Just the Facts....
Status: Complete

School: El OCote Primary School

Country: Nicaragua

Community: El Ocote

Donor: The Joseph Family

Partner: BuildOn

Year: 2012

Grades: pre-K through 6

Students: 45

El Ocote Primary School Completed on April 7, 2012!

The New School in Las Parcelas

The El Ocote Community

El Ocote is a small community of 30 families (total population 167 people) located in the department of Matagalpa. This community is 187 km from the capital, Managua, and 130 km from the buildOn office in Estelí. El Ocote was founded in 1920 by the Ochoa and Palacios families. The current elected leader of the community is Juan Mendoza Barreras.
The people of El Ocote are farmers who grow corn, beans and coffee as their staple crops. A few also raise cows. Most community members them identify themselves as part of either the Catholic or Evangelical church. There are no rivers close to the community, just a small creek that runs only during the rainy season (May to October). The closest health clinic is 5 km away in the town of San Dionisio.
There was no school in El Ocote prior to this project, so students were attending classes in a semi-open shelter that belonged to one of the community members. There are currently 15 students enrolled in preschool and 30 in primary school in El Ocote.

The El Ocote Primary School Project

The buildOn school block in El Ocote has two classrooms and two latrines built with cinderblocks, rebar and poured concrete. As this school is on a hill, the clearing and leveling of the site was a much more arduous task than normal for volunteers, who were forced to dig into the hillside. In addition, there was much more rock below the surface than originally expected. However, the community refused to give up. They continued working, rain or shine, to get the site level. When that was finished, and construction actually commenced, they continued on with high volunteer attendance.
Everyone in the community was very involved in the construction of the school, particularly the women. However, even more impressive was the number of primary school students that would eagerly show up at the worksite after their classes had finished. They would grab shovels, picks and wheelbarrows and get to work with their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and would often stay until the end of the day.
After the completion of the school the municipal government had a solar panel installed on the roof so that there will be light at the school at night, even in a community where there is no electricity. The main purpose of this is so that the adults in the community can receive literacy classes in a program offered by the government. Students began using the new school in May.

The Former School in Las Parcelas

THANK YOU for sponsoring the buildOn school in El Ocote, Nicaragua. This project broke ground on February 14, 2012 and was completed on April 7, 2012. The people of El Ocote contributed a total of 453 volunteer workdays to the project, finishing ahead of schedule. Before starting construction they also gathered local materials for the project and met with buildOn staff to sign a covenant outlining the following responsibilities:

Community Contribution
• Unskilled labor: 12 workers (6 women and 6 men) per day, six days per week
• Comitment to education girls and boys equally
• The land on which the school is built
• High quality local materials: sand, gravel, water & rocks
• Volunteer management committee made up of 12 villagers (six women, six men)
• Lodging for buildOn Field Coordinator and skilled laborers in local homes
• Basic construction tools (shovels, picks, wheelbarrows, buckets, etc.) when available

Opportunity For All and buildOn Contribution
• Engineering and architecture
• Construction materials (excluding local materials) for school and latrine
• Skilled labor and plans needed to build the school
• Project management (buildOn coordinators)
• Instruction in basic construction techniques