In light of the events currently underway in Nicaragua, the historical references in this film to the Sandinistas in the 1980s is chilling.
UPDATE APRIL 27, 2018:
I wish I had better news to report on the situation in Nicaragua. On Friday evening, the night before we were scheduled to depart, protests - met by violent police response escalated in Nicaragua, so we cancelled our trip.
Our friends at SOL, Julian, Casey, Sebastian and their families are safe, and overall things have quieted down. The people of Mesa de Acicaya are disappointed that we had to cancel our trip, but they prayed for our safety and look forward to hosting us at a future time when things improve.
The death toll, mostly university students, is now at 63 with 15 people missing and there are increasing reports of torture of arrested protesters by police. The level of international press coverage has increased, but in my view is still not at a level warranted by the situation.
I am in contact with the teams at SOL in Nicaragua and Sonoma, California who are monitoring this situation.
This week I have been monitoring the situation online and via text looking for ways to help.
The families of the students killed in the protests have not only lost a son or daughter, in some cases they have also lost the future income that was expected to repay the cost of university education. In my experience in Nicaragua, families are often forced to select one family member to attend college or university with the hope of a better future for the entire family. I would like to see how financial help can be directed to families impacted by the violence. While the dust has not yet settled on the situation, in my mind its good to get ahead of the situation.
I have a number of ideas to pursue on this front. If any of you would like to discuss how we might best help, please let me know.
At this stage we do not have good information about when things will improve, but are optimistic that our trip scheduled for November 3 - 10th will proceed as planned. Hopefully, we will get back before then.
FUTURE TRIP(S): We have confirmed plans for our next trip with SOL. 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 in two buildings set up in a dormatory format. We have organized the work week to include some unique experiences in the community and time to explore the beauty of Nicaragua, including the Colonial city of Leon and a volcano. The dates are Sunday November 4th -to Sunday November 11th, 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 links 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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This short video below was done by Andrew Scott as part after his second trip to Nicaragua.
This documentary film "The Best of What We Are" was written and directed by Erin Paul. It provides a good overview of the roots of Winds of Change.