Amigos Academy -0316
Education Director of the Amigos Academy. Nic has taught in many types of schools across the United States and now has the immense blessing to bring his experience to the beautiful community of La Chuscada.

Boy Washing Hands

We hope for many things at the Amigos for Christ Academy. We hope our students are safe, we hope they know they are loved, and we hope that they flourish into inspired and empathetic people of this world, ready to serve this world and to change the world. Hope often starts small, and grows, and grows, and grows.

More than ten years ago, Amigos for Christ began working in a community called Chuscada, building a water system to provide clean water and eventually, plumbing, to a community of over 1,000 people who, previously, did not have access to clean water.
This meant a whole generation of kids would now know how faucets worked and what it meant to flush a toilet. Aside from the immediate health benefits, there would be many positive downstream effects, like less sick days for the kids going to school. This was an enormous step for the families of Chuscada; hope actualized for the parents and grandparents of Chuscada who grew up without such access.
Orlando was a kid in that community; the first of his generation that would use faucets to wash his food, his hands, his body. He was also the last in many regards. The last to draw a bath using creek water or well water, the last to use an open latrine, and hopefully the last to suffer from illness due to contaminated water. In 2017, he was photographed using a faucet for the first time, donning a subtle grin at the novelty of using running water. The title of the photo was simple and straight to the point: Boy Washing Hands. We took it to capture a hopeful moment; a child whose life was better today than yesterday.
But Orlando wasn’t just the first and last regarding water, health, and hygiene. He was one of the first 50 students who signed up in 2020 for the pilot Amigos for Christ Academy after school program, and then a year later, one of the first students to enroll at the fully private Amigos for Christ Academy. He is the first in his community to have daily English and computer classes; the first to go to school from seven in the morning until three in the afternoon.

When he graduates sixth grade in a year, he will be the first one in his family to get a scholarship to study at a private high school, and then with a little luck and his strong work ethic, he will be the first in his family to go on to college and get a degree, perhaps a job in the city, or in a different city. 



We hope, too, that he is the last. The last of the children in Chuscada to miss school because of stomach viruses, the last of the students to drop out before completing 5th grade. We hope he is the last student with parents who cannot read or write, and perhaps the last of the students who must decide between an education and small supplemental income. We hope he is the last of the students whose parents leave the country to find work opportunities elsewhere, and of course we hope he is the last of the students who think about their future in any place but their home, Nicaragua.

Orlando is a boy washing hands. But he is also a boy who is studying, a boy who is investing in his future. He is a boy taking advantage of his opportunities, and he is a boy changing his community. We don’t know what he will become, but we have hope in knowing the future is much more than we can even imagine.

Transforming the next generation

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