Club Hope, Managua, Nicaragua
Lacrosse the Nations is in partnership with Club Esperanza (Hope) located in Villa Guadalupe. This community is populated with families formerly living in La Chureca as well as other displaced populations. Because public school is only half day in Managua, the lacrosse program consists of morning and afternoon lacrosse class. Class incorporates LtN’s Life Skills curriculum, using the sport to teach good health and critical life skills. Additionally, LtN supplements Club Esperanza’s feeding program, providing for nutritious items like cheese, milk, fruit and vegetables.
Lacrosse PE Program
The lacrosse program is our conduit for change. This program creates a space for kids to be kids, one of the only places where they can have fun, be safe, and play together productively. It also provides incentive to increase school enrollment, improve attendance and graduation rates, and foster health and the development of critical life skills through our Curriculum.
We have hired and trained two Nicaraguan lacrosse coaches to run the lacrosse program and be respected role models and mentors for the players. Beginning in 2011 we implemented a Coaches Scholarship Program to provide for their continuing education. We also have a Lacrosse Program Director who oversees the program and facilitates the best possible communication and accountability between the organization stateside and our coaches.
LtN supplements the Club Hope feeding program by providing breakfast for 265 kids every day. Without LtN support, children would not have access to meals until lunch. Most would simply be given coffee at home to hold them over. Research time and again shows the importance of breakfast in daily cognitive function.
Lacrosse the Nations pilot program began in 2008 with the Colegio Cristiano La Esperanza (School of Hope) located inside La Chureca, the city trash dump on the outskirts of Managua Nicaragua. The lacrosse program consisted of a PE and after-school class, run by Coaches Norman and Miguel.
In December 2012, La Chureca (both trash dump and community) was officially closed. With the opening of a new recycling plant, families had to dismantle their homes and move within a matter of hours. They were provided new homes in a nearby community, Villa Guadalupe. While the plant regulates commerce and families have moved, these drastic changes have completely transformed the economic and social livelihood of La Chureca families.
The clearing of La Chureca brought a difficult and emotional close to the School of Hope. Rather than be an official school, subjected to government oversight, administrators decided to operate as Club Hope in Villa Guadalupe; offering preschool/kindergarten, elementary school tutoring, music classes, feeding program and lacrosse.