Since then, the Sewing Centers have broadened their focus and transitioned into Learning Centers. The training offered now encompasses a wide range of vocational skills such as baking, carpentry, cosmetology, small business management, etc. Participants begin by acquiring the skills necessary to provide them with a sense of dignity, independence, and purpose. They are then afforded the opportunity to utilize a micro-lending program, enabling them to acquire the necessary equipment and supplies to initiate a small business of their own. By building upon the unique skills of the individual members of the community, the community is shaped and fortified, thereby generating further aptitudes and resources.
Thousands of Nicaraguans have thus been mentored through the establishment of the Learning Centers. With each center being coordinated by local women, they are able to cater to the individual needs of each learning center's community.
Learning Center Treks
Each February, Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, Inc. hosts a Learning Center Trek which allows Wisconsin volunteers the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua. Once there, citizens of both countries get to know each other, work to find solutions to common problems, and leverage international and local resources while providing technical training. An average of fifteen to twenty volunteers participate in the annual tour that features hands-on workshops. Translation is provided, although many find it unnecessary in the spontaneous "show and tell" environment.
If you have a commitment to service and cultural exchange, a desire to contribute, a willingness to learn, a taste for new adventure, and a need to share knowledge and expertise, then the Learning Centers Mission may be for you.
Learning Center Videos
Buenos Aires Learning Center - Don Carlos and his wood pile and hand crank water pump. Both very common in Rural Nicaragua
Buenos Aires Learning Center, Mayra Mendoza. Inside a rural Nicaraguan kitchen and living room....the stove is a former WNP Kitchen Stove Project.
Supporting The Learning Centers
Donation ideas include:
- soldering kits, tools, and materials for small appliance repair;
- carpentry tools, supplies, and patterns;
- computer hardware and software;
- sewing machines, sergers, fabric, and sewing supplies;
- knitting, embroidery, quilting, and crocheting supplies;
- cake decorating tools;
- seeds appropriate for gardening in "tropical" Nicaragua;
- volunteer trainers in the identified areas;
- monetary donations.
- All materials, supplies, and equipment donated to W/NP will enhance the quality of life for the recipients in Nicaragua, contribute to the educational improvement of community members, and support current W/NP activities.