Monte Horeb Community Development:
Monte Horeb—barrio in the city of León where roughly 80 families live in the most modest of conditions, including plastic tarp shelters, tin shacks and cement block dwellings, beside the city’s septic lake. When the wind blows to the north sewage fumes drift over the area, but this location is the best and only option for many families.
PGL’s initial contact with Monte Horeb came in 2010 when community leaders visited PGL’s office in León to request help with an electrification project for all the homes. PGL, in its largest financial contribution of 2011, funded the system that was installed by community volunteers.
A very different need was met with construction of a new preschool / community center. Residents of Monte Horeb provided the planning and labor while PGL contributed $20,000 for construction materials. Monday, February 11, 2013 was the exciting first day of school for twenty-two 4-6 year olds.
A year later the building gained an additional purpose when a health center was installed in part of the facility. The center opened on May 14, 2014, and medical staff from León travel to Monte Horeb twice a week to serve the needs of the neighborhood.
During PGL’s relationship with Monte Horeb numerous Gettysburg delegations visited the neighborhood. In an inspiring, first-ever cultural event held in Monte Horeb a Gettysburg College student delegation in 2012 performed traditional Nicaraguan dances alongside youth of the community, and later an artist delegation helped paint colorful murals in the preschool classroom.
Subsequently, as attendance at the preschool dwindled and local leadership waned, PGL undertook a study of the community in the fall of 2016 in order to help the residents determine their needs and goals. PGL’s in-country coordinators, given the resulting information, discussed with the residents how, via a grant application to PGL, Monte Horeb can apply for assistance for a community initiative