CREA’s formation started in Spring 2011, when local Nicaraguans began collaborating with frequent visitors from North America to form a library to address the region’s high illiteracy rate and lack of access to books. With community support, the library transformed into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, starting with over 3,000 books, computers, and Internet access. CREA has grown to support after-school homework help for primary school students, tutoring for high school students, providing books and essential learning materials to local schools, and youth empowerment programs.
Since CREA’s official founding in 2016, the organization has evolved to provide support through three initiatives: Library Services, Academic Success, and Youth Development. In 2017, with a generous gift of land and backing from many dedicated supporters, CREA was able to build what is now the CREA Education Center. With a mobile lending library and visits to schools, services have been extended to seven rural communities in the surrounding area. CREA now employs 22 staff members, 20 of whom are Nicaraguan and from the communities CREA serves.
In a region where a library didn’t exist and many barriers to education make it difficult for young people to reach their full potential, CREA has built a supportive community around a love of reading, empowerment, and quality education opportunities.