I’ve just returned from a whirlwind listening tour in Nicaragua.
Last week, our team visited the communities next up in our pipeline of prospective projects – 10 community meetings representing 5 thousand people. In 3 very long days, traveling in off-road vehicles to the beautiful countryside surrounding Rio Blanco, Matagalpa, we were welcomed with kindness, warmth, and hope for help with the same challenges expressed by all – the desperate need for safe water and functional schools.
We heard from parents who described how weather patterns are changing, dry spells are lasting longer, and water holes they have traditionally relied upon for water to drink, cook, and bathe are dry, forcing them and their children to walk further to find water.
We heard from children who showed us the water bottles they carry to school and talked about how they have to ration the water so it will last through the school day.
We heard from one impressively confident and articulate young boy (pictured below) who shared how challenging it is to focus in school when he is thirsty after the long walk to school. He has a small bottle he fills in a stream on his walk to school each day, but it doesn’t last the full day. He shared he doesn’t like drinking it because it tastes bad, and the water is particularly mucky in the rainy season, but it’s all he has.
We heard from teachers who showed us where the water pours into their classrooms when it rains, who spoke of how hard it is to keep the school clean when the floor turns to mud, and who showed us the holes in the ceiling tiles where the bats live.
We have been working in this region for 16 years, and while that progress has been life-changing for the 18 communities with completed projects, it was humbling to hear how many more are patiently waiting for help. We have 1 fundraiser a year to raise the funds to pay for projects next year. I write today to invite you to join us at ‘Cien Amigos 2023’, an inspiring evening where you can invite family and friends to join you in investing in these projects. Event details follow below, and I hope to see you there.
This work is only possible with your support. We are so grateful.