EL CRUCERO | In March, 2011, Nubia was presented with her degree from technical school. She is one of 20 Rainbow college scholarship recipients from the El Crucero network who graduated from INTAE National Technical Institute for Administration and Economics in 2011. Their degrees are in accounting, banking, finance, and computer skills. Nubia represented her class at graduation with a speech thanking her professors and Rainbow Network for making her dreams a possibility.
EL TIGRE, CIUDAD SANDINO | Karen says her family would have a different life without Rainbow Network, which visits her small community every week, providing water chlorination. In Tigre, volunteers on the Rainbow Nutrition Committee operate a feeding center for the primary school children and the scholarship program gives older students the opportunity to attend classes. Karen said, “I have been on scholarship for four years. Arco Iris (Rainbow Network) helps me pay for my studies. Other people in Tigre are on scholarship like me. It is expensive for the group to go to Colegio San Luis, ten kilometers away, where we go to study.” In the future, she would like to become a doctor so she can serve her community.
SAN MIGUELITO, NAGAROTE | Marina first connected to Rainbow Network through the scholarship program, which gave her an opportunity she would not have otherwise had; a high school education. She graduated a year early and went on to technical school, where she finished at the top of her class. With a quality education, she was able to achieve her goal of becoming an elementary school teacher and, in 2011, was offered a high position with the Nicaragua Ministry of Education. This job is a great honor and she is grateful to Rainbow Network for the opportunities that transformed her life. Recently, she began building her own home, a dream she has had since her childhood that would have been impossible without Rainbow’s education and economic development programs.
LA GRECIA, SAN RAMÓN |Some people are just driven to serve. Celso Enrique Martinez believes he is guided by an angel. "I don't remember my mother,” he says, “But I sometimes see her in my dreams. I believe she watches over and protects me from heaven."
Orphaned at age 4, Celso had a rough start in life. Fortunately for him – and his community - his grandmother took him in and fostered his desire to gain knowledge. Despite his difficult early years, he proved to be an apt learner and excelled in primary grades
But even as one of the top students at his Rainbow cottage school, Celso had to wait seven long years for a Rainbow Network scholarship before starting high school. To fulfill the volunteering requirement of the scholarship, he served as a teacher in a cottage school, where his dedication earned him the respect of his students and community members alike.
Several years ago he became the youngest community committee leader in the San Ramón Network. He coordinated volunteers and students as well as public health initiatives and program management in his village of La Grecia. He takes much satisfaction in seeing children he once tutored now going to high school on Rainbow scholarships. He says he is very proud of his students and also proud of himself for what he has been able to accomplish.
Celso has since graduated and spent several years of Saturdays at UNAN College in Matagalpa. He began as a nursing student, but switched to social work to follow his desire to help others. He was forced to pause his studies in order to work, but hopes to pursue further training with the goal of obtaining a clinical position through the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA).
CANDELARIA, NAGAROTE | When Rainbow Network came to Candelaria in 2003, Marbely, then 23 years old, finally had the opportunity to attend high school. She was sponsored all the way through technical school, earned a teaching certificate, and now works full time at the local grade school. Her husband started a small hog farm with a Rainbow micro-loan and her oldest son just started high school on a Rainbow scholarship. The success of Marbely’s family benefits the economy and educational prospects of the whole community.
FILOS DE CUAJACHILLO, CIUDAD SANDINO | María Elsa started her journey with Rainbow as a scholarship student in 2004. She walked over a mile every day to get to the school bus so she could have an education and even continued with 6 years of Technical School. Her dedication paid off; in 2011 she was hired by the Kraft foods factory and after less than a year of work, was promoted to production supervisor because of her exemplary performance. Her family is very proud and her little sister, another scholarship recipient, looks up to María Elsa for her achievements.
Ervin Maugdiel Ruiz Cortedano - Spreading the Gospel of Learning
SAN MARTA, SAN RAMON | Ervin watched his parents both work long hours in the coffee fields, yet struggle to provide for him and his five siblings. He attended a plantation-run school near his home, excelling and going on to be awarded a Rainbow Network scholarship to attend high school.
His high school experience included a weekly trek to the Rodolfo Sanchez Institute in Santa Emilia, 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) each way. Even with the logistical challenge, Ervin was amazed and grateful for the support received from the Rainbow Network, both in supplies and in broader development efforts in his village. He was the 1st student sponsored in Santa Martha and the very 1st high school graduate in the entire community.
The experience moved him to become a volunteer teacher during all five years of his high school education. Since then he has gone on to earn a teaching certificated from the University of Matagalpa, as well as a Master’s degree in teaching. After graduation, he was hired by the Nicaraguan government to become a full-time teacher in the Rainbow Network community of Hilapo.
Today, the young man from typically humble beginnings has become an exemplary success, earning nearly 4 times what he would make as a field worker. Even so, he commutes - on foot - more than two hours each way from his home in Santa Martha to his classroom. Married and with one child, he is driven by a passion to share his knowledge with his 36 current students while building a secure future for his family. His job does afford him the occasional luxury, like supporting his wife as she finishes her 5th year of high school.