One of the projects that the church group visited in Managua is a Teen Night School, organized so that students who cannot attend regular school during the day have an opportunity to pursue an academic education. The students range in age from ten to 26, and are covering the work associated with grades one through six. Why not regular school? Many of the students have to work, in local businesses or with their families. Others cannot afford the uniform and shoes required for school. And school regulations mandate that if a student falls behind -- which often happens because a young person has an opportunity to work, or because the family temporarily runs out of money for uniform and shoes -- he cannot return to school. The Night School is in a rough neighborhood -- so rough that a young woman from our church who now works with a women's project in Managua was dumbfounded that our group was taken there -- first on Sunday afternoon to visit with some of the families and, later in the week, during the evening to see the school in operation. The group members' reaction was that if the students could walk to and from the school every night, they guessed that they could visit it once.
The young ladies in the photograph are obviously among the academically fortunate, at least for the time being.