Safe spaces for children to thrive
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
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.”
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.