La Bastilla Technical Centre for Agriculture & Tourism

La Bastilla Technical Centre for Agriculture and Tourism is the first rural entrepreneurship school in Nicaragua. It was set up in 2009 by the La Bastilla Coffee Estates with the aim of teaching both practical and business skills to young Nicaraguans.

The school is based around 7 microenterprises, the most successful of which is the La Bastilla Ecolodge. All of the profits generated by the Ecolodge are put towards the educational costs of the students. Other businesses include egg and dairy production, pig breeding, vegetable-growing, a coffee nursery and a small bakery. The ultimate goal of the project is for the school to become financially self-sufficient by 2016, generating enough income from the businesses to keep the school running with minimal external support.

Students at the La Bastilla Centre gain hands-on entrepreneurial experience and technical skills by working in real businesses. This innovative model of ‘learning by doing’ and ‘learning for earning’ ensures that young people become ‘work ready’ before leaving school and have transferrable skills for life.

In a region where only 20% of young people attend secondary school, La Bastilla has made a tremendous impact on the lives of young Nicaraguans by providing them with the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to improve their livelihoods and lift themselves out of poverty.

"Studying here gives me huge motivation and opportunities to work in any technical job in the future" (Year-II, male)

"Studying here means learning for my future to become a responsible, mature and strong individual" (Year-III, female)