What does Mentores Solidarios do?

Mentores Solidarios is an independent program that operates under the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation. We aspire to:

  • Grant an educational opportunity to students that have excellent grades and come from low-income families. Students are selected when they are between 11 and 13 years old and they are finishing their primary education with excellent grades, but whose parents cannot afford to send them to a private secondary school. These students are assigned a mentor that sponsors their tuition, uniforms and textbooks.

  • Provide well-intentioned people an opportunity to help an at-risk but exemplary student by being a Mentor. Each mentor is incharge of sponsor and support an assigned student throughouth their five years of  high-school, or until graduation. Mentors have the opportunity to meet their student and family, give them advice and provide guidance; allowing the mentor to contribute with the academic development of future generations in Nicaragua.

Program Achievements

We currently sponsor over 260 students in 12 different schools across Managua, Masaya, Granada, and Diriamba. To date we have achieved the following:

  • Ensure that these students continue their education upon completion of primary school: Upon finishing primary school, many families consider that their children can generate an income for their families if they go to the streets to ask for money o work in the informal economy. Other families send their children to public secondary schools, where the quality of education is severely lacking due to structural issues and insufficient government funds. Mentores Solidarios provides an opportunity to high-achieving students to continue their studies in private secondary schools.

  • Provide academic guidance to these students and motivate them to continue studying: Many of the parents of the sponsored students didn't attended secondary school or university themselves. Through their mentor, Mentores Solidarios ensures that these students have a guide that gives them academic and professional advice to motivate them to continue studying.

  • Create an environment of personal merit: The program has allowed the families and friends of the sponsored students to see tangible results of their academic efforts. Considering that the selected students must maintain good grades, their families begin to appreciate the results of their children’s efforts. This meritocratic environment generates hope to low-income damilies, allows them to see the value of education and motivate their other children and family members to study.

  • Ensure that young professionals see the reality of Nicaragua: Besides the direct benefits to the students and their communities, young professionals that provide the scholarships are given an opportunity to see the reality of Nicaragua’s situation up close, to understand the challenges that our generation faces, and to be motivated by the fact that youths that were born into poverty seek a brighter future to improve their situation and that of their families. Through their scholarship, the mentors are directly contributing to the development of Nicaragua.

With the support of our mentors, we hope to continue growing, establishing relationships with more schools and opening the doors of educational opportunity to more Nicaraguan youths.