How Ometepe Became Latin America’s First Digital Island

Originaly posted BY ON

By Leah Shadle on behalf of One Laptop Per Child

In the heart of Nicaragua lies the largest lake in Central America, Lake Nicaragua. Millions of years ago, a volcanic eruption formed a curious island in this freshwater lake composed of two volcanoes — Concepcion and Maderas — the former of which is still active. Concepcion has an altitude of 1,610 meters, which makes Ometepe the world’s highest island on a lake. Volcanic ash has created an extremely fertile island and the volcanoes are visible everywhere on the island. Ometepe is truly a paradise, with its tropical, lush and magical air and soil.

In addition to the natural brilliance of the island and its volcanoes, Ometepe recently became the first digital island in the Americas. To put that in numbers, 100% of its 5,000 elementary school children and all teachers received a laptop connected to high-speed Internet, as part of the One Laptop Per Child educational initiative. Participating students and teachers receive OLPC laptops and the training and support needed to truly realize the potential of these machines

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. @MoneyGramMe Foundation Reinvests in Innovative Educational Organizations in 2016

money-gramGrants of nearly $300,000 will support educational programs

Original post from  MoneyGram

DALLAS, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) today announced the MoneyGram Foundation will award seven grants across seven countries for the first grant cycle of 2016. The foundation will renew its support to innovative educational programs operating in India, Jamaica, Laos, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Vietnam, as well as in four cities in the United

“The MoneyGram Foundation is honored to continue to support programs around the world that are making a meaningful and measurable difference for children’s education in communities where our customers live and work,” said Pamela H. Patsley, MoneyGram’s  executive chairman. “MoneyGram is proud to expand our foundation’s work to Laos and Nicaragua through these established programs.”money-gram-4

The recipients in the foundation’s first grant round of 2016 include:

  • Agastya International Foundation, to continue funding three mobile science labs traveling to Darbhanga, Mumbai, and Aligarh with the mission of providing an experiential, hands-on science education program to thousands of economically disadvantaged children.
  • Children of Vietnam, to fund the construction of a 25 x 30 foot weather-resistant school building in A Pat village in Tay Giang District, Quang Nam Province, complete with ceiling fan, lighting, electrical system, water system, indoor plumbing and awning for shade. When complete, it will be the sole school building for the community.
  • Developments in Literacy, to fully fund the operational and administrative costs of the Nai Abadi school located in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
  • First Book, to fund a book donation through the Día de Los Libros initiative in the United States (Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Miami) and Jamaica.
  • Grants for Innovative Teaching (GFIT), a Signature Project of the Junior League of Dallas that encourages and supports excellence in teaching by awarding grants up to $2,000 to Dallas ISD teachers for innovative projects that otherwise would not be provided for in schools budgets.
  • One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), to fully fund the implementation of the “MathemaTIC” educational program in two schools in Chinandega, Nicaragua. The schools will receive 300 laptops to complete the program.
  • Pencils of Promise (PoP), to fund one of 14 schools Pencils of Promise will build in the Luang Prabang Region of Laos this year. A typical PoP school has 4 classrooms and a minimum lifespan of 20

The MoneyGram Foundation plans to distribute two more rounds of grants in 2016. To learn more about the MoneyGram Foundation and the projects it supports, please visit



Social Responsibility in Central America – CNN

OLPC is grateful to the Grupo Lafise for its continued support for the One Laptop Per Child program. Thanks to its generous donations, OLPC continues to change the world, one child at a time.

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OLPC Announces Partnership with Zamora Teran Foundation

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) announced today a partnership with the Zamora Teran Foundation, a non-profit organization, dedicated to the successful implementation of OLPC programs throughout Central America. OLPC, in partnership with the Zamora Teran Foundation, will provide innovative teacher training, professional development opportunities, and related implementation services, to OLPC programs around the world.

The Zamora Teran Foundation  has distributed more than 42,000 OLPC Laptops to children in Nicaragua and is currently providing implementation support services to more than 50,000 OLPC Laptops in Honduras and 5,000 OLPC Laptops in Costa Rica. The results are impressive, with improvements in school retention rates and academic achievement.

“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to share our expertise in OLPC program implementation with schools and communities around the world,” said Maria Josefina Teran Zamora, President of the Zamora Teran Foundation. “We believe that in joining forces, we are creating a better future for all.”

The services offered by OLPC in partnership with the Zamora Teran Foundation focus on six components that are essential for a successful OLPC Laptop program.  The organizations offer a comprehensive teacher training program, as well as a full logistics and implementation solution. Services include the provision of advanced technical support and training to local, on-the-ground teams to ensure program sustainability. Monitoring and evaluation services are available to ensure that the goals of each program are defined and achieved. The organizations work with each local community to develop a strong community of volunteers  to support the program, and a strong network of development, to ensure the expansion of each program. With these six essential components, OLPC offers a comprehensive ecosystem of support to each program.

For more information about the One Laptop Per Child the Zamora Teran Foundation, please contact Leah ( .

OLPC was founded in 2005 with the goal of transforming education through the provision of a durable, connected, laptop computer to every child in the world. To date, OLPC has distributed more than 3 million laptops to children around the world.

Island of teachers

Translation from the original by Jennifer Castillo Bermudez

One year ago, the Ometepe Island started a digital revolution, as the Zamora Terán Foundation delivered five thousand XO computers to all students and teachers in the 32 primary schools at the Ometepe Island. With this generous donation, Ometepe Island became the first digital island in the region.  Following this digital revolution, Ometepe now boasts a 90% student retention rate and has shown great increase in school performance.

John Martinez , 9 , is “glowing” the most. In a class of 24 students, he was the quietest of the classroom. However, when he received his XO computer, he became the ” technical advisor ” of Professor Martha Rodriguez’s classroom, in the Rigoberto Cabezas School of Ometepe Island. “Now when I am giving classes on topics, he tells me which educational app I can use to teach that kind of Spanish, Math or Science. He is outstanding,” says Rodriguez. This once quiet child was the first one in his class to learn how to use the XO.” Within a week of receiving the computer, he told me he was able to use it and he offered to help me,” says Rodriguez. According to Martinez, “She [his teacher] did not want to use the computer because she didn’t know how, and I wanted us to start using it, so after a week of having it, I learned to do it and was able to teach her how to use it.”

Since February 2012, all primary students on the Ometepe Island became teachers in the classroom. In addition, the students began to excel in competitions organized by the Ministry of Education ( MINED ) at the state and national level. “Retention rates and school performance improved. Now they all are teachers on the island because children learn quickly,” says Byron Countryman, MINED delegate on the Ometepe Island. The island has 4,512 elementary students in the two municipalities: Altagracia and Moyogalpa, according to Paisano. In just over a year, “Our students have become more active students. The boys have developed more skills and knowledge for their own learning,” says Countryman. Last year, Gabriel Alberto Muñoz was elected as the best student of Rivas and Maria Roberta Flores won one of the first places in the Reading aloud competition organized by the MINED.

The arrival of the XO computers also alleviated the need for classroom textbooks, says Jorge Luis Espinoza , director of the College Ruben Dario. Prior to the arrival of the XO computers, said Paisano, “We had an 80% shortage of books in subjects such as language arts and math. The computers have helped us to resolve this deficit.”

Professor Mirna Sevilla Romero says the incorporation of new technologies in primary education ” woke students up,” and also “demanded a  greater commitment from our teachers”. She continued, “If we, as teachers, are not familiar with technology and its use in education, our students will be far ahead of us.” “Our methods of evaluating student performance also changed because now we not only do written tests, but teachers also organize tournaments and competitions in the classroom that incorporate the computers,” says Leyla Road Barrios, director of the Rural Education Core schools Koos Koster , where 520 students study.

The children also get to use the computers outside of the classroom. “In the evenings, when I’m studying with my computer and helping my mom, I teach her, because she cannot read or write,” says John Martinez.

The Zamora Terán Foundation has invested more than $7.5 million since 2009, when it began distributing XO computers in Nicaragua. To date, over 30,000 computers have been delivered in 104 schools in the country, according to reports from the Foundation. In addition, more than 6.500 hours of teacher training has been provided . The teacher training program also provides ongoing monitoring and pedagogical support to schools.

Nicaragua: Free computers for 30,000 students

Program offers computers with educational applications to children at 104 schools in low-income neighborhoods.

By Letzira Sevilla Bolaños for – 30/07/2013

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – At least 30,000 students from low-income neighborhoods in Nicaragua now attend school with more than just pencils, notebooks and dreams in their backpacks.

They also have computers.

Since its creation in 2009, the One Laptop per Child program, which is being carried out by theZamora Terán Foundation, has provided XO laptops to students and 900 teachers at 104 schools in low-income neighborhoods in Nicaragua.

The XO is a laptop designed specifically for learning, featuring all of the benefits of a conventional computer. It offers 52 educational activities, Internet connectivity and an internal camera, according to Félix Garrido, the director of education and operations at the Zamora Terán Foundation.

The goal is to transform education in Nicaragua, where only 56% of students finish grade school, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Another goal is to expand public access to the Internet, given only 15% of the population of six million are connected, according to Garrido.

Nicaragua is ranked 125th among 144 countries in the capacity to utilize information technology and communications to improve the economy and the population’s well-being, according to the Global Information Technology Report 2013.

The project has helped keep children in the classroom. In 2012, the retention rate was 97.32%, according to a Zamora Terán Foundation study that was supported by the Ministry of Education. Prior to the program’s implementation, the rate was about 85%.

Julio José Ramos Mendieta, 8, calls himself a computer genius. The third-grade student at San Francisco de Asís School in Diriamba, 45 kilometers south of Managua, received an XO three years ago. It was his family’s first computer.

“I type using all of my fingers. It was hard at first, but not anymore. I practice every day,” he said. “With this computer, I can play games, read stories and do my homework. I’m also teaching my cousin, who is 5 years old. When we grow up, I want us to be able to work in an office and have computers.”

The laptop has changed the lives of all of his family members. Mendieta’s mother Bertha, 38, who has three other children, began studying and found that information in the computer’s hard drive helped her with her work.

Increasing enrollment

The San Francisco de Asís School has participated in the Zamora Terán Foundation’s program since 2010. Today, 85% of the school’s 550 students have a computer, said Martha Patricia Hernández, the school’s director.

“Enrollment is up 15% since we started providing the computers because the children get excited about receiving a device like this,” Hernández said.”[Getting a computer would be almost impossible outside the program because of how much the equipment costs in Nicaragua. The cheapest units are about US$400, which is unaffordable for most of the population.”

In Nicaragua, the minimum monthly wage in the agricultural sector is $2,421 Nicaraguan córdobas (US$95), while in construction, which offers higher salaries, it is $5,470 córdobas (US$216).

The One Laptop per Child program has been implemented in 25 countries. In Nicaragua, it has been introduced in the cities of Managua, León and Masaya. The program’s growth has been made possible through donations of more than US$6 million by 60 companies, NGOs and individuals, Garrido said.

Teachers become more tech savvy

The teachers and directors also receive an XO, allowing for more modern educational practices in the classroom because teachers can conduct research, stay updated and become more innovative, Hernández said. One of the programs is a virtual library with content related to each school subject.

“The teachers have to document their lesson plans with the XO,” Hernández said. “It’s a major challenge because some of us, due to our age and experience, struggle to use the technology.”

The XO facilitates comprehension and language skills among first-grade students using a program called Hablar con Sara (Talk to Sara). The application alerts students if the word they’ve written is wrong, simplifying the reading process, Hernández said.

Project scope and goals

Each school has a Wi-Fi connection that allows students to complete their tasks. The system is installed at no cost to the school, through agreements with Internet providers.

Teachers also work with students to bolster computer knowledge.

While Garrido said officials are pleased with the results, he acknowledged that the job has just started, as officials want to give all of the country’s 600,000 grade school students an XO.