In 2016 we began working in Cotoca with the community members, parents, students, and teachers to reinforce mathematics, communication, and sciences through fun, culturally-based projects that promote critical/creative thinking and harmonious values. In the beginning, it was a joint project with neighboring community, Manguita. However, the community responded so well to the project and took up ownership and responsibility for it that in 2017 we decided to separate the two and invest in Cotoca as a full project. Over time the project has grown to include computer skills as well.

When we decided to work in Cotoca, many regional authorities told us that we were crazy. They said that Cotoca is too isolated and that the parents would never do as much as we ask them to do. But together, continuously over the years, we have shown that the community is organized, united, and driven to improve the quality and depth of education for their children.

Classes are held Monday to Friday from 1:30pm-4:30pm. There are 20 students aged 11-18 years old enrolled.

Alma inputs:

  • Teacher (1)
  • Technical and academic materials
  • Project coordination and training
  • Budget: U$9,000

Cocota community inputs:

  • Classroom renovation and provision
  • Desks, chairs and bookcases
  • Solar panels
  • Accommodation for our teacher
  • Student lunches
  • Meeting attendance
  • Home strategy implementation

Indicators of Success:

  1. Student attendance
  2. Academics – computer skills, mathematical reasoning, communications
  3. Creativity – divergent thinking, originality
  4. Critical thinking – analysis, evaluation, justification of opinions
  5. Values and resilience
  6. Hours invested per child
  7. Parental engagement – attendance, contreparte, home strategy, capacity
  8. Ancillary benefits
  9. Implementation of teaching methods – Alma teachers, State teachers