The Sister Islands Association helps with a wide range of community projects on Ometepe. These projects are always initiated by groups on Ometepe, not Bainbridge, and they involve people on both islands. Working together, we learn about each other and derive mutual benefit. We are non-partisan and non-sectarian.

Our Projects Committee responds to funding requests that are outside the purview of other Sister Islands’ committees. The committee reviews the proposals to make sure they are important to the community, rather than individuals, and that the community is also making an investment of time and energy as a counterpart to our funding. In this way, we stand together as equal partners in carrying out the project.

graduate with parents

Antonio Bernebe Bravo Sequeira, 15, with the diploma he received after studying through the Extra Edad program.

What we do

Each year, Sister Islands funds Extra Edad, or “older age,” a fast-track elementary school program for students who missed out on an education when they were young, often because their families couldn’t afford school uniforms or needed their help at home or in the fields. The public school system on Ometepe covers Extra Edad’s basic educational costs, just as for other students. We pay for uniforms, black dress shoes, and basic school supplies. For students who live a long way from school, we also cover bus fare. The Extra Edad students have their own classrooms so they avoid the stigma of being much older than most of the class. They also benefit from an accelerated program that enables them to complete two years of elementary education in a single year so that they can move on to high school while they are still teen-agers.

Digging ditch

2011 student delegates work on their service project contructing a sports court in Moyagalpa.

School projects are a high priority. By working with schools, we can be certain the entire community benefits and we can often join the efforts of other Sister Islands’ committees; for example, funding a fence that the Student Delegation will help construct or a room or storage unit needed to enhance the work of the Library Committee. Recent projects include building the San Miguel school library, Sintiope school cafeteria, Moyogalpa secondary school auditorium, and Los Angeles school fence.

Smaller scale, low-cost projects enable us to respond to more requests and connect with more communities.  For example, our assistance with the Health and Opportunity Fair brought high school students from all over the Island together to learn about college opportunities, potential careers, and to discuss health concerns.

diversity dance troupeThe Diversity Dance Troupe performs wearing costumes funded by Sister Islands.

How to get involved

Diane Jennings heads this committee. If you would like to become involved, please use this form to contact her.