Caraballo is a community of 400 families set in the middle of the sugar cane fields, 4 km from the town of Montelleno. This community once existed to work for the sugar cane company. In 2003 the company went under, leaving the community without work. With the majority having little education or skills beyond cane work, the community struggled daily to survive.
Go MAD and its partners have been working in Caraballo for over 10 years, working on eliminating all the reasons why people struggle to find a job. Education has been the greatest liability in the community, so we have been focusing on making sure everyone is in school. We provide school uniforms, high school transport, and University sponsorships.
Because of our efforts to keep everyone in school, we had to build more classrooms in the public school to make sure everyone received a desk. When we first started in Caraballo, only a handful of people had graduated high school. Last year alone, we had over 60 graduates. No one had completed University and now we have over 15 University graduates.
We also provide English classes and the results have been amazing. Many of our older students, who have gone through our program are finding jobs across the north coast in stable positions at the airport, restaurants, and tourist excursions. It has been so exciting to see our students thrive. Anywhere you go in Caraballo, there will be someone around to help you translate.
We also provide a location for Infotep, a government funded adult skill training program. This program allows the adults in the community to obtain more skills and therefore have more opportunity to obtain a job.
We also have a preschool, to help prepare the children for public school. Here the children come every day to sing songs, learn to read and write and best of all--play. Toys are something we take for granted so we make sure there are a lot of toys in our program. We also provide a meal for the children along with the seniors in the community.
Proper documents are also a huge factor in people being able to thrive. We have spent the last 6 years, helping everyone get their proper documents to be able to live their lives with more opportunities. We provide a baby gift basket to newborns, making sure the babies have their proper papers right from the start. We also provide necessities to parents so that children can thrive as early as possible.
Most of all, our goal is make sure to that everyone knows they are loved by God. We strive to walk alongside everyone and encourage them to be all who God created them to be. As a pastor in the church once said, "God loves us so much, that he calls people to feed us and clothe us. Now that we are fed and no longer naked, we can go and feed and clothe others."
Caraballo is full of people who will inspire you. They have inspired us.