Firstly my excuse for being late with the news for February – there were only 28 days!
Bullet points again this month as so much has been happening:
– Big event of the month was the Builders Beyond Borders group who worked on building our new learning centers, one in Pancasan, and one in Sabaneta. These are both densely populated barrios of Granada with a high proportion of people living in conditions of poverty.
B3 sent two teams, Rhombos a group of 28 who worked at Pancasan, and Trabajenos, a group of 26 who worked at Sabaneta. It was amazing to see how much these young people achieved in just six days on the worksites. The arrived very late at night on Saturday 19th and left very late the following Saturday. It was intense, and all of our team worked hard too with preparing, organizing, and getting all the details in place. It was a great success all round. The Builders Beyond Borders program has it’s headquarters in Norwalk, CT, USA, and has been working with high school students for 25 years now – we are delighted to work with them again for their silver anniversary year. (www.buildersbeyondborders.
– On the 22nd February we welcomed a group from Hopkins Academy in Mass. USA, who stayed a week and made big improvements to the Amped center that we run in Madrona. They repaired the fences and build perimeter walls as well as giving an overall facelift the the whole area. They had a great time while they were here, worked hard, and we look forward to their return next year.
– We are happy to say that Puedo Leer have commenced a collaboration with La Esperanza Granada with a donation of 100 story books to set up a reading area in our Escudo Centro de Aprendezaje. They not only brought the books but gave a workshop to some of our staff and local interns on working with the children with reading, and advised us on the shelving and furniture we will need to set up a library area/reading room there in our center. Great to be working with Puedo Leer and spread the joy of reading.
– Roger and Kate Simmons from Adstock in the UK visited for several days. Roger has been making a collection in Adstock for many years now, and the village has given wonderful support to La Esperanza Granada. They were last in Nicaragua when we had the opening of the primary school in Nueva Esperanza (at that time San Ignacio), where the kindergarten classroom was built with funds to honor Kate’s parents, and is now The Nash Classroom. At that time in 2009, the primary school had just three classrooms, so it was great to take Roger and Kate around and show them all the progress since. The primary school now has 11 classrooms and is literally overflowing with children – one class uses a room at the high school, which at that time was not started. Now the high school (also full) has 8 classrooms.
– Other visitors from past years were Doug and Barb Christie – lovely to see former volunteers back to visit. Doug and Barb were here 11 years ago and worked with us for three months – they have been supporters since too and sponsored high school students over the years. And another Canadian regular supporter, Lyndon Watkins from Halifax spent a few days here and brought us a donation of $500.
– As a follow on from the house building last month funded by Stephen and Gretchen Daus and their colleagues at Mercy Housing, three more latrines were built for families in Neuva Esperanza. Incredible as it seems that there are families living without their own facilities – going to use a neighbors or cousins latrines down the laneway – it does happen, and now three less families have this inconvenience in their lives, and have their own sanitation. Sure they are happy.
– We had toys and school supplies brought from France by the Martin family who visited with their friends. Lots of school supplies too from Hopkins Academy, really appreciated. Bruce Cambell from B3 brought two gently used Ipads which will become incentive prizes for our university students, and Trabajenos group brought pencils and crayons, plus other donations came into the office from Otto and Lee Carpentier, Cecile and Roger Brenes, and Ben Lhullier. And some four months after he had mailed it we received a package with some great resources for the learning center from John Kersic.
– Cash donations were received from Mark Turner $400 for repairs on our van, Doug and Barb Christie 3000 cordobas, Otto and Lee Carpentier 1470 cordobas. It is wonderful to receive all this help.
– And not forgetting the help of all of our volunteers, at the end of the month – Celine Lamorlette, Marie Labelle, Melissa Morales, Boyd Evarts, Lars Palsmar, Jeppe Lundberg, Moritz Housmann, Lucas Delmas, Ruth Carson, Sira Alder, Earl Gwin, Jessica Stofko, Sydney Gamble, Hannah Reger, Sofia Lewis, Ashli Temple, Alexa Carrenard, Martha Bowers, ( back again) Jonathan Collins, Allison King, Lucia Amato, Brian Mcphee, Pauline Molleney, Margarethe Hoberg, Julia Schmall, Johannes Varga, Assohocko Rudich, Lennart Ostermann, Marvin Menou, Sean Hays, Christian Selle, Wiston Anderson, Magdalena Rozsak, Sarah Englert, Miriam Degmayr, carlos Lopez Navas, Christina Junker, Mark Bussert, Lizzie Reynolds and Peter Driscoll.
And a great bunch of photos put together by Luis: https://www.flickr.com/photos/