How it Started

GOCARE was originally established by a group of Rotarians who traveled to Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua to support and develop programs for people living in extreme poverty. GOCARE began its work in 2001 when its founder Jan Lindsay saw the need to create an individualized and sustainable model community program to help people in rural areas empower their lives through education.

When Jan first started working in Nicaragua, he, like most others, was overwhelmed by the amount and depth of poverty and need he experienced there.  On his first trip, he was introduced to the community of Pantanal, outside of Granada.

He was impacted deeply when a group of women and children of Granada shared their story of how they were living off the resources of the local dump.  They were asking for help; Jan felt powerless at the time and was moved to find a solution to help the people he met.  Jan, as an economist, began studying the issues of world poverty in depth. What became apparent was that there were more unknowns than knowns.

It became Jan’s mission to create a community centered organization that could work together and pool resources and knowledge to empower people through education. GOCARE embraced the philosophy that education provides the path to eliminate poverty.  Education empowers people to help themselves and through this model the “Come Back to Give Back” model was born.

Since our inception, GOCARE has been recognized by the Nicaragua Ministry of Education an exemplary model for youth and adult education programs.  To date, GOCARE has helped more than 10,000 students graduate from its programs with the core philosophy of the “Come Back to Give Back” mentorship and leadership.  While pursuing college degrees, students become mentors and leaders within their own communities and help give back by teaching others to aid people out of extreme poverty into a bright, successful future.