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Director of the Tamarindo English Academy 
& Jon Cortina Scholarship Recipient 

I started in the Tamarindo program when I was 13 years old. My biggest motivation was because I could meet people who came from outside the country.  The Tamarindo was a different place than what I knew in the community. They had sports, there were women who rode bicycles, a gym, and there was a group that made earrings out of recycled magazines. Whenever groups from the United States came, the interaction was very interesting. We learned new things that continue to serve me to this day.

Thanks to the people I met in the United States, I wanted to put all my efforts into wanting to achieve greater things in my life, and not be discouraged by the fact that I did not have all the financial resources necessary to achieve my educational goals. So, I decided to study very hard so that my grades would be the best and thanks to that I was able to obtain a full scholarship granted by USAID, to study in the United States where I obtained an Associates Degree in Business Administration.  I hoped one day I would have the opportunity to study for a Bachelors. In 2014, thanks to Tamarindo and the Jon Cortina Scholarship Program, I was able to study Systems Engineering at a university in El Salvador. Apart from the scholarship opportunity, I have learned many values ​​such as responsibility, social justice, being punctual, disciplined and something very important: teamwork. I am currently the Director of the Tamarindo English Academy.   I am still learning a lot from the people who come and who are part of this beautiful group.



Social Worker & 
Jon Cortina Scholarship Recipient

My name is Oscar Castillo and I am a social worker and part of the Tamarindo program. I was a beneficiary of the Jon Cortina Scholarship Program. I am currently working in an NGO for families with people with disabilities in El Salvador. The lessons learned from the Tamarindo community are responsibility, communication and being visionary.  As a young person, and as a person in general, we have learned to do what is necessary to achieve goals that we set for ourselves. This includes how we want to live in the future and also the responsibility to contribute to the community from what we have learned is possible.



Special Needs Education Coordinator, Guarjila

My name is Rosibel Orellana, and I currently work with the Los Angelitos Association, an association of fathers and mothers with children with disabilities. On weekends I work with FOSALUD. What strikes me the most about Tamarindo program during the time I was there and what is still practiced is the camaraderie among those who arrive there, the solidarity among everyone in the group and with the community, the community work that is done, and  the rules of coexistence, discipline, respect, punctuality. These are things that help us not only there, but for daily life and that many people have benefited from. I believe that in the time that the program has been there, It has helped many people and the community itself for many years.


Geovany (Geo)

Community Facilitator

I arrived at the Tamarindo program when I was 13 years old. The truth is that, at that time, I was motivated by the joy of just being in a group of children. Besides, the war had just ended and I was so happy to be in a group. Being there has had a lot of influence on me since I came here as a child and became part of the Tamarindo program. This has influenced me to be a good person in the community, and to work and help in whatever way I can in the community. For this reason I have had the opportunity to be an employee of the Tamarindo Foundation. This has given me a reason to be here in Guarjila and not migrate to the United States. We know that the problem here in El Salvador is that there are no jobs and so  many people decide to migrate to the United States.


Miguel (Cobra)

Community Facilitator

I started in the Tamarindo program when I was 18 years old. I was made aware of this group by a friend who was attending and he motivated me to participate. Also, there I saw the first bicycle and that motivated me more to participate. Every day, in the afternoon and at night, I liked to go to the Tamarindo program. I felt that I could entertain myself, have fun and learn many things after working days in agriculture with my father.

I saw that in the Tamarindo program there were many opportunities. By participating there I could have a better future, because the guidance and advice they gave us in all the activities were always aimed at us being good people. Currently I consider myself a leader in the group and in the community, because everything I have learned in Tamarindo has served me for life and to be of service to others.



First Learners Program Director
& After School Director

My name is Nohemí Alfaro, and I have been in the Tamarindo program since I was eight years old. I was the first girl at that time and I was in the middle of a large group of boys. I was the only girl there. The Tamarindo program has had a great influence on me, because there are various programs where one can learn and feel comfortable in each of them. I have also had the  opportunity to work with the Tamarindo program after being a participant and now as an employee. I work with little children and I love that work. Also, another thing that I love is that I am close to my family and I can work and be close to my family.

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Jose (Santos)

Recreation Director &
Jon Cortina Scholarship Director 

My name is Santos and I have been in Grupo Tamarindo since the first day this group started, since 1992. At that time the initiative to create this group was that young people and adolescents had an opportunity in which they could coexist, recreate, and also have an opportunity to make friends, and to be together. How did this group affect my life? Well, in all the positive aspects, I believe that this group has trained me in values, in discipline, in principles and throughout these 30 years, we have been creating different coexistences, different social programs that have served and have benefited this community and also to the region. Here I have learned everything and thank God, here I have been trained.



Community Facilitator &
Jon Cortina Scholarship Recipient 

In 2017 I became part of the Tamarindo program with the Jon Cortina Scholarship Program. The experience I had during the  4 years helped me grow in my social learning, teamwork and in the practice of values. The Tamarindo program greatly influenced the achievement of my personal goals, such as the culmination of my degree in Social Work. In addition, it has inspired me to work as a community facilitator in some of the programs that are promoted in the Tamarindo, including bringing a lot of learning to different groups and the population of the community. That is why today, the Tamarindo program continues to contribute a lot to my intellectual and professional development.


Social Worker &
Jon Cortina Scholarship Recipient



Tamarindo English Academy Student

English classes for me are very important, because since I was a child I have always liked this language very much.  Now being part of the Tamarindo English Academy means a change in me and in my future. This is a tool that helps us within and outside the country to interact with other people and for a job that can be chosen.

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