Plan Grande 2

WGPC members are actively involved in a long-term covenant partnership between our Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery and the rural community of Plan Grande 2, Nicaragua. Supported by CEPAD (Council of Protestant Churches in Nicaragua), the mission of this partnership is to “follow Christ's example to love and care for one another as we cultivate understanding and acceptance of our similarities and differences, work for justice, share joy, hope and the message of the Gospel.”

We support education in the community through a Secondary School Scholarship Program and visit the community in July of each year to live out this mission.

Nicaragua Community Partnership – What is it?

The Nicaraguan Community Partnership is a covenant partnership between the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy and the community of Plan Grande #2, Nicaragua.

“We are communities of people from St. Louis (area) and Plan Grande 2 from different cultures, sharing the same vision of partnership. We cultivate understanding and acceptance of our similarities and differences, working for justice, sharing joy, hope and the message of the Gospel with our partnership. We do this following Christ’s example to love and care for one another.”

Our relationship began in 2000 with the first trip to Plan Grande #2 which was initiated and organized as a part of the presbytery’s Latin America Task Force and in response to the devastation from Hurricane Mitch. During that trip, 23 people from various churches in the presbytery worked alongside people from the community to begin construction of a new neighborhood of 21 homes which is now called “Villa San Luis”.

Individuals representing different congregations within the presbytery make annual trips to PG2 (26 trips as of 2018!) We raise funds for high school scholarships, we’ve build pilas to improve access to water, we’ve held Vacation Bible Schools, visited schools, played games, read books, learned to make tortillas, strategized regarding Jenga . . .  we’ve laughed and cried . . . we’ve built relationships and worked to follow Christ’s example of love and care.

Our partnership is coordinated by CEPAD – the alliance of Protestant churches in Nicaragua –  where PCUSA Mission Co-workers have served for years. CEPAD serves as the bridge between North American and Nicaraguan partners and provides all of the coordination and logistics for our trips to Nicaragua.

The Scholarship Program  

We did not just decide on our own that getting kids to stay in school was the priority for the community. We engaged in conversations with the community leaders and together we initiated the Scholarship Program in 2004. Initially there was no secondary school in the community which meant that the students had to ride public transportation to a town about 10km from PG2. Within a few years, the demand for a secondary school in the area grew - due in part to the increased enrollment as a result of the scholarship program. PG2 community leaders advocated for a local resource and now students attend the 15 de Septiembre school within walking distance of their homes.

All of the decisions about the structure and parameters of the program are made together with the community leaders and our team. Students are required to meet academic standards that go beyond the minimum required by the school to be considered “passing”.

The $200 annual scholarship is distributed by the leaders in PG2 to parents or other responsible adults in 2 installments during the school year. Generally we support between 30 and 40 students a year. As of 2018 we have been blessed with 65 graduates!

Many graduates remain in the area and work in whatever ways they can to contribute economically to their families.  Some have moved to larger towns or to Costa Rica for factory or construction work.  Over the years, number of the graduates have continued their education in some way, primarily through limited government sponsored technical and teacher training.  Together with the leaders in Plan Grande #2, we wanted to do more to support students who have demonstrated commitment to furthering their education and to their community.  So beginning in 2017 we began sponsoring a few College Scholarships.  These students receive $400-$500 a year to offset tuition and materials fees.  Current students are studying computer science, nursing, and English.

If you would like to support the community by making a donation to the scholarship program, please visit our giving page and choose Nicaragua in the drop down.

Contact Us!

Speakers are available for any group of any size! We’d love to share the story of this mission with you and your congregation. Contact Harriet Hall at 314-963-7112.

We seek to live Christ's love, welcome all people and joyfully serve God.