January 23 began the 2023 school year in all public schools of Nicaragua. Every morning, the families of the barrios (neighborhoods) prepare to send their children to school. Parents get up at 5 am to clean the house, to make tortillas, and prepare their children for going to school by bicycle or on foot. Many kids have gallo pinto (rice and beans) or beans for breakfast with tortilla or just coffee with bread, depending on what the family can afford.
Thanks to the support from our sponsors in EI, each student who is part of our program has a uniform, shoes, and school supplies. In Nicaragua, education in public schools is free. Students must wear a uniform and provide their own school supplies. With unemployment as widespread as it is, parents find it very difficult to have these things on hand. These are some of the reasons why children don’t go to school since every year, the prices of school supplies and uniforms increase, yet incomes remain the same if a family even has a steady income.
Children at school are happy to have school supplies at the beginning of the year.