International Summer Program

Each summer, Recurso organizes an international service trip to take a diverse and passionate group of students from the University of Florida to Nicaragua. Participants work to implement a variety of projects to assist those living in poverty conditions. These projects include a Dental Hygiene Campaign, a Clean Water Initiative, a Medical Supplies Drive, and construction projects at local orphanages and schools. Members also take time to travel the country and gain a better understanding of the culture and beauty of Nicaragua.

In the past, diverse groups of students, from engineers to zoology students, have provided direct aid to developing countries in Latin America. Months before the trip, members volunteer and work to gather the support, materials and funding necessary to make the trip a success.

Dental Hygiene Campaign

Since May 2007, Recurso has been conducting a Dental Hygiene Campaign for the schoolchildren in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. The Dental Hygiene Campaign not only provides each child with a new toothbrush and tube of toothpaste, but also serves to educate these children on the importance of taking care of their teeth. As part of the campaign, participants of Recurso conduct fluoride treatments on these children so as to better protect their teeth from decay. In May 2010, Recurso expanded its Dental Hygiene Campaign to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, as well as Terrabona. The Recurso group not only conducted dental hygiene presentations in Spanish, but also performed fluoride treatments and distributed  toothbrushes and toothpaste to a total of 1,000 schoolchildren in Nicaragua. We hope to continue expanding our campaign for future Recurso trips.

If you or someone you know would to help us complete this goal, please visit our Volunteer page for more information.

Pre-Natal Care Campaign

Puerto Cabezas, more than most rural areas of the Global South, suffers from a significantly high pregnancy rate of 39 percent.  Puerto Cabezas has an ingenious women’s facility for high-risk women: La Casa Materna. This is a free home to about 20 pregnant women who come from far away villages along the coast. Though this home is close to medical care, they are severely lacking in most basic daily needs. We support the Women’s House by providing informational seminars on the importance of pre-natal care, distributing folic acid, and blankets.

School Supplies Drive

Education is one of the greatest tools afforded to a child. In many developing countries access to education is limited, and, when available, is often inadequate due to lack of supplies. The children of Puerto Cabezas are genuinely eager to learn. The majority of students travel by foot for quite a distance. Each day they take their desk chair with them, as the schools don’t have the funding to buy chairs. We’re forming partnerships with teachers in Florida to help collect school supplies for the children in Puerto Cabezas.

Water Filters Initiative

Throughout the hurricane season disease and sanitation are major health concerns due to unclean water. Frequently, there is more illness in the aftermath of a hurricane, due to contamination, than injuries caused by the intense winds. With this program, we hope to reach out to as many places as possible and help prepare the area for the next hurricane season by setting up water filters in major public venues. In 2007, we set up several filters in areas where unclean water could affect many people, including: the clinic, hospital, and orphanage. We are updated on the progress by our contacts in the town. We hope to expand this in 2011 and with the assistance of our contacts, set up more filtration centers so that citizens may easily obtain purified water.

Vision and Literacy Program
This program was started in 2008. Recurso participants administer eye exams and outfit members of the Puerto Cabezas community, ranging from children to the elderly, with prescription glasses, as well as age-appropriate reading material. We are actively seeking more donations of large numbers glasses to make sure that everyone needing glasses will be offered a pair.

If you would like to help us meet this goal, please visit our Volunteer page.

Arts in Medicine
Implemented for the 2008 service trip, this program works off the model for the“Arts in Medicine” program at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida. We donated art supplies, creative ideas and energy in hopes of fostering an atmosphere of creative expression that will last for future generations. We have chosen to do this project at an advanced children’s hospital in Managua.

La Chureca, Managua Landfill
This project was new to the 2008 service trip. The participants volunteered with general maintenance and new construction of public facilities within La Chureca, a Managua city landfill that is home to over 1,500 people. These people are living in below poverty conditions where they spend their days rummaging through garbage in search of something they can sell or eat.

Medical Supplies Drive and Hospital Visit
According to The World Health Organization, 12 million children die a year from diseases attributed to malnutrition, mainly anemia.  The resources available to the one hospital that services the entire RAAN region are incredibly limited.  The hospital has no major surgery or radiology departments and few supplies in other departments.  Recurso is supporting the hospital through a medical supplies drive; however, the number of people in need is beyond the scope of Recurso’s reach.  Most important to the drive are staff/hospital equipment, iron supplements, and vitamins, especially for children.

If you would like to help us meet our goal, please visit the Volunteer page for more information.

Impact and Assistance
We improve the life quality and enhance the development of a child through educational campaigns focused on dental hygiene, pre-natal care and health concerns common to the region in which we are working.
We create opportunities for children to have access to clean water through water filter drives.
We empower these children with a deserved education through the building of schools and classrooms and the provision of school supplies.
We empower and educate students on the following international issues: child and maternal health, public health, children’s issues and rights, promotion of universal primary education, famine and food insecurity, water and sanitation, dental health and gender inequality.
We accomplish these education initiatives through a series of activities including: an Annual Gala, International Service Trips, a Hunger Banquet, and the Global Health Program.