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H2O Youth in Puerto Rico

More About Nuetra Escuela: 

Nuestra Escuela (Our School) is founded on love, where young and adult, like Quixote, accomplish their dreams and goals, creating a better wellbeing for their families. So help us God!

Nuestra Escuela was founded on August 11, 2000. It is the legacy of Ana Mercedes Méndez Jiménez, daughter of Justo Méndez Arámburu. Ana Mercedes transcended into eternal life when she was only fifteen years old, on September 10, 1997. In a dream visit to Justo, she told him Daddy, we are going to make a school. Justo's answer was Darling, how are we going to make a school? Her response was Yes, dad, we are going to make a school, Our School, just let yourself go.� Justo shared the experience with his wife, Ana Yris Guzmán Torres, they immediately took on what was entrusted to them and the rest is history.

Nuestra Escuela has five centers: Caguas Downtown, La Barra (a rural neighborhood in Caguas), Loíza, Vieques, and Culebra. It serves over 300 young people and their families in a bio-psycho-social and academic support where students complete their high school degree and continue to study in universities or technical colleges or join the workforce, and even some develop their own cooperative social business, for example Juventud Sirve.

Nuestra Escuela has received the Sor Isolina Ferré Medal for Excellence in the Service to Others, and the Award for Solidarity from Miranda Foundation. It has been classified as an Exemplary Program by the Department of Education of Puerto Rico and "Best Practice Project" by the Department of Education of the United States of America. Presently, it is celebrating a Decade of Our Mission of Love and every September 10, the graduation takes place in homage to the Inspiration of this endeavor, Ana Mercedes.


1. Human contact 2. Vital Essence Retreat 3. Complete evaluation 4. Personalized strategic plan 5. To improve the physical, psychological and social conditions, and to modify attitudes, values and behavior 6. Basic civic, ethics and academic skills 7. Personalized education 8. Sports, arts, talents and technology 9. Training for the integration to the workforce 10. The undertaking of the plan in the personal, means of support, family, community, nation and social aspects 11. Personal achievement, celebration, commitment to reciprocate what one has received 12. Establishment of the Model

Nuestra Escuela's main approach to education, teaching and learning is love. Through this love our community creates an environment where we learn and develop skills and knowledge that responds to our interests and socio-economic reality. By community we mean students, family, staff, collaborators, neighbors and friends.

In Nuestra Escuela the teachers become motivational beings that develop their classes and educational experiences using diverse strategies, taking into account the life experiences of the students, their characteristics and plans in order to make the information and skills relevant for the participant. The educational exercise that is practiced in every classroom uses the diverse learning styles that the participant may have as one of the principal foci of our services model, without leaving behind the requirements of the subject worked on. The educational experiences of every course provides the participants with new opportunities that will help them develop as healthy and responsible citizens of Puerto Rican society and the world.

A pillar of our education is the emphasis on the emotional, physical and mental health of our community members. We recognize this as a necessity for them to fully engage in learning and community life.

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