islands, and the poor socioeconomic situation worsen the academic level of this region.
We believe that students from Solentiname can compete and shine in university. This model is very different from guarantied admission and minority subsidies: our goal is to prepare students to excel on their own. Our experience is that unprepared students will likely fail; we must enable them with the tools necessary to succeed.
Approximately 30 motivated high school students and 25 university students from the Solentiname Archipelago in the Río San Juan department of Nicaragua directly benefit from this program. Indirectly all of our population will benefit from the knowledge and abilities that these future professional will bring to reinvest in their communities here; quality education increases the possibilities for society to create its own solutions and destroy the cycle of poverty.
CPU seeks to provide dynamic education through advanced classes and continue with constant support throughout university. Our methodology includes objective, independent, critical, and creative thinking and problem solving that authorizes students to plan proactive decisions. The CPU program does not intend to replace regular high school, but to complement the state educational system by increasing the opportunities available in higher education for the community.
Provide advanced classes for motivated students who want to attend daily university.
Group students in four levels, progressing by increasing competency
Measure the progress of the students and the program with regular evaluations.
Acquire and utilize teaching materials and texts.
Eliminate the disadvantage of coming from a rural background, an isolated area, or a low-resource family through strong support and the scholarship system.Adapt a portion of the scholarship program for students who have already graduated from high school.
Continue improving the tutorial system for students in daily university.
Contract an “Education Supervisor in Solentiname,” to integrate CPU with the high school curriculum and coordinate the educational plan for the entire region, including with the primary schools as the base of our educational system.
Promote good study habits and proactive behavior so that the students will be empowered to resolve problems with creative and responsible solutions.
Visit the sectors more frequently to involve parents and the community in making the education of our children a priority.
Continue volunteering with community work in CPU to promote our service ethic.
Improve our relations with current partners; search for new partners who share our core values so that the program can grow with a more sustainable economic base.
Solicit a volunteer teacher from the US Peace Corps to teach English in CPU and train local teachers; Investigate options for virtual and actual exchanges with students and professors from progressive universities in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.
Increase the attendance and success of Solentinameños in university.
Maintain our university retention rate at 90% or better.
Coordinate curriculum between CPU and the public high school.
Utilize standard evaluations twice yearly to measure the student and program progress.
Improve the academic performance of our students in CPU, in high school, and in university.
Utilize texts or photocopies in each class that remain available as references for the students.
Provide a scholarship system with a transparent and fair application process and responsibilities for all students from Solentiname.
Involve parents in the education of their children.
One intensive week every month of preparation classes; regular tutorials throughout the month.
o Academic performance revision of CPU once per month with the director/a; Academic performance revision of high school once per semester.
University Support Program:
Scholarship distribution and academic performance revision of each student with his/her professor-tutor once per month; tutorials once weekly or more.
Meetings with parents in each sector (with the community and/or by family) once per month or more.
Continuous search for other partners and financial sources to improve the sustainability of the program.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
The success of CPU will be measured subjectively, by the change in the quality of education received by these students, and quantitatively, by the results of program tests and university admissions exams, improvement in our students’ grades, and increase in the number of Solentinameños who graduate as professionals in the coming years.
Investment in the education of our children is critical to initiate development processes throughout the population; we need to invest in the long term in these future leaders.
The summary of the annual budget of CPU and Scholarships is reflected in the following table. The 2012 budget is in the fourth column, followed by your suggested donation, which represents 10% of overall program costs. All amounts are in USD.
Other Donors 2012
Scholarships and University
Materials and Operations
Meals and Provisions
Trips and Travel Allowances
The Alianza de Solentiname coordinates the program.
Current partners: UNAN-León, Huelva con Solentiname, MINED, La Alcaldía de San Carlos, Asociación para el Desarrollo de Solentiname (APDS).
Other Possible Funding Sources:
Tinker Foundation, WK Kellog, Weyhauser Family Foundation, USAid, Kohlberg Foundation, WorldVision, Feed the Minds, Oak Foundation
We depend on voluntary donations to run our programs. The Alianza de Solentiname (Solentiname Solidarity Alliance) is a 501-(c)3 nonprofit reorgnized in the United States and Nicaragua… 100% of all money or services received go directly to our programs. Administrative overhead costs are covered by BattenKill Canoe, an adventure tour operator in Vermont, and will not come out of your contribution.
Alianza de Solentiname: En Nicragua: the Casa Alianza is located on Isla Mancarron, in the pueblo. email@example.com Telephone Service is limited, but please try: 505.8994.7289 Our offices in the USA are located with BattenKill Canoe, Ltd. at 6328 Historic Route 7a, Arlington VT. 802.549.5004 or toll free: in USA