Recent Posts

July 14, 2013

These two students are doing their service assignments in this Caribbean coast community that the group had visited back in mid-May.  Bobby is working at the health center, and Yuriy works at the local school and also assists a local hotel with business work. When we arrived in Pearl Lagoon we went to meet the families of the two guys, who live less than one-half block apart.  At Bobby’s home we met his host mom and little brother.  Unfortunately, because of school vacations going on right now, his host father, who works in the town’s Ministry of Education office, and…

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July 13, 2013

Gaia Estates – Robert

Robert is working outside Diriamba at Gaia Estates, a 90-acre organic coffee farm that is also one of only three places in Nicaragua that is certified as “Bird Friendly” by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.  One hundred-forty-three bird species, 45 of them migratory, have been observed on the farm.  The bird population is supported by the wide diversity of more than 60 tree species on the farm, many of them used to shade the coffee.  Whereas most rural land use is divided into either forest or farm land for economic production, Gaia Estates is an example of both uses coexisting…

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July 13, 2013

Maria visited these four students who work at separate locations but within about one hour of each other. Elise works outside Matagalpa city at the nutritional clinic that the whole SST group had visited at the end of May.  In the mornings from 8:00 until lunch she works on the ground floor of the building with a doctor, Osman, in a clinic that serves the local population as well as the children at the nutrition center.  Elise helps weigh and measure the patients, as well as take their blood pressure.  She has lunch at the center, and the afternoon she…

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July 9, 2013

Leon – Haley

  Maria visited Haley in Leon, the second largest city in Nicaragua (population 180,000).  Culturally, Leon is famous as the intellectual center of Nicaragua.  Climatically, however, it is unfortunately also famous as the hottest city in the country. In the mornings Haley takes a taxi to a private school run by CEPAD, an umbrella organization for Protestant churches in Nicaragua.  There she works in English classes, either assisting the teacher, Christian, by helping the class with vocabulary or pronunciation, or sometimes teaching the class herself.   Now she also has a group of 7-8 seniors that she works with directly.    Another…

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July 8, 2013

Doug, Maria and their son Josh visited Benson and Olivia last Sunday and Monday.  Public transport took us almost all the way to San Onofre, but from the highway a person on foot has a steep, 30-minute climb up a mountain until they arrive at the one-street town that is home to about 100 families.  Benson and Olivia both work in the mornings assisting in the school with the first, second and fifth graders.  In the afternoons Benson gives music lessons, and Olivia helps her host mother with her work as a health promoter.  When we arrived, Olivia and Timotea,…

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July 3, 2013

Candelaria – Maria J

On June 29-30 Maria S, Doug and their son Josh visited Maria J in Candelaria, a small rural community of several dozen houses about 40 miles northeast of Jinotepe.  What makes Candelaria’s location really distinct, however, is that it is exactly due south (2,012 miles) of Goshen, IN. Candelaria is reached by a 40-minute bus ride from the nearest town, followed by a 20-min. walk over a rocky road.  Goshen students have worked here in the past on projects run by Asofenix, a rural development organization.  Last year a student helped one of the local families get a non-functioning biodigester…

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June 29, 2013

Josh works at the Mombacho National Park that all the students had visited together in May.  The park was noticeably much busier now – it is the ‘high season’ due to summer vacations in the U.S. – and about 200 tourists visit each day. Josh is helping the park create a mariposario, a butterfly farm.  Now they are capturing butterflies each day to populate the colonies inside the enclosed farm.  Because each species of butterfly require a different species of plant for laying eggs, those plants must all be grown inside the enclosed area.  When the eggs grow to a…

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June 29, 2013

La Concepción, known among locals as “La Concha,” is a town about halfway between Jinotepe and Managua, but it feels more rural than Jinotepe.  Ali and Emily work here at a new health center known in town as “El Hospitalito” (the Little Hospital) because it offers a number of services that other local health centers do not.  It was built with aid from the government of Luxemburg. Ali works in the office of one of the clinic’s doctors.  When Doug was visiting she weighed the patients and reported the weight to the doctor.  For children she measured their heights, and…

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June 29, 2013

Caleb and Jordan are both living and working in Masatepe, a town about half the size of Jinotepe  Maria visited them on Wednesday. Caleb is working at the local health clinic, and the day Maria visited he was heading off to a rural community with other health workers to look for standing water that is breeding Aedes aegypti,  the mosquito that transmits dengue.  He left at 7 a.m. and did not get home until 7 p.m.  On other trips to the campo with health workers Caleb has helped with preventative medicine and health education.  When he is working in the…

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June 28, 2013

Laguna de Apoyo – Aaron B

  Several weeks ago all the students saw the Laguna de Apoyo, a 3-mile diameter lake in the hole left by a volcano that blew its top off in a violent explosion more than a million years ago.  Aaron is working at a small biological field station at the edge of the lake that hosts students and researchers from a variety of countries.  Doug sat with Aaron and the station’s director, Dr. Jeffrey McCrary, as they had a late lunch at 2:30 after returning from delivering a load of recyclable material from the local community to a recycling center in…

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