On Saturday we returned from a week in Tipitapa, Nicaragua as part of our Winds of Change initiative. I won't try to recap the whole trip, but will say that we had an amazing time. Thank you to each of you who supported our efforts. Highlights included:
- Repaired and painted three classrooms in the village of Ciudelala. The turnout and support from the local community was amazing. We had kids and teachers by the dozens all helping out. Thank you to Tracey McCarthy and other volunteers for the huge donation of school supplies we were able to leave behind!
- Water samples and sites were assessed for the February Capstone trip by engineering students from the University of Toronto. Winds of Change has been awarded the #1 Capstone project at U of T the last two years so the pressure is on this year's teams to three-pete. One team is working on an improved micro-irrigation project. The other on a low cost water purification system for drinking water. Good luck for great success!
- Repaired and upgraded the windmill installed last year in Pedro Arauz
- Met with members of the community of Pedro Arauz where Winds of Change is funding two instructors to teach and coach community members on computer skills and handicrafts. We also played baseball and left them donated equipment from families affiliated with the Oakville Angels Softball Association.
- Delivered 14 used laptops generously donated by Seasons Retirement Communities. These will be delivered to 14 teachers on a waiting list maintained by Seeds of Learning. This program is growing quickly, so demand will increase.
- Met with the community leaders in El Triunfo where Winds of Change is funding the creation of a community garden, and the operation of community resource centre (including its internet connection). While there we learned how to make tortillas, learned about their micro finance loan program and played baseball with the local team. The equipment and uniform donations were greatly appreciated!
- Amidst all that work we had a lot of fun going to the market, eating, playing cards, learning about Nicaraguan history and politics, visiting a volcano, a fort/prison, and immersing ourselves in local culture. All good.
FUTURE TRIP(S): We have begun to discuss our next trip with SOL. Tentatively, we will travel to Mesa De Acicaya, a village in the mountains, to begin construction of a new school. Due to the remote location, the group will stay in the community, likely in tents. We will organize the work week so we can visit a volcano and a fort at the start and still spend some time in Granada at the end. The tentative dates are April 21 - 28th, 2018. This is timed just after most university exams to allow some of the families who have expressed interest. If you know someone I should add to the email distribution, please let me know. This link describes the first project that SOL has been doing in the village.
Thank you for your continued interest in Winds of Change.
Let me know if you are interested in joining our next trip in April!
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