The Pan y Amor School initiated in 2000 as a small feeding center for 40 children whose parents were informal venders in the largest informal market in Central America, the Mercado Oriental. The need for a formal education for these children was soon obvious and a school was started, including their nutrition through two hot meals a day.
Pan y Amor converts from a feeding center to a formal school with 200 students, arriving at 7a.m. , receiving a hot cooked breakfast and a morning of formal education along with a hot cooked lunch and a couple of hours during the afternoon of extracurricular activities such as art, dancing, music etc.
During that period we also received infants in a day care center and helped many toddlers transit from mal nutrition to good health.
With the offer of a second loaned location in the market place, a boys home was opened with the idea of offering 30 boys, between the ages of 5 to 17 years, from all over Nicaragua and often from abusive homes , the opportunity of an adequate place to stay while attending the Pan y Amor School. This home was closed due to lack of funding at the end of 2012, however we continue to hear from them, how they continued their studies at local schools and are doing well.
Asociación Pan y Amor took on the challenge of administering a large private school with 1000 students (all with full scholarships) while maintaining the school in the market, with another 400 students. With the world economy in decline as of 2012 and with unacceptable restrictions imposed by the owners, the Pan y Amor board of Directors decided to return the Batahola School and concentrate on the Pan y Amor school in the market place. During the three years Pan y Amor administered the Batahola School, 275 high school students received their high school diploma, including certification for 3 years of technical career training.
During this period Pan y Amor School in the Mercado Oriental continued to grow, moving secondary school in 2012 to the location which had been the boys home, thus dividing the school into two locations with 7 city blocks between them. During this time the students continued to graduate including certification for a technical career.
At the end of 2015 we were asked to evacuate the larger of the two centers (loaned) in the market, thus seeing ourselves forced to rent a site adequate to move most of the students, just leaving the preschool students in the market in the old boy’s home, which once again was transformed from boy’s home to secondary school, and now to preschool.
The Pan y Amor School continues to attend hundreds of students annually, beginning in preschool, through primary and high school, including 3 years of technical career training. A nine hour daily curriculum, permits for two hot cooked meals a day and an afternoon of extracurricular activities for primary school, such as music, dance, the arts and sports. Emphasis is put on excellence for mathematics, grammar and literature, English as a second language as well as computer skills, beginning at third level of preschool.
2nd grade through 12th grade moved to a wonderful rented, temporary location; full of trees and space, something our students never enjoyed in our previous locations.
12th grade was established to give our graduates (eleventh grade in Nicaragua) one more year to allow for their maturing in age, (by law they have be 18 to work full time), allow them finish their two technical careers and to preparing for their entrance into the work force by learning resume writing, dressing appropriately, practice interviews, among other skills.
Preschool through first grade remain in the market place.
2015 Pan y Amor received a donation of a plot of land fairly near the market place, on the edge of a very poor and violent neighborhood; then began the long and tedious business of trying to get permits for the construction of the Pan y Amor School. Today, 2018, we are still working on the permits to allow us to initiate the first phase of our own school; all in the same location.