Monday, December 7, 2009

Joandra and the Academia

Joandra Con Su Mama

Yoandra: Hello, my name is Yoandra, I have two brothers Max and Edgar. I love sports and I love running.

My mom was good at that and I know I will be better than her, because that’s what my trainer says. He says I have all the potential to become the best runner of the world. I am in fourth grade of elementary school and attend school in the morning. I am a good student because my grades are good. In the afternoon I go to my training sessions in the stadium.

I want to say that I love my coach because he is so kind to all of us.

Roberto: Nine year old Yoandra Yady Martinez Aragon was born in Rivas, Nicaragua.

She comes from a very economically poor family which was only recently able to save enough money to complete the corrugated metal roof over their three room home. But it is also a family rich in running history. Yoandra's mother, Jacqueline Aragon, used to compete in the 400 and 800 meter dash in the 80's and has won the Central American championship.

Jacqueline is willing to help her daughter in every way she can, although she is a single mother and she is working very hard to provide food and a good education for Yoandra with the little incomes she makes as an independent saleswoman.


Nicole: I'd like to point out that Yoandra's trainer is her cousin Roberto!

One hot December day last year, she was on vacation from school and came over to visit. The power was out, so without much else to do, we sat on the breezy front porch and I quizzed her on multiplication tables and long division.

She got every problem right.

Yoandra has won so far against incredible odds of poor educational opportunities, a drug and violence infested neighborhood and cultural prejudice relegating girls only to passive, sexual and maternal roles.

The Academia de Atlestismo would provide the support, comraderie and discipline that could keep her story a success throughout adolesence and into adulthood. But to do this, we need help. The Academia is providing professional training, clothes, shoes, doctor's visits, vitamins, nutritious food and more to their athletes.

All donors who provide a mailing address will receive a thank-you card with the signatures of all the athletes. If you would like to donate in someone else's name, please provide their name and address. (although sooner rather than later if it's for Christmas since the card will be coming from Nicaragua and usually takes about 1 1/2 weeks to arrive).

If you would like to donate with a credit card, simply click on the 'Donate' button on the top right of the screen. (Remember 2.9% of the amount will be taken out for accounting costs by the Paypal system)

If you would like to donate by check, just email me at the address in the upper right corner of the screen and I can get you the information you need.

If you would like to see what is needed and what costs are, as well as more information about the Academia, please click here.

If you would like any additional information, please contact me at the email address in the upper right corner of the screen.

Hey you! Thanks for reading all the way to the end! :)

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