Youth Development

 Safe spaces for children to thrive

Youth Sports

Children have their best chance to reach their full potential when they enjoy physical and emotional wellbeing. Access to secure food, water and housing are critical, as is having a loving family and nourishing community. Comunidad Connect creates safe spaces for children to thrive, whether that be a house, a clinic, or a sports park. And we have found that when children are happy, the community is generally healthier too.

500 young people every year participate in our soccer, baseball, and basketball leagues. 75+ temporary jobs for referees, scorekeepers, and management are created annually as well. Thus, our work in youth sports contributes to a larger health and wealth-building strategy that is win-win for all stakeholders.

Youth Sports through the years

Origin Story

Jon Thompson first visited San Juan del Sur in 1998 while on a 6-month road trip through Central America with two friends. The traveling trio had just spent 2 months in Mexico and 2 months in Guatemala. Jon had grown fond of surfing but enjoyed walking the streets and practicing his Spanish even more. After a choppy conversation in broken Spanish, one shop owner told Jon, “I’d like for you to meet my son. He plays basketball too and can take you to the court this afternoon.”

Approach & Aspirations

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua is an international tourist destination nestled in a cove on the southwest pacific coast. With tourism comes new avenues for economic development. However, there are negative social and environmental impacts from tourism as well, like increased prostitution, drugs, and a pervasive sense of permanent vacation. The lure of the “easy life” causes some young people to drop out of school and form unhealthy habits. 

Games Played

Part-Time Jobs Created Annually

Wellness Center (coming soon)

We fully recognize that not all young people are competitive athletes. In fact, many children live with disabilities and struggle to access basic recreation due to their physical and mental challenges. Schools exclude these children from the classroom and parents often lack adequate resources and knowledge to care for them. We see this firsthand through our program in Los Robles, Nicaragua called Together For Health. 

Our Together For Health patients are severely limited by their medical conditions, and so are their families. Parents provide care 24/7, which keeps them from steady employment and social mobility. To break this cycle of poverty, Comunidad Connect plans to break ground in 2022 on the Los Robles Community Wellness Center. There, we will provide physical therapy, educational enrichment, nutrition, and emotional support for those individuals and families who need it most.

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