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The Tamarindo Foundation programs create opportunities primarily for young people and women in the community of Guarjila and the region of Chalatenango. We challenge individual group members to develop into complete, well-rounded human beings. We offer participants opportunities to build skills and confidence so they can achieve their personal goals. Our programs are founded on principles of responsibility, work, study, and commitment instead of sympathy or charity. We strive to create sustainable, non-violent pathways to education, employment, and personal growth and encourage our members to become respected leaders in our community.

We achieve our goals and promote our values through three program areas:

Education & Community Development

The Tamarindo offers student support programs, including tutoring in reading and mathematics and the Jon Cortina Scholarships that finance outstanding local students to attend local colleges and universities. For adult group members, we offer leadership training and micro-business lending. All members participate in weekly community service to the town of Guarjila, a requirement of membership of the Tamarindo Community. We also run an internship program for visiting high school and college students from the U.S. and Canada.

Wellness & Health

The Tamarindo also offers several youth and women’s wellness programs. For youth, we provide physical education and fitness training for the entire public school system of Guarjila. For women, we offer fitness, nutrition consulting, and yoga classes as well as neonatal and infant “first learners” classes and child-care. In addition, our staff run community yoga classes, a soccer school and league for youth ages 8 and up, swimming classes, table tennis supported by the National Table Tennis Federation, beach volleyball leagues, and the only in-line hockey training program in the country outside of San Salvador.

Non-violent Empowerment

The Tamarindo also promotes non-violent empowerment and community autonomy. Our staff serve as leaders on the Guarjila Town Council and work actively with other local authorities to prevent violence as well as the entrance of any gang activity into the community. We also offer life coaching, counseling, spiritual coaching, crisis support, domestic violence shelter, drug abuse prevention and interventions, parent training, and violence prevention services. In many cases, we are the only organization within hundreds of miles offering services of this kind.