Read about our stops to visit people and places during a 10 day trip to Nicaragua.
Peace Corps Project: Our first stop was a 4 hour drive to Nueva Guinea. There we saw the English Library that was created by Isabel, a Peace Corps Volunteer along with the mayor’s office. The library is a freestanding building in the central park of the town. Maureen organized the donations of 1200 books, DVDs, Video tapes, TV, VCR and DVD Player. The Project is a great success with many people using the facility. We met another Peace Corps Volunteer, Geri, from Milford, CT., who will be starting an English Library on the east coast in Lagunas Perlas. We have sent her 29 boxes of books and supplies on our November 2014 container.
Leon Scholarship Students: We met with the 18 scholarship students in Leon for Sunday Morning Breakfast. They meet the first Sunday of each month to have breakfast and talk about their successes and challenges in their studies. They are all so impressive. Monica and Acension have done a marvelous job with the students. All have to speak publicly in the group, organize activities, Report on their grades, talk about their future plans. They spoke of how grateful they are for the opportunity to go to School. One young woman said without the scholarship she would not have been able to finish high school let alone university. She has one year left in university.
Randy and Linda visited the same day. There are no words for the affection R&L and the students have for each other. Randy and Linda have been present and nurturing for many years. It was beautiful to see the welcome the students gave when R&L arrived.
Leon: We visited the Old Historical city of Leon. The central park has been rebuilt and traffic eliminated.There are families and tourists around the city and lots of universities and young people. We met a man in a wheelchair in who sells bracelets that he makes in the park. He lost his legs in Mexico 5 years ago when he fell off the train to the US. It was the 4th time he tried to get in. His wheel chair is worn out and he needs a new one. The wheels are loose and will not last a much longer. Naturally Maureen bought 25 bracelets from him. He was very open about his story and sharing his struggles with us. He is grateful to be alive and enjoyed talking with us. He has a typical Nicaraguan warmth.
Casa Alianza -Managua: Casa Alianza is a home for trafficked children. The main house houses about 70 boys and girls. The safe house which is 4 blocks away houses about 20 young girls, all are either pregnant or have babies. There is an integrated process of trust, assimilation, therapy, addiction treatment, and schooling. It is a beautiful facility by Nica standards. This project was introduced to us by Ann Deignan, who was visiting at the same time. We have sent lots of clothing, baby supplies, sheets and other items on the last 2 containers. When we arrived to visit the safe house a young girl of 15 who was wearing a folk dancing dress finished nursing her baby then danced for us.
Peggy Healy is the director of Casa Alianza in Managua , Guatemala City and Mexico City.
Fe Y Alegria: We visited with Emilia at Fe y Alegria. The same day Fr. Fernando was speaking at Fairfield University. We visited San Francisco School in Ciudad Sandino. It has 1200 students. They receive a lot of material aid from CT Quest through Fe Y Alegria. Fe Y Alegria has 25 schools in Nicaragua including primary, secondary and trade schools. 70 percent of our containers are distributed among these 25 schools. We saw many of the classrooms painted with the paint we sent down. About 40 of the 200 school chairs donated from a charter school in New Haven are being used at the school.
Reparto Schick: We visited with Sr. Felicia and Sr. Rina at Reparto Schick. We drove to the 2 most recent houses built with funding from CT Quest. In this picture 3 generations live. The house was a stick and tin house. The new homeowners were delighted and grateful for the simple 1 room house.
It means protection from the rain, stable cement floors, stability in an earthquake. It especially means security in a barrio where there is crime and night time intruders.
We saw the Medical and Dental Clinics, the Pharmacy and the Lab and the School. We also met briefly with Indira who runs the scholarship program for 4 students. Sr. Felicia talked to us about the effect of all the material support we send. She always talks to us of the many construction projects, renovations, security walls and medical/dental delegations for which Carl is responsible. He is pretty much a saint at Reparto Schick.
Hogar Alegria and Sagrado Corazon School in Granada: This is always a favorite to visit. We met with Sr. Modesta director of the orphanage, Auxi(who grew up at Hogar Alegria), and the precious girls who fill or hearts with delight when we visit. Modesta and Auxi expressed their gratitude for all that CT Quest has done over the years. In the June container Gloria and friends had send new sheets for all the beds at Hogar. They were all thrilled. Also sent were toys and stuffed animals. We saw the classroom addition on Sagrado Corazon School which Carl was instrumental in building. Modesta and Auxi showed us a building that is 3 large rooms that belongs to the orphanage that cannot be used because the roof and roof structure needs to be replaced. They asked for help in the $18,000 cost to replace the roof and roof structure.
San Ignacio and IBRA: San Ignacio and IBRA are the 2 Fe Y Alegria Schools in Somotillo Region that CT Quest Supports. San Ignacio is now over 400 students and is in need of 2 more classrooms. The success continues with the trade school classes; carpentry, welding, sewing, baking, computers. The school has grown into the space it originally acquired in around 2000. There are problems with drainage which they are trying to address with the help of Fe y Alegria.
Some Special Items Requested By our Projects:
Hogar Alegria: $ 18,000 to rebuild roof and structure on one building.
IBRA: $ 1,800 for musical instruments for the music teacher to start a band.
Leon Scholarship Students-Acencion: Basic Veterinary Tools for a Recent Graduate in the Scholarship Program.
Casa Alianza: Clothing for young women 14-18 years old. Clothing for their babies 0-12 months. Any type of infant materials-diapers, toys, pacifiers, diaper cream (like Balmex).
This report submitted by Bill Evans