Education is a key for human beings to thrive. Nicaragua is one of those countries that does not invest much in education. In addition, most of its budget for education goes to urban centers. The rural areas where mestizo campesinos (peasants of mixed European, indigenous and African heritage) and marginalized indigenous people live, lack schools and qualified teachers. This is even more the case in the multiethnic region of Moskitia.
A. Student Scholarship Program 2008 – 2010
For two years scholarships were provided to 150 poor students from various communities to attend primary and secondary school in Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi), in the amount of $20 a month. PMFN received funds from AMH and the parishioners of Dolores Catholic Church in Austin Texas. PMFN administered the scholarships in partnership with St. Peter Catholic Parish, based in Bilwi. Many of the students finished their schooling. After two years, we shifted our focus to training programs for secondary teachers in three recently opened schools.
B. Teacher Training Programs 2010 - 2014
The Ministry of Education of Nicaragua (MINED) authorized secondary school (or junior high) programs in some communities close to Puerto Cabezas. However, the teachers assigned to the schools were not fully qualified to teach secondary-level subject matter. PMFN picked three communities, Santa Marta, Auhya Pihni and Sisin, and for four consecutive years provided training for their secondary school teachers. The goal was to enhance the quality of education that these teachers would provide to their students. The testimonies of the teachers, parents, and students demonstrate that the program was a total success.
C. Culture and Education 2013 - 2014
Miskitus are not exempt from the impacts of globalization and internal and international migration. These trends represent a challenge for Miskitu culture. This program was designed to reinforce Miskitu culture by promoting its importance to young people, and educating them about their language, their history, etc.
D. Renovation of the Casa Museo Tiniska Bilwi
Casa Museo Tiniska is an education and community center in Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas) that promotes the cultural values and traditions of Miskitus, that is particularly focused on work with young people.