Enlace Project began through the efforts of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo. The school of business developed an "El Sauce Economic Development Program," which began operating in 2006 through a study abroad program that brought business students to the municipality. Initially offering business administration and English classes for adults, the SUNY Geneseo program came into contact with two local cooperatives: the women’s artisan group Fuente de Pino and the tourism cooperative Los Altos de Ocotal. Student interest at Geneseo expanded, and the university soon began offering service learning opportunities in El Sauce for students. The program was originally directed towards business development, but later expanded with opportunities in healthcare, primary-level education, arts and recreation, and English as a Second Language.
With on-the-ground efforts led by Kellan Morgan and Yacarely Mairena, SUNY Geneseo's programs expanded while continuing to emphasize service learning and economic empowerment in the region. In 2010, the two leaders decided to form Enlace Project, in hopes of creating a sustainable not-for-profit organization that would continue to run study abroad trips and promote economic development. As of 2014, Enlace Project is recognized as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization in the U.S., and is working on solidifying its nonprofit status in Nicaragua.
In the years since Enlace Project's inception, the organization has increased staff—both from the United States and Nicaragua—in order to form a formidable and skilled team. The staff continues to grow in its abilities and knowledge in order to serve the El Sauce community through a variety of programs and workshops.
Enlace Project's office from 2009-2012
Our current office in front of the Culture House