Dear Tamarindo Supporters,

As our news is filled with violence, caravans and forced migration, our Jon Cortina Scholarship Program continues to create alternatives and solutions to the roots of these issues in El Salvador. We offer hope, accompaniment, love and opportunity by providing our students with a chance to study, receive formation and serve their community. 

Cortina Program by the Numbers
I am extremely proud of how our program has grown over the past 7 years. As our program by the numbers shows, we have grown to 32 students. This is a beacon of hope for Guarjila and El Salvador.
In a recent study completed by World Bank, access to higher education for low income students remains a major issue. Although students in poverty make up 50% of the population in Latin America, only 25% of university students are from that demographic. Furthermore, degree completion is around 46% for all students with low income students lower than that.

The Cortina program has not only drastically increased access to education in Guarjila by giving 43 students the opportunity to attend university, but it has also proven to have significantly improved graduation rates.

Seven out of the 10 students initially accepted into the program in the first two years have graduated! Our yearly retention rate of 93.7% over 7 years shows the potential of our students when they are supported.

Yesica, Leticia and Juan Carlos, our three graduates this year, are grateful for your support and have decided to share their stories. Their accomplishments truly embody our mission to break the chains of poverty and forced migration in El Salvador through Faith and Grace.

I invite you to join us in working together towards solutions and accompanying the amazing youth of El Salvador.
God Bless,
Joe Albers
Cortina Program Founder
Our Graduates

I remember when I first read those words,

“Congratulations, Leticia. You have won a scholarship to support your universities studies.”

That moment changed my life and brought my family and me so much happiness because it meant I suddenly had a chance to embark on a journey I had only dreamt of, all thanks to the Tamarindo Foundation’s Jon Cortina Scholarship Program.

Becoming a university student introduced me to a whole new world. Eventually, I decided I wanted to share what I was learning with the Tamarindo community, in which I was constantly participating through community service, work meetings and group activities, so I became an after-school tutor. Being able to both learn and teach has changed me so much as a person, professionally and personally. As graduation awaits a few weeks from now, I am excited to begin a new stage and find a job I like.

I am forever grateful to all of you who have supported the Tamarindo Foundation. We would have never been able to achieve this without you.
Juan Carlos

I became a Jon Cortina scholar in 2013 and decided to pursue an Accounting degree at Andrés Bello University in Chalatenango.

The last five years were both very rough and gratifying. When I wasn’t in class, I worked in corn and bean fields. As part of the scholarship’s community project requirement, I also joined the Education Center in Guarjila and helped with sports classes and supported the school’s library and principal in various activities.

In 2014, I was blessed to welcome my son, Edson Josué, into this world. He is now 4 years old and is preparing to attend school next year, as I prepare to graduate. I have also been working as an auxiliary accountant for 10 months and am very happy to have found employment related to my studies.

I am very grateful to God and to all who have supported the Scholarship Program, which wouldn’t be possible without your generous gifts. Your support has enabled Salvadoran youth and future generations in our community to make their dreams and goals come true.

I am the daughter of a very strong woman, Ana Deysi Rivera, who raised me as a single mother. I have a sister who dropped out of school in the 9th grade and a younger brother, who was not able to continue his studies due to cerebral palsy. As the oldest sibling, my goal was to pursue an education, but we didn’t have enough money to cover my tuition, food and travel expenses.

It is in this context that the Tamarindo has been a blessing. I was very fortunate to receive a John Cortina Scholarship, which allowed me to enroll in a Computer Science degree five years ago and now I am about to graduate on November 29 with the highest grades in my class. 

There are no words to express what this experience has been. I can only say I am profoundly grateful to people like you who have chosen to trust and support students like me without knowing much about us.

After graduation, I plan on finding a job to support my family and I also look forward to my continued participation in the Tamarindo, which will always be like a big and loving family to me.
We invite you to support the Scholarship Fund on #GivingTuesday . It is with your generous gifts that the Tamarindo will continue to accompany Salvadoran youth and families who choose to be a part of creating a new El Salvador with alternatives to caravans, gangs, violence and substance abuse.
For a quick and secure online donation please click here . In "Gift Information", under "Fund" please select Scholarship or you may also make a check payable to Tamarindo Foundation, Inc.(under note, mark Cortina Scholarship program) and mail to: The Tamarindo Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 90404, Indianapolis, IN 46290

May God Bless You,
The Tamarindo Foundation