Tracy’s Hope Legacy

Dina Bell-Laroche first came to Nicaragua with SchoolBOX in 2013. She was so touched by her experience that she decided to keep giving back. In fall 2015, Dina launched the Tracy’s Hope Legacy to honour her sister Tracy and keep her spirit alive.

Tracy Lee Nolan (nee Bell) was a vibrant and caring woman whose passion was to support children in need. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend to many when she passed away at the age of 29 from cancer. Tracy’s legacy is now captured within SchoolBOX, with a goal of ensuring children get a basic education, and reach their potential in Nicaragua.

Funds were raised to install Tracy’s Hope Library at the Brett #2 School in December 2013. Tracy’s Hope #1 Classroom was completed in March of 2015 and has brought so much excitement, pride, and safety for the countless students and teachers. Tracy’s Hope #2 was completed at Tezoatega School in April 2018, thanks to the help of Dina and a group of family and friends who came to Nicaragua to help us construct the classroom.

Dina and other community champions will be heading to Nicaragua to build Tracy’s Hope Classroom #3 scheduled for February 2021 to honour Tracy’s 20th Anniversary. To continue to raise funds for this classroom, Dina is hosting a series of Grief Cafés to have real conversations about real life with people who want to experience a healthier way to talk about loss and grief.
The first Grief Café will be on April 30th from 7 – 9:00 PM at Equator in Almonte.
*Click here to get your ticket:


We are currently raising funds for a third Tracy’s Hope classroom in Nicaragua. To donate to Tracy’s Hope Fund and build Tracy’s Hope #3, please click the button below.

Tracy’s Hope #2: Tezoatega School

Tezoatega School is located on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua in the beach-side village of Mechapa. The school serves children from kindergarten to grade 6. An amazing teacher Winston has been teaching at the school for almost two decades. He and other teachers travel into Mechapa each week from the nearby cities of El Viejo and Chinandega. Due to the lack of local teachers or accommodations, one classroom as the school serves as a teacher’s quarters where they live away from their families each week. Their dedication is remarkable.

Due to severe overcrowding at the school, Winston and his colleagues worked alongside local families to build an open-air, tin roof rancho as an additional classroom for the fifth and sixth grades. Students were eager to learn, but classes were often cancelled due to the elements as the children were not protected from wind, rain or dust. The new Tracy’s Hope #2 classroom was completed in April 2018, and now provides a safe and spacious place for these fifth and sixth grade students to get a quality education.

Check out this tour of the completed Tracy’s Hope #2 Classroom:

‘Before’ conditions at Tezoatega School:

‘After’ photos of the completed Tracy’s Hope Classroom #2:

Tracy’s Hope #1: Thomas Borge School

SchoolBOX first visited the Thomas Borge community near Tipitapa in 2012 and saw dire conditions for students. Teachers were using a makeshift structure and sometimes teaching outside when there was no room. When SchoolBOX first proposed building a school, the parents and community leaders stepped into action. The mother of the teacher at the school donated a parcel of land immediately, and a provisional structure made out of wood and metal was put into place.

The one classroom school was completed in March of 2015 and contains a division with one-half housing preschool children and a library and the other half containing the other primary aged students. We are so thankful for the support of Tracy’s friends and family for ‘Making Education Possible’ in Nicaragua.

Check out this video showing the conditions at the Thomas Borge School

‘Before’ conditions at Thomas Borge School:
Grades 1-6  Kindergarten Classroom

‘After’ photos of the completed Tracy’s Hope #1 classroom:
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