Abriendo Mentes is so excited to be partnering for the 4th year in a row with the Costa Rica Blues Festival, bringing world class Blues Music to Guanacaste while supporting important community development initiatives that take place right in the backyard of the festival.
Abriendo Mentes is a non-profit organization that provides thousands of hours of education and community development programming to more than 400 participants in the towns of Potrero and Brasilito each year. The Costa Rica Blues Festival has become an important annual event which has contributed over $9,000 to support Abriendo Mentes’ programs during the last few years. We are so grateful for the support of the event and for the opportunity to share our important work with the attendees.
In a region where children attend school for just a few hours per day, Abriendo Mentes’ education programs have become a key player in the development and future success of Guanacaste’s youngest generation. Through a free after-school program, children have the opportunity they would not otherwise have to participate in English and computer classes, receive academic support, learn environmental education and much more. For adults, Abriendo Mentes offers education classes, vocational training, women’s specific programs and community engagement activities to empower them to seek employment opportunities and break the cycle of poverty.
The Costa Rica Blues Festival and it’s attendees play an important role in the local communities where the festival is held. Through the financial support given to Abriendo Mentes, together we work towards ensuring that every child and adult has equal access to educational and employment opportunities.
To learn more about Abriendo Mentes, please visit our website at www.abriendomentes.org.
I look forward to seeing you at the festival!
Executive Director, Abriendo Mentes
Abriendo Mentes, which is Spanish for ‘Opening Minds’, was established in 2009 by founders Meradith Leebrick and Drew Ragland. The couple had been living in Potrero for several years and were asked by their Costa Rican neighbor if they could begin offering some English classes for his daughter and her cousins.
What began as very informal tutoring sessions with no supplies, no resources, and no physical classroom space, grew steadily into a full-fledged after school program for dozens of local children.
Since 2009 the organization has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, with highlights including the addition of adult education programming, the donation of our computer lab leading to the establishment of our technology program, the creation of our women’s economic empowerment programs, the development of our international volunteer structure, and a formal program expansion to the neighboring community of Brasilito.
We have achieved many of our objectives over the last several years: we have delivered thousands of hours of classes and community development programs, more than 200 volunteers have joined our team and supported our work, and we have consistently met our ambitious fundraising goals. However, the communities where we work still face great challenges, and we continually strive to enhance our program offerings for the local population and future generations.