The plan is to raise $8, 326 and, with help from community members of Los Pinos, construct a new kindergarten and central park. The kindergarten will be three times the size of the old facility and the park will have a soccer/basketball court and a small playground. As of right now Los Pinos does not have a park where youth can play safely. We are recycling a lot of materials in order to be environmentally friendly and bring the total price of the project down.
1. Better educational facility – there will be more room for kindergarten students and their activities
2. Improved safety for children – the park will allow children to stop playing in the busy street and provide a place where the Mara (gangs) cannot infiltrate. (To better understand the power of the Mara in El Salvador please google "El Salvador gangs")
3. Community unity – the park will provide a center in Los Pinos for families to gather and unite.
Community & Project Info:
Los Pinos has a beautiful view and beautiful people, but unfortunately it is very poor. It is located on a highway along the ridge of a carter lake. Currently there is no place for youth and adults to gather. Children play in the street at night and because the sun sets at 6:00 p.m. they usually play in the dark. The road running through the village is a major highway and large cargo trucks run rapidly through the town day and night. This, coupled with the absence of a shoulder on the road, creates an extremely dangerous situation. There is no park in the community because of the lack of space.
The average width of the ridge is 60 meters from slope to slope and there are few areas where a park would be feasible. However, we found one location that could be converted into a park. A cooperative of the village has generously donated the land for a central park, a triangular piece of property in the middle of town with enough area to accommodate soccer and basketball courts, a playground, and a kindergarten. The total area of the park will be 315 sq/m. (soccer/basketball court – 160 sq/m and a playground – 255 sq/m). This will permit children and their parents to have an enjoyable and safe place to play and to gather. The cooperative also has guards who will close the park at night and protect the property. This project will use the foundation of the current kindergarten building for the basketball/soccer court. We will then remodel the adjacent building to create a bigger and updated kindergarten classroom. It will have much needed additional space; presently 35 students share only one small room (196 sq. ft.) Very small!
Focus on Recycling:
For this park project we have to remove an old building from the construction site, however, thinking “green,” we will recycle much of the building’s materials. We are also going to use the walls of the building to enlarge the basketball/soccer court and to build retaining walls around much of the park. We will use other materials from the old building, such as ceiling beams, to create gazebos, playground equipment, and improve sections of the other building that we are going to remodel for the kindergarten. Through this recycling process, not only will we save on construction costs, but also we will be setting an example for other projects in and around our community. The people will see that recycling is both environmentally friendly and cost effective. Recycling is not a subject that is frequently addressed here in El Salvador, but it could make a substantial difference.
All donations through the Peace Corps Partnership Program are tax-deductible, and 100% of your donation will go towards this project.
If you send a check, be sure to write on the check: “Project Number 519-164 Protecting Lives While Having Fun” so my project receives the funds. The check should be made out to: Peace Corps Partnership Program.
Peace Corps Headquarters
Office of Private Sector Initiatives
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