In 2006, Cam and Ted O’Brien, owners/operators of Bay Island Beach Resort were winding down their successful diving resort business and contemplating retirement. As enthusiastic proponents of quality public education, they’d often wished Roatan’s public education system could be improved. Roatan’s economy would benefit from an improved education system by providing the island’s young people with well-paying and more diverse job opportunities. At this time, the idea for “Partners In Education Roatan” (PIER) was born.
Beginning small - raising money by sponsoring crab races and other crowd pleasing fundraising activities, Cam and Ted and several early supporters (who are still on the Board of Directors for PIER), began putting together the roadmap for what eventually evolved into the PIER we know today.
Innumerable meetings with Honduran Ministers of Education, public and private school teachers, parents, and community members culminated in an NGO focusing on the improvement of Roatan public education and in improving relations between teachers, parents and communities.
Cam and Ted turned their former diving resort into the home base for PIER, including the Sandcastle Library, which over the years has offered all of the following to Roatan’s students-free of charge: two well-stocked bookmobiles that traveled to nearly every public school on the island, “Science Friday” workshops, tutoring and homework help, computer time to study, involvement in educational computer games, social get-togethers, parent-teacher workshops. Fundraising projects have included cello concerts, wine tastings, and the very popular Golf Tournament - “The Pirates Cup”, held at Pristine Bay’s Black Pearl Golf course for a number of years.
The road has been long, complicated, and labor intensive but over the years, PIER has become a valuable resource for teachers, students and parents as well as an admired organization among Roatan’s residents.
PIER is now planning for the future: designing new lesson plans and virtual learning programs, using our beloved bookmobiles in new ways, partnering with more schools in Santos Guardiola, sharing curriculums, and encouraging others to become involved in helping us reach new goals while enriching the lives of Roatan’s school students. A better Roatan begins with better public education. Become a PIER PARTNER and help us continue to grow.