Opening Minds and Creating Opportunities
Abriendo Mentes (Opening Minds) is an organization based in the community of Playa Potrero, Santa Cruz, dedicated to providing afterschool education and recreation activities to children and their parents. Together with Asociación CEPIA and the La Paz Community School, it also operates Casa Brasilito, a program that offers an integrated program of assistance for children and mothers in the nearby town of Brasilito, one of the most conflictive and socially disadvantaged communities in Guanacaste.
Abriendo Mentes was founded in 2009 by a couple living in Playa Potrero who noticed that the local school only held classes for three hours in the mornings, and the children lacked any organized activities or creative outlets in the afternoons. By working with volunteers who make a 6 month commitment to the organization, they have established an effective program that teaches English and computer skills, promotes arts and crafts, and organizes sports and other activities in Potrero and nearby. The success of the program has attracted the attention of other communities, and similar activities are being organized in other communities such as Playas del Coco, Ostional and Samara.
The Guanacaste Community Fund, with funds from the CRUSA and Las Catalinas Donor Advised Funds, has provided Abriendo Mentes with matching grants in support of Casa Brasilito.
- 225 children and 167 adults participated in Abriendo Mentes’ programming in 2014
- 1,859 hours of educational and community development activities delivered
- Volunteers contributed 11,572 hours which has a financial equivalent of $260,948
Lindsay Losasso, Director