Progress in Ometepe

I am now preparing for my annual visit.  This year I will visit for around 7 weeks;  there is more to do, more to check and evaluate than before.  This year we have helped the secondary school and two primaries, plus three rural satellite schools.  I want to have time to do this when it is possible without applying pressure on anyone, and also to have time to become even better acquainted.

We have had some good news and some bad news.
In September I received photos of a funeral for a 6 year old who had died of a heart attack.  Earlier in the year a young girl from Santa Teresa died in a road accident. The headteacher and pupils were involved in the funeral.

The good news, was to hear that the Rotary grant we had applied for had come through.  So Daniel and Pedro Antonio have been busy making furniture for the musical instruments and tables for instruction, and securing the doors and fitting locks so that the new equipment will be safe.

Once again we will be buying uniforms, there is a…

Our new website

Improvements at Rafaela Herrera

Hemer the headteacher has sent me updates on the school presentation and environment.  This is a good way to see how our funds have impacted.  It looks a totally different school in these photos, clean, organised and attractive.  I think our contributions have provided incentive, in that the teachers and students have the equipment to clean the school and to present attractive  displays, which show a high level of presentation and good standards.  Two pupils have gained both first and second prize for academic success at the departmental level, so this has clearly impacted in other areas.

 Unfortunately there is a group of children without instruments here but we are hoping to address this, both by contributing a small amount for more repairs and with the awaited Rotary grant we have applied for.

Above are the school as it is now.

This is during my first visit.
The school grounds and gardens have also been developed with an allotment for the children as well. I must ask if they have m…

Helping the secondary school

To see how project began Click here   The project has since changed its name to The Forgotten Children of the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.

To donate via  Peace and Hope
All money collected here is passed to our account for the Ometepe Project and some attracts gift aid which helps us a lot.

When the boxes arrived in Ometepe in early May, there was great excitement from the secondary school when the children all received pens and pencils.  The headteacher mentioned that they had nowhere to keep the books and they were getting damaged. Given they have so little things need to be well looked after,

So I got Marvin onto it, and he visited Daniel, the local carpenter who has helped us before.  Together they visited the school and made a plan.  I felt we could afford this straight away. Since that we have contributed to the journey of the girls' football team to compete in the national league at Managua.

Martin's cultivation project

Martin's story

Martin is the brother of Jose Antonio, with whom I originally set up the project of The Forgotten Children of the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes in 2017. Martin works in a coffee finca run by an American businessman.  He looks after the coffee plants and deals with the processing, and has responsibility for the temporary workers.  He earns a very small salary. Martin is 29,  

married with a wife Veronica, two stepchildren Anjuly, 12 and Jimena, 11 and a son Édouard, 6, who has just moved into the first grade from preschool..

Martin has a small plot of land belonging to the family which he cultivates with coffee. This provides the coffee for the family.

There is a lot of work as the plants have to be kept fertilised and free of disease.  There is an optimum time for the beans to be picked.  They are inside a soft casing, which has to be stripped off. We visited the plot whilst I was on Ometepe Island

All of the work is done by hand and I was invited to join in.It was hard work! …

Fundraising events and publicity

Mike and Reina Reinstein entertaining at our music event at the Chapel Billingshurst .
We raised £579.55 for the fund.  It was a great social evening with great food , things for sale, raffle and exhibition.  Much interest was shown in the information about Ometepe.   People socialising and shopping
 Huckabone entertaining us.
In May, I attended Peace and Hope's gathering in Herefordshire.  This was a good opportunity to share updates on the project with others who are supporting their work in Bluefields.  I received a good response and a lot of interest, as well as selling a few colouring books and cards.   I was also asked to talk to the Soroptomists in Godalming, so a further group of people has gone away informed both about the challenges of life in Nicaragua and about the project.