Alondra Isamar Mendes Flores

Date of Birth: November 26, 2004

Year in School: Fourth year of secondary school

Costs per Year: $250

Location: El Sauce, Nicaragua

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Name: Alondra Isamar Mendes Flores

Date of Birth: November 26, 2004

Year in school: Fourth year of secondary school

Cost per year: $250

Location: El Sauce, Nicaragua (map)

[toggle_content title=”About Alondra”]

Alondra lives with seven other members of her family in a crowded house across the dirt street from Sua and her family. Her mother Leonarda works as a domestic and makes about 1,500 cordobas per months, roughly $75. With this, she feeds and clothes four children, and her mother, and helps her sister and her baby daughter as well. Alondra is a quiet and somewhat serious little girls, at least around strangers. With her sisters and brother she is very playful. Alondra’s grades from 2nd grade were very high; her lowest mark was 87% She is going into third grade at Hermanos Linarte, one of the public primary schools in El Sauce. She says she wants to be a teacher, and in her letter to us, she says she likes to play with dolls and that her favorite color is pink. We hope that Alondra will be able to make all her dreams come true, and be a wonderful teacher to some other girls in the future. If her grades continue to be as high as they are now, she should have no problem!

Alondra’s house in El Sauce (click to enlarge)

BackofHouse The back part of Alondra’s house, where her grandmother lives (click to enlarge)

Sideyard in Alondra’s house (click to enlarge)

Outdoor kitchen, Alondra’s house (click to enlarge)

Alondra in her favorite color, pink (click to enlarge)

Alondra and her older sister, Llahoska (click to enlarge)

Alondra’s family. From left to right: grandmother Perseberanda, her niece Ana Marcela, aunt Marta, Alondra, brother Alexander, sister Llahoska, mother Leonarda and sister Karina (click to enlarge)

December 2019

Alondra is off to her fourth year of high school! She turned 15 this year just before our visit, so Meghan and Christa brought her a little sparkly present to celebrate. At the party to celebrate the end of the year, Alondra had a great time playing musical chairs. She’s very competitive! We spent some time talking with her and few of the other girls and learned they she really doesn’t like fish, she loves cookies and cream ice cream, and cumbia music.

Alondra opening her gift from the foundation (click to enlarge)

Alondra is taller than ever! (click to enlarge)

Alondra is third from the left in the polka dot shirt (click to enlarge)

Alondra loves musical chairs (click to enlarge)

She’s very competitive! (click to enlarge)

Down to just two! (click to enlarge)

September 2019

Alondra’s grades at the midterm stayed at a 73% average. We know she can do a little better, and she does too. Her letter to us talks about how she put so much effort into math that she neglected other subjects, and she was sad she didn’t get a high enough average to be able march as a cumplidora in the September parade. It’s an important lesson to learn, and we hope she takes it to heart!


El Sauce 20 of September, 2019

For: Christa and the ONE Foundation

Dear Christa, I feel happy to be writing you again. I hope you are all well and surrounded by your loved ones.

The best thing that happened to me this year is to have met new friends and to have shared a lot of happiness and fun with them these past months. From this I learned that friendship is very important, and also to share with everyone. I feel happy and content, I hope that you all are going through beautiful moments like these.

When I started this school year, I didn’t place much importance on the materials except for math. I gave so much importance to that subject that I neglected the others and for that reason those grades fell. That taught me not to neglect them because due to the low grades in those subjects I can’t obtain an 80% average to be a cumplidora.

The difference that I felt from the beginning of the school year was that I thought math was going to be a complicated subject but I realized that it is not difficult, but easy if you pay attention.

I don’t think there will be a difference from now until the end of the year because I have already adapted to my friends and to my classes.

I also want to tell you that my family is very grateful for the help that you give me. Thanks to that help, I have overcome the obstacles that I have faced.

I say goodbye with much love and I hope that you continue to help more young girls like me. May God bless you and many hugs.

Alondra I. Mendez

December 2018

Alondra ended her year with a 73% average, which is a little lower than her semester average, but she did improve in some classes. She’s growing up pretty fast, and it’s hard to get her to smile for the camera, so we have to joke with her to make her laugh, and then she gets all goofy. Her final letter for the year to us was very sweet:


Dear ONE Foundation founders, I hope you are enjoying abundant health.

I am very sorry that the students couldn’t come to our country this year because of the problems we have, but thanks to God there are no problems in our town and we can be calm.

I tell you that during this school year I had a lot of fun with my friends. I am waiting nervously for the coming year to improve my grades because this year my grades dropped a lot and I want to raise them. My most difficult class was the natural sciences, because we received new material, the most difficult of which was chemistry, and that was really hard for me, although in other classes I did better, like in English. That is my favorite course and I like it very much since I’ve already had an English course.

I hope in the coming year I can have a lot of fun.

My family feels very grateful. Thank you for the help that you have given me and it has been a great help to me and to my family since we have very little money. Thank you very much.

I wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

I say goodbye with much affection and a big hug.

Alondra Isamar Mendez Flores

Beautiful Alondra in a glamour shot (actually, it was just really dark in the room) (click to enlarge)

Alondra getting goofy when we tried to make her laugh (click to enlarge)

September 2018

Alondra got decent grades at the semester, with an average of 76%, although we know she can do better! High school just keeps getting harder, so we hope she’ll continue to work to succeed. We received her mid-year letter to us. For this letter, we asked the girls to describe something they accomplished this year, something they’d like to accomplish for the rest of the year, and to tell us their favorite story or legend from Nicaragua. We’re learning a lot!

Here’s Alondra’s letter to us:

El Sauce, 30 of September, 2018

Dear Christa, I hope this finds all of you healthy alongside all the people surrounding you.

I want to tell all of you that in this year I have accomplished finding new friends and I have not failed any of the material, thanks to the efforts I made, and thanks to all of you.

This year I want my family to be very happy and also to raise my grades to obtain a better average than last year.

I want to tell all of you that I like a lot of stories, but I love the legends from my country the most.

My favorite story is that of the cadejo. It is said that the cadejo is a dog that has red eyes like the llamas and when it walks around the streets, it makes a noise like breaking bones. They say that two types of cadejos exist, one white and one black. They say that the black one cares for women and the white one for the men. It is said that if you go into the street and it finds you on the street and you make annoying gestures to it it will become so angry that it will make you lose your way.

My family is very grateful for the help you are giving me because thanks to all of you and to god, I am in second year of secondary school. Thank you so much for everything and I hope you like my story and my letter very much.

I say goodbye with much love and with a big hug.

Alondra Isamar Mendez Flores

December 2017

Alondra finished her first year of high school with slightly lower grades than she’s been getting, but that’s to be expected for one’s first year of high school. It’s a lot of new material, and a lot harder, and she said it was pretty challenging. She received a 71%, which is still pretty solid. She’s growing taller and taller, and is becoming quite the young lady.

Alondra on the far right with her gang of neighborhood friends (click to enlarge)

Alondra making crafts in a class offered by Flagstaff students (click to enlarge)

Alondra and her little niece, Ana Marcela (click to enlarge)

Little Ana Marcela making sure she’s doing it right (click to enlarge)

Very serious about her artwork! (click to enlarge)

Making music (click to enlarge)

Alondra’s year end “letter” for 2017 (click to enlarge)

For her year end letter this year, we asked Alondra to draw an outline of her hand. Inside it she was to write things that she liked about herself, or that she was proud of. Outside it, she was to write things she’d like to accomplish or do this coming year or in the future. Here’s her piece of art! Inside her hand she has written things like “my hair,” “my family,” “my body,” “my friends,” “I like to play, sing.” Outside her hand she has written things like, “I want to get better grades,” “I want to speak other languages and know other places.” We hope she’ll hang onto this and add to it when she feels like it.

December 2016

Alondra is really doing well in school. She ended her last year of primary school with a 90% average! It was really fun to get to know her a little better this year. She and Tatiana were part of the art class that the Flagstaff high school students held, and she made some super fun ornaments.

Growing up fast! (click to enlarge)

Alondra and Tatiana and their matching “masks” made of plastic water bottles (click to enlarge)

Pink! (click to enlarge)

Meghan visiting with Alondra at her house (click to enlarge)

On the little Christmas tree in Alondra’s house, the ornament she made in art class plays the role of the star on top (click to enlarge)

We also were able to attend her promocion from 6th grade into secondary school, which was really fun!

Alondra getting ready to go get her diploma (click to enlarge)

Alondra was a bit fidgity during the ceremony! (click to enlarge)

Receiving her sixth grade diploma (click to enlarge)

With Tatiana and Sua’s younger sister Zilpa (click to enlarge)

Proud graduate! (click to enlarge)

We learned this visit Alondra has a little bit of a mischievous streak in her. At the graduation party we held after Karina’s graduation, Alondra was not only pretty competitive in musical chairs, but she was WAY into the frosting fight that Karina started!

Alondra near the end of the musical chairs game. She tried her hardest to win! (click to enlarge)

Alondra getting a little frisky with the cake frosting on Karina’s face (click to enlarge)

In Alondra’s year-end letter to us, we asked her to imagine how things will be different in secondary school from primary school, and how she feels having graduated from sixth grade. Here is her letter to us.

Dear Christa, I feel very grateful to God, my parents and all of you, because thanks to the help that you have bestowed on me, I was capable of completing this goal in my life, which is primary school.

Now it is a new beginning, new goals that with knowledge and strength I will be able to do better in my studies. I know that they will be a little more difficult, but with help from God I will be capable of moving forward and overcoming any obstacles that are presented to me.

My mother, as well as I send you infinite thanks for your good wishes for me, because we are very fortunate people to receive your help.

I say goodbye with a big hug.

Alondra Isamar Mendez Flores

February 2016

Alondra passed her classes in 2015 with a very commendable average of 79%, and she’s off to her last year of primary school. She is getting taller and more grown up with every second, it seems. Ashley took some photos of her with all the other girls writing their year-end letters, and Christa was able to visit her in February and get some more photos.

DSC04630 copy Prettier and prettier! (click to enlarge)

DSCN2416 copy Alondra on the left, with Sua, writing her year-end letter to the foundation (click to enlarge)

DSCN2433 copy Lovely Alondra (click to enlarge)

We had a gathering of all the older girls and Ashley, with a friend of Ashley’s named Ana Maricela. Ana grew up in a very rural setting, and due to her mother’s opposition to her attending school, didn’t enter first grade until she was 11. She persevered, despite a husband who didn’t want her to attend the university, and now she is a teacher in a school a few kilometers outside of town. Ana told all the girls her story and spoke to them about the importance of sticking with an education, and not having a family too soon. It was a great evening, and Alondra definitely loved the ice cream!

DSC04725 copy The older girls and Ana Maricela. Alondra is right up front. Look at that ice cream-fueled grin on her face! (click to enlarge)

Here is Alondra’s year-end letter to us. This year we asked the students to describe a talent or a gift that they can give the world.

Dear Christa, I hope that you find yourself healthy and surrounded by your family and friends.

The thing I most liked this year in school was to take the ECA (cultural and artistic expression class) test because we made a little cart out of wood, nails and glue to glue the wood together. This year the most difficult thing for me was to have to re-learn division. I thought I had failed my math class because I had a very low grade but in my exam I tried hard and studied a lot to be able to pass. But at the end I managed to pass the class and I felt very proud because I had passed. What I would like to accomplish is to learn English, to help people, and I would like to achieve academic excellence. I was a good student and I helped my classmates a lot with their classes that they didn’t understand. To be able to help other people I would study very hard in my classes.

A talent that I have is that I like to sing and I can make both adults and children happy.

With much love, Alondra Isamar Mendez

Since Alondra told us her talent was to sing and make people happy, Christa asked her to sing a song. Not surprisingly, she sang “Let it Go” from the movie “Frozen.” Only in Spanish, the song is translated a little differently. The title is “Libre Soy” (I am Free). Sure made us happy to watch this!

Alondra Lovely Alondra with her present (click to enlarge)

Our contact Ashley, who has been living just for the past year in New York state, returned to El Sauce for a visit in March and brought along presents for the girls from Christa. She was able to meet with all the girls at Marina’s house and she took lots of great pictures. Alondra got there a little late, but Ashley snapped a photo anyway.

Alondra is doing very well in school, and easily passed to fifth grade. Her year-end letter to us was very sweet, and we are happy to see her doing so well, and enjoying school.

AlondraLetter Alondra’s year-end letter to us for 2014 (click to enlarge)

“Hello Christa and my benefactors
I hope that this finds you well and that you have a happy new year.

I want to thank you for the help you’ve bestowed upon me. Thanks to God and all of you I passed my school year and I am going to enter fifth grade.

This year, Christa, I loved my backpack that I took to class. I loved all the materials that you gave me to go to class. Without your help I would not have been able to study and become a cumplidora. I had trouble with math but I did OK.

Next school year I would like to be the best student in the school. I would like to be a singer. I like to play kickball. I like to help my classmates do their homework. I would like to learn English and continue working to be a better student.

In my studies that I have learned this year that I could practice: help the elderly, respect my elders and to help my mother around the house.

I would like, with the help of Christa and my benefactors to achieve my goal of being a teacher, and to be able to help teach more children. With this I would have means to help my mother with expenses.

Alondra Isamar Mendez Flores
December 2014″

December 2013

Alondra is doing really well is school and is growing up fast. She seems to have more confidence than at our first meeting, although that could also be because she knows us now, and feels less shy! We had a wonderful visit, and will be awarding her a scholarship for 2014. Our contact Marina tells us that she always received the grade reports on time from Alondra’s family, and Alondra did well enough in school that she was a cumplidora in the September fiesta and parade. Unfortunately, the pictures they took of her didn’t come out, so we couldn’t get a copy of them, but we’re really glad she’s doing so well.

AlondraSister Alondra and Llahoska (click to enlarge)

AlondraMomCousin Alondra with her mother Leonarda and her cousin Ana Marcela (click to enlarge)

AlondraCousin Alondra and a very serious Ana Marcela (click to enlarge)

Alondra Alondra is getting taller and growing up (click to enlarge)

Friends4 The whole gang of friends from Alondra’s and Sua’s households (click to enlarge)

Alondra’s end of the year letter to us was pretty sweet.

“Hi, I hope this finds you with your family and friends. I am writing to you to tell you a little about my life. My name is Alondra Isamar Mendez Flores. I am in fourth grade and I am doing very well in my classes. My favorite class is natural science. My teacher is very pretty and she teaches the class very well to us. I like to play with my friends in my free time. I like to play with my neighbors, but before I go play I like to do my school homework. When I am older, I would like to be a teacher. I have three brothers and sisters. We are four all together and we try very hard in our studies and behave well in school.”

AlondraLetter2 Alondra’s letter to the foundation at the end of the 2013 school year (click to enlarge)

AlondraLetter1 Alondra’s letter to the foundation at the end of the 2013 school year (click to enlarge)

I was able to take a couple of videos of Alondra. In the first, she introduces us to her home, and in the second our friend Ashley does a little interview with Alondra and Sua to ask them about their lives and families and school. I’m not a videographer, so please pardon my comments and shaky camera work. I hope to get better and better at this, but for now, I hope that you will at least have a sense of who Alondra is. Enjoy!

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