SOMOS The Nicaragua Project was founded in 2014, by Sam Bensley during his Sophomore year at Rutgers Business School, in New Jersey. After having made ten trips to Nicaragua, Sam gained a desire to give back to this developing nation. After having been welcomed to play soccer and baseball with the locals, Sam realized the power and impact of sports in Nicaragua. However, a need for the resource of sporting equipment was evident.
Before his next trip, Sam started advertising that he was collecting second hand equipment to bring to communities throughout Nicaragua. After a few local newspaper articles highlighted his mission, donations started pouring in. Sam was looking at thousands of pounds of donated equipment including soccer balls, baseball equipment and athletic jerseys. Sam soon started to see the potential to receive unlimited amounts of donated equipment from communities around the United States.
In January 2015, Sam and his team of four volunteers touched down in Nicaragua with five-hundred pounds of gear. Partnering with Comunidad Connect of San Juan del Sur, The Nicaragua Project was able to fuel the local athletic league with an array of donations.
After Sam’s first trip, he knew immediately that he had discovered one of his life’s passion projects; supplying the people of developing nations with the resource of sporting equipment, with the ultimate goal of empowering kids and communities through sports.
This is where our story begins…
Our mission is to provide communities across developing nations with the invaluable resource of athletic equipment.
Imagine growing up without little league, travel soccer or basketball camp; how about never meeting your life long teammate friends? We can’t either! But the unfortunate reality is that in many developing nations, these things don't exist . Many kids grow up without the ability or means to play sports.
One region of our focus, Central America, is home to many developing nations where sports in school are not as abundant relative to other areas of the world. We believe this relates to lower literacy and graduation rates in these regions.
Bi-annually, we send thousands of pounds of athletic equipment via shipping container. Our parting organizations then distribute this equipment to areas of need (schools, organizations, community centers). Additionally, once per year we select a community where we host a "SOMOS Sports Camp".
The equipment that we donate is purposed to fuel athletic program creation and development in schools and communities.