In 2008 the first school ever funded by the Costa Foundation opened. It was Anatolí School in La Mesa, and it replaced an old school damaged by earthquake in 2005.

The Costa Foundation provided six classrooms, computer room, library, canteen, playground and kindergarten facilities. In addition to the Costa Foundation’s investment, Intel also provided the children with small ‘Casebook’ laptops for use at the school which has provided a fantastic learning resource for the teachers.

The community developed a farm project on a plot of land about half a mile away from the school where food is grown for school meals. This ensures that children are eating nutritious food and helps them to concentrate during lessons. Some of the ten-year-old children are responsible for an element of the farm, for example the vegetable plot, fish farm, chicken farm and a small coffee plantation.

In 2014 during a trustees’ visit, we discovered that the old condemned building we believed was no longer in use was being used by children aged 12-15. The school had developed such a good reputation it was drawing more pupils than it could fit.

The trustees therefore assigned a project for a new school block on the site of the condemned building. Work commenced in January 2015 and the new block was opened on Monday 29th August 2016. The local education authority decided to use the new building for kindergarten and primary school children as the original school built in 2008 had more space and was therefore more suitable for high school students.

The Costa Foundation "3 Peaks 2016" event raised nearly £80,000 to part-fund this new school, and students proudly wore the 3 Peaks 2016 fundraising t-shirts during the opening ceremony. Children also set up market stalls in the playground to showcase their products and produce. The afternoon finished with traditional dancing and theatre.

La Mesa is a town located on top of a plateau in the department of Cundinamarca, 38 miles from Bogota. It has a population of 27,500 of which 46% are under the age of 20. Most are farmers owning less than a hectare of land and coffee is the principle crop grown here.

Video of the school opening in 2016

Video of the school opening in 2016

Nursery school opening 2016

The Costa Foundation has shown that they don’t just build a school and then move on. They come back to visit and see how we are doing, and then give us even more if we need it

Teacher, Anatoli School