For the children and families of Playa San Diego, Nicaragua & the surrounding villages

It does not matter how slowly you go,
as long as you do not stop.

About us

Social enterprise providing scholarships to underprivileged local students in Nicaragua with access to public transportation to & from public school + supplementary tutoring classes after school. Funded by donations & student visitors.

FOR LOCALS
WE PROVIDE:

  • Free transportation to and from local public schools every day

  • Free private tutoring for children ages 4-12 with an emphasis on (Spanish) Reading, Math, and Technology

  • Free physical activities for children every day: surfing, skateboarding, horseback riding, soccer, cooking, art, music, golf, and yoga

  • Free breakfast or lunch time meals and afternoon snacks for children

  • Free yoga classes 3x per week for al women in the community (mostly mothers!)

And most importantly — We provide a
Central Organization that Helps Foreign
and Local Families Integrate, Learn, and
Grow Together in Nicaragua.

Our academy attracts foreign families —
and this community enrichment provides
deep exposure and experiences to tourists
and immigrant families willing to donate
time, money, and resources.

VISION

To bridge economic, social, racial, and class division amongst Playa San Diego and the surrounding villages by building and supporting community-focused resources, like a school, a park, a  clinic, an animal shelter, and a community center.

MISSION

Our mission is to provide programs and organizations that foster whole community learning and growth.

VALUES: SWIM

Service is Community

Wisdom Starts with Culture

Integration Starts with Children

Mindfulness is Actively Caring

WE DIRECTLY IMPACT

Class Division

The large presence of illiteracy, financial instability, and immobility that creates class division amongst the natives and foreign tourists and immigrants in the area. This division is a major barrier to community growth for Playa San Diego and the surrounding communities.

Physical Health

Due to poor economic circumstances, many native families in the area often run out of money for food and the mild starvation causes higher cases of illness, low energy, and school inattentiveness, creating even less of an opportunity to focus, learn, and grow.

Mental Health

The native children and families lack access to diverse experiences that often drive motivation for self-growth and learning. Fewer experiences cause early depression and hinder chances of upward mobility. This correlates with an increase in domestic abuse.

WHAT WE SUPPORT

FREE TUTORING

For children ages 4-12 with an emphasis on (Spanish) Reading and Math; & Technology using computers and web-based learning

TRANSPORTATION

To and from local public schools every day, with special trips made for locals in the area that need transportation to the bus stop in California for work or family

ACTIVITIES

Surfing, skateboarding, horseback riding, soccer, cooking, art, music and dance, golf, yoga & exercise — special trips to local parades & celebrations

FOOD & WATER

Breakfast or lunch time meals and afternoon snacks for children & FREE clean water for tortuga families (via Filtron donations)

PARENTS

3x per week for all women in the community (mothers & abuelas!) & parent help and counseling for domestic and behavioral isssues

MOST IMPORTANTLY

WE PROVIDE A CENTRAL ORGANIZATION THAT HELPS FOREIGN AND NATIVE FAMILIES INTEGRATE, LEARN, AND GROW TOGETHER IN NICARAGUA

PROOF OF IMPACT

Education

Re-enrolled two illiterate children (aged 10) into the public school of California (Village in Villa El Carmen) and they are both now reading

Provided free private tutoring for 10 native children in reading and math – 9 out of 10 of them were behind their grade level in both subjects and all are improving quickly

Provided consistent transportation to and from school for 10 children, increasing daily school attendance amongst all 14 children by an average estimated 20%

Physical Health

Taught 4 boys and 3 girls (ages ranging from 6 – 12) to stand up and ride a surfboard

Taught all 14 children to mount and ride a horse
independently 

Attracted a former player for the Nicaragua  National Futbol team to begin coaching futbol workshops

Inspired the children to build their own playground, and our current project — a skateboard ramp.

Family Support

Provided 7 Filtron systems that will cover 2 years worth of clean filtered water for any of the families with students in need

Provided over 1000 free meals and many free schools supplies

Helped provide $750 in funds to a family for home repairs and improvements

Support 7 families’ physical wellbeing with free weekly yoga classes

Mental Health

Helped one 10 year old child out of a domestic sexual abuse situation by working closely with her family

Helped curb the cultural habit amongst the children of littering

Provided yoga and meditation for the children 2-3x per week, resulting in independent practice poses from children throughout the day

Provided art tools by gifting sketchbooks to the older children and developing an art program to foster donations and an early passion for art

IMPACT IN A BIG WAY

Wild Tortugas Academy believes that building a school that has a 1-for-1 scholarship program for foreign and native children will break economic barriers, lift the educational bar, build bridges for all of the families in the community and help foreign families more easily cross the cultural divide. A school that provides opportunities for all will set the pace and provide a foundation for the future.

SOCIAL RETURN OF INVESTMENT

Alejandro Mendoza

Mendoza is a father of a four-year-old daughter and a certified teacher in Nicaragua. He is fluent bilingual in English and Spanish. He is certified to teach K-6th grade for all subjects, but reading is where he primarily focuses because he sees such a strong need for it amongst the student of the Nicaragua campo.

Alejandro has also completed most of his degree in teaching technology and sports for children. He has been a volunteer for medical, university, high school, and environmental groups and organizations throughout his life, often leading large impactful projects like sea turtle preservation.

On Wednesday evenings, Alejandro teaches adults and high school students English language courses and has been involved with teaching residence of the Gran Pacifica Spanish lessons for years. Alejandro holds a technical degree in business management from The Universidad del Valle and attended his education courses at Escuela Central de Managua Alesio Blandon Juares.

Alejandro's dream is to build a school that would make high levels of education, reading, mathematics, technology, and the sciences freely available to the children of Playa San Diego, while also helping foreign students to better integrate and understand the community and culture of Nicaragua.

Alejandro Mendoza WhatsApp +505 8203 3100

Taylor Hazlehurst

Hazlehurst is from the United States and moved to Nicaragua in 2021 with her husband and two children. She’s a serial entrepreneur and investor in social enterprises. In her early twenties, she spent six years working in domestic servitude and private tutoring for wealthy families in the US, and witnessed economic division and prejudice being fostered in children at a very early age.

She passed the required teaching exams in the United States, but was not interested in working in the public school system there; so she chose a different professional path. She has received a BA in English and a Master of Business Administration and has served as a Director of Marketing for one private school and one public charter school.

Inspired by her own children’s growth under the teaching and guidance of Alejandro Mendoza, Hazlehurst aims to scale Wild Tortugas Academy by sharing her own experiences working in education, privately funding the enterprise, and lending her energy to the program wherever needed.

She mostly aims to make friends, build a community for her children, and to help more families like her own discover the miracle of Nicaragua.

Taylor Hazlehurst
WhatsApp +19049999824

SOCIAL RETURN OF INVESTMENT

With the nearest private school being in Managua, the social return of  providing funds for a private school is immeasurable. Not only will it uplift the children that already live in Playa San Diego and the surrounding communities academically, but it will allow foreign families that are traveling here for short-term or moving here long-term to provide an immersive Spanish education to their children without sacrificing hours of time commuting.

Schools help provide a more common goal to the community-at-large. No matter where a family is demographically, economically, socially, or culturally, they nearly always share a cohesive goal to educate and improve the lives of their children or grandchildren. Schools are not only a symbol of this common goal, but they are an active tool that is accessible for widespread involvement.

Schools add value to communities and attract foreign relocation. By allowing our school to host drop-in educational tourism, families can experience what it might be like to actually live in the area. This boost to tourism and relocation to the area will provide a major economic boost to the community and communities at large.

GET INVOLVED

Helpful Funding Levels

El Arroyo


Provides supplemental support for:
U$50-100 Monthly OR Make a one-time Donation
  • Learning materials & resources
  • Gas for the Minibus
  • Money for Lunches & Snacks
  • Play Equipment & Sports lessons

El Río


Provides all of "El Arroyo" + full support for one family:
U$150 Monthly OR Make a one-time Donation
  • Sponsorship of One Family’s full program
  • Notebooks, Markets, Crayons, Paper, Backpack & Pencils for School
  • Online Learning Subscriptions
  • Computer and Repairs
  • Tutor Salary supplement
  • Meals & Snacks
  • Uniforms and Shoes
  • Filtron System for Family (if one has not already been provided)
  • Field Trip costs and Extracurricular Activities

El Mar


We Currently have 9 students that are in need of a sponsorship package.
$1800/month or one time $7K Monthly OR Make a one-time Donation
  • A donation of $1350 per month or $7,000 total would cover the cost of resources for the program for the rest of the school year. This would also cover the ability for us to purchase 5 more computers and complete the computer lab, so the students can enjoy more unique learning paths and get caught up with their reading levels in school. We are currently trying to get all students to follow a Khan Academy program online which teaches mastery learning.

VOLUNTEER

Volunteer for Weekday Afternoon

  • 2 hr at Playa San Diego
    (Wild Tortugas Academy)

Volunteer for Saturday Morning

  • 2 hr at Gran Pacifica Tennis Clubhouse to assist with weekly Tennis and Soccer lessons
  • This day is reserved for physical activities of all kinds, so we welcome your knowledge & expertise in teaching our tortugas new sports and athletic skills

Volunteer Help to Deliver Prepared Meals

  • 1 hr at Playa San Diego
    (Wild Tortugas Academy)
  • Enjoy lunch with us and get to know the tortugas by sharing a meal
  • The Tortugas love Pizza, Homemade Baked Goods, and trying new foods from different cultures!