Zach Renner and I moved from North America to Esterones, just outside of Samara, two years ago, where we are running a small hostel and pizza restaurant on the beach. The community of Esterones quickly stole our hearts and now we want to give back by teaming up with First Hand, a German-based organization that brings volunteers to work on various community projects, to raise funds and build the children their dream playground, including a slide, swings, seesaw and more.
Esterones is a small town with dirt roads, one small supermarket, one hardware store and a school. There are 13 students in the school, and there are approximately 30 children in total in the community. The people have big hearts, and lead simple but fulfilling lives, surrounded by family, friends and a beautiful beach.
We have connected with the community by hosting community holiday parties and kids’ movie nights. Most recently, we completed a concrete skate half pipe as a way to encourage kids to pick up a healthy habit instead of turning to drugs and alcohol.
After spending time with the kids at their school and realizing there was no playground and no library, we saw a chance to make a real difference. With Zach’s construction knowledge and power tools, and my optimism and ability to get people excited and involved with projects, we began to make a plan.
On January 17, we launched a fundraiser for “Esterones Playground” on Indiegogo.com with the goal of raising $1500 to build a playground for the kids of Esterones. That goal was reached in just three days, and we are now aiming to double that to also provide a library for the school. Please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/628220/emal/5888091 to donate, ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘tweet’, and follow along! The fundraiser ends on February 17.
The playground will be located next to the community hall, with the soccer field behind it. For more information, visit the Facebook page “El Castillo, Buena Vista Beach Hostel,” or email [email protected].