Pescaditos del Salvador


History:
In January 2014, Jill and John had the idea of creating a childcare facility for Nicaraguan families. Throughout the coffee harvest season, Nicaraguan families come to Costa Rica to pick coffee beans to earn money for the rest of the year. Often times, children are left alone in the fields while their parents work. This is a very dangerous situation for the children.  Jill wanted to create a safe space for the children to be while their parents work in the coffee fields. Although many Costa Rican mothers advised against doing a childcare center because no Nicaraguan mother would trust Jill to watch her children, Jill continued to seek advice. She went to a Nicaraguan mother who works in the coffee fields to see what her thoughts were about the idea of a preschool. The mother was so thrilled with the idea she asked if Jill could start the next day. Later on, two more moms approached Jill to see if she could watch their children. Jill and her family ended up watching the three children for the rest of the harvest. 

Now:

The preschool has 25 children enrolled with a waiting list, five full-time staff, a child psychologist and an on-site doctor. The next step for the preschool is to move into a larger facility and have more staff to accomodate the demand. 

Schedule and programming:

The preschool is run Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. and closed on weekends. This gives the staff time to recover and prepare for thenext week. Children begin to arrive at 6 a.m. to give parents enough time to get to the coffee fields. Children are served breakfast at 7 a.m. and, with     parents permission, are bathed at the preschool because the facility has hot, running water. Often times families do not have hot water in their homes and having the children bathed on site avoids illness. After bathtime, children begin Bible school at 9 a.m. where children can learn about God and the teachings of the Bible through age-appropriate crafts and activities. From 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. children play outside and then have lunch. After lunch, the children gather for movie time where they watch Bible movies, Veggie Tales and Disney movies. The children go back outside for the rest of the day until parents come pick them up at 3 p.m.