Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 


Jiquilillo
Nicaragua

IMG_9295.jpg

Blog

If you are looking for long sandy beaches, with great surf rolling in, a place of the grid where just can relax and enjoy life Monty´s Beach Lodge in Jiquillio, Nicaragua is the place. There is just something a little bit diferent with this paradise, social tourism. The beauty of Jiquillio is breathtaking but it faces some tough social and environmental challenges. And as a successful resort Monty´s have specialized in not only giving back to community but to involve every single guest they have in their social projects.   From simple acts of helpful kindness to critical improvements in sustainable development, there are many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the people of Jiquilillo.
Guests of Monty’s Beach Lodge are invited to participate in local efforts for a vacation that refreshes both the body and the soul. Simply by staying at Monty’s a portion of your accommodation rate will be directed toward ongoing community projects!

We have alot of projects going on all the time were your hand, heart and help is needed. No need to be a professional or even know spanish, our experienced staff at the spot will get you set in and help you out.

Keep updated with our ongoing projects by following our blog. If you have any questions at all feel free to contact us here at Monty´s.

Grand opening of Villa Nueva Esperanza!

MixTape Creative

So we have saved this announcement for a Christmas, just because it is so great and wonderful. No actually I lost my memory card with all the photos, but now I found it and can share this wonderful news and pictures with you!

The third of December 2015 the inaguracion of Villa Nueva Esperanza took place! This means that all the 30 families now are settled and they are living in the community Villa Esperanza in Jiquilillo. The day was filled with fun activities for the children like a bouncing castle and piñatas! The mayor of El Viejo held a great speech so did Gerry Caceres and the American Nicaraguan foundation.

It is a great project that have and is going to change the lives of many persons, but it has not come to an end. This is just the start, new projects are in the making in order to improve the living of the people of Jiquillio. We would like to give out the biggest thank yous´ to everyone who have made this project possible.

GIVE – Without them they would still be cleaning the terrain!

Color My World

American Nicaraguan Foundation

Rotary Club of Port Elgin, Ontario

Montys Surf Camp

Instituto Nicaraguense de la vivienda Urbana y Rural (INVUR)

Alcaldia Municipal de El Viejo

Together Works Society

But most of all thanks to all of the families who have worked so hard to build all the beautiful houses, you are all so worth it and you are amazing!

/Sandra

English classes, motivation and frustration!

MixTape Creative

First of all sorry for the silence from here, it´s not that we have been relaxing on the beach and enjoying the beauty of this country – it´s the exact opposite, or we do enjoy the beatuy of it but we do work as well! There has been a lot going on here regarding the English project!

The last post treated the new mini project, giving classes in the two public schools Los Zorros and The school of Jiquillio. The plan was to give 3 classes a week in the two schools but in mid-November the other English teacher left so I have been alone giving classes in the schools and at the container. This have resulted in a lot of planning, puzzling and hunting down students.

I have been giving 2 classes a week to both of the schools. 2 hours of English class a week is not a lot, but at least it is something. The main reason for doing this was to raise the awareness but also to inform of the importance of learning English, particularly for the 6th graders who are all going to secondary next year were there will be English classes. The classes have been fun and rewarding both for me and for them, but it has been a challenge.

To be more precise, the motivation to go to school every day is not very high among many of the students, and sometimes not among the teachers either. Many days I have arrived at the schools finding absolutely no-one, and on my way back being informed by some student playing around that they finished class early, the teacher didn´t come, the teachers had a meeting (there have been many meetings!) or some other excuse. This have been very frustrating, but it is what it is. It have resulted in that I have left to give class 2 hours earlier to surprise them and asking “Can I please give an English class today, since we didn´t have one yesterday?” and so on. That have worked several times!

Another thing is the attendance in school. The class in Los Zorros have 29 students and in Jiquillio 31 students, I have never had a full class. Normally there are between 10-20 students, but I have also somedays given class to 5 students. The reasons for their absence are as many as there are days in a year, but I have found out some of the main reasons talking to parents, students and teachers. It can be that the students have to help their parents at home, they are tired and don´t want to and the parents don’t really force them to go, they are “sick” etc. The pattern I have identified and also what the teachers told me is that school is not that important for the parents, and then neither for the kids. Why study if it only costs money (the school is for free, BUT food and school material isn’t!) and you can earn great money fishing? This way of thinking is normal and it goes deep and way back in generations, of course not everyone think like this, there are many devoted parents and students, but they are not the majority.

Last week I did an evaluation with all the students (35 students in total from both schools) about the English classes, what they think about the importance of English, why and if they want to learn and if they would like to have English as a part of their curriculum. All 35 students think that English is very important, in order to have a better future, to get good grades in Secondary, to have a career as a doctor, architect, lawyer or working in tourism and they all want to learn! It is such a shame that there is no funding in order to have a permanent English teacher in the two schools since the students obviously are eager to learn. Even though we have the English Academy (the container) offering free English classes many students answered this why they don’t come is because it´s too far away or their parents won't let them or that they don´t have time due to normal school. That´s why English classes in school would be the perfect solution.

Last week was the last week of school before the Christmas holidays and I attended two parents meeting, one in each school. I got invited/invited myself by the teachers to talk to the parents about the English Academy, the courses, how we work and the importance of English. There were about 20 parents attending in each school and they seemed interested and asked a lot of questions. Also the teachers backed me up when informing about the importance of learning English and what it could mean for their children in the future. We also talked about the opportunity of taking English classes at the container, the classes are for free and it is rather close! I do hope that all this information motivated the parents to send their children to English class during the holidays.

This was a rather long update and summary of the motivation project that I have been doing the last few weeks, and I would love to show some pictures, BUT no one is allowed to take photos of the students while in school, so sorry for that. Please leave some comments or ask me anything if you have any wonder anything!

Stay tuned for more updates!

/Sandra

Struggles, yoga and hunting students!

MixTape Creative

So this last month have been very special. First of all as I mentioned in English classes, motivation and frustration! we have gone from 2 to 1 teacher this mid-November. This resulted in a change of the schedule since I felt that it would be hard to one class with six different levels and 18 students! So I wrote a letter to each and every parent about the changes and handed it over in person. This was also in order to present myself and get to know the parents of the other group, level 4-6. It was all much appreciated and it was fun to sit down and chat with them for a while.

The new schedule though have not been as appreciated by the students. We had to reduce every class with 30 min so every class is now 90min instead of 2 hours. This does not give a lot of time left to do other stuff such as play football, dress up or kickball. And since I am alone the smaller kids in level 1-3 have to go home after class so that they won´t disturb the level 4-6 during their class. So it has been a struggle with a lot of explaining and threats from the children that they won´t come back, but they always do!

But as luckily as we were the yoga group from YOLO yoga retreats were here for a week and they helped me out loads! Thank you so much girls! They were here playing, interacting, having conversations with the kids during classes and it was really fun for the kids to get to try their new knowledge. But I do think that the best reward was given on the last day that the group was here, they gave us all a yoga class here at the English academy! It was an hour filled with laughter, weird positions, teamwork and funny faces. Thank you YOLO yoga!

Is this the elephant?

Focused and balanced?

A fallen tower!

Teamwork is the key!

Sometimes I wish they could be this calm during class!

It may not sound a lot when I say that we have 18 students, I know that in the schools there are classes of 30 students, and I don´t even have them all at the same time! But this class is voluntarily, they don´t get any grades and they don´t have to come. This is a challenge, why should they come? And at the same time try to keep a professional standard of the classes so that it is not just playing, that they actually learn as well, because that is why their parents send them to English class. More or less every day I go to the students homes to talk to their parents, ask why they didn´t come to class, if they are coming tomorrow and reminding them of the importance and the opportunity that this English academy gives. Since there is no English classes given in primary school here but later on in secondary it is important for them to learn now in order not to fall behind in secondary. But I guess that motivation is something that they struggle with in school as well.

But I keep on giving classes´ everyday even if there are only 3 students one day and I keep hunting them down in order to get them to go to class. And on each and every exam that they do I give kind and encouraging words so that they feel seen and important, because isn´t that something that we all appreciate?

Thank you all for reading! Please comment or ask away if you wonder anything!

/Sandra

Kitchen, Tools and Toilets!

MixTape Creative

Like the last post described there were a few things missing. That included: kitchen, toilets, electricity and water. Thanks to the American Nicaraguan Foundation (ANF) we are now a few steps closer to the moving-in-date!

This week each family was given a machete, a showel and some other small tools to be able to construct the holes for the latrines. The latrines are ecotoilets made by a 3 meter deep hole in the ground and it works without water. The fact that it is without water is rather important since there is a lack of fresh water sources, so to be able to save the water this is a great solution. But more about that next week when the construction work begins.

Allan, Monty´s project leader handing out tools to the families of Villa Esperanza.

Allan, Monty´s project leader handing out tools to the families of Villa Esperanza.



Yesterday 30 new kitchens arrived donated by the ANF. The kitchens are made by a small family owned business in Léon Nicaragua called MiFógon.

A family owned business in Léon, a small idea that turned out to be great!

A family owned business in Léon, a small idea that turned out to be great!

Mifógon is both an oven, grill and griddle, all-in-one! Most households here in Nicaragua are cooking with firewood, and the smoke from it makes alot of women sick with chronic lung diseases. Also the MiFógon is used with firewood, but it is equiped with a chimney to lead to smoke up and away from the person cooking. Furthermore do to the construction of the oven the heat is isolated so you don´t need to use as much firewood as you do with the normal cooking adjustments (which usually are open fires). Here is a small video showing how it works it, it is only in spanish but it gives a picture of how it works MiFógon video.

The all-in-one-oven.The whole community listening to the founder of MiFógon on how to best take care of and use the new kitchen.
A kitchen like this costs 150$, it may not sound a lot to you, but here it can be a months salary, so the people of Villa Esperanza are more than happy for those kitchens. And furthermore it will be cheaper to cook and it will be more healthy!

 
It may be good for cooking but to move it…it weighs a lot!

It may be good for cooking but to move it…it weighs a lot!

Here is Don Felix with his family in front of their house with their new kitchen.

Here is Don Felix with his family in front of their house with their new kitchen.