San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Celtic Rock Band to Perform Benefit Concert for Children

Acclaimed Celtic Rock group The Three Jacks will perform a one-night benefit concert in Managua’s stately Rubén Darío National Theater Aug. 14, with all proceeds going to help the Febretto Children’s Foundation in Nicaragua.

The Three Jacks’ show, complete with step dancers from The Breffni Academy of Irish Dance, have become somewhat of a philanthropic act in recent years, performing similar benefit concerts in Peru and Miami. This time, however, the Celtic rockers’ cause will be the some 6,500 impoverished school children who are a part of the Febretto Children’s Foundation.

The foundation started here in 1990 to continue the work and legacy of Rev. Rafael Maria Fabretto, a Salesian missionary from Venice, Italy, who first came to Nicaragua in 1948 and started working with children who had been abused and abandoned.

Father Febretto set up a series of five centers for children in Managua and in the rural north of the country, offering children a place to live, eat, learn and play.

The shoestring organization continued through Nicaragua’s tumultuous political turnings, from dictatorship to revolution to counterrevolution. Throughout the turmoil, Father Fabretto remained apolitical and dedicated to the basic needs of the children, allowing him to work in partnership with the various governments that came and went.

Father Fabretto died in 1989, as the war was ending. It was then that a U.S. volunteer, a recent GeorgetownUniversity graduate named Kevin Marinacci, decided to continue the legacy of Father Febretto by forming the Febretto Children’s Foundation.

Today, Fabretto has become a strong institution working with large donors and running a series of educational, nutritional and cooperative programs in Managua, Estelí, Madriz and Somoto. According to Development Associate Eliza Brennan, the group works closely with the Education Ministry to extend and improve children’s access to a modern education.

“The public schools only offer four hours of classes each day, and the rest of the day many of the kids are working. So we are trying to get them out of a work environment by offering them four more hours of schooling each day,” Brennan said.

Febretto pays the salaries of teachers to work the second half of the day and has built a series of computer labs and libraries for kids to expand their education. The foundation also provides children with English classes and nutritional meals, as an added incentive to parents.

The cost of the program, however, is expensive, which is where the Celtic rockers come into the picture. Rather than just asking for money, Fabretto and The Three Jacks are holding a benefit concert for a good cause. Plus, Brennan said, it will be a fun and lively night for people looking for something different to do in Managua.

Tickets for the Aug. 14 show are $8-10.

They are on sale at the Rubén Darío Theater, at the Palo Rosa store in the Galerías Mall, at Ola Verde Restaurant and at the Fabretto offices, 500 meters “abajo” from the Esso Ministerio de Trabajo. For more info, email

–Tim Rogers

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