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July 19, 2012

Back in Carazo

All students arrived safely back from their service locations yesterday.  The day was filled with lots of laughter and story telling.  Students enjoyed a pizza lunch with fresh dragonfruit drink.  All students spent the night with their Jinotepe, Dolores, and Diriamba families. After some free time in town this morning, students will come to Quinta Goshen for final presentations. On Friday we head south to the Pacific beach for Final Retreat.

July 13, 2012

For our last service visit, we headed back to Volcan Mombacho, where the group had gone for a field trip earlier in the semester.  Luke is a short 30 minute bus ride away from Jinotepe on the road to Granada but works mostly on top of Volcán Mombacho.  He has been helping and participating in a variety of activities.  At the park entrance there is an orchid display that the park is trying to get finished as well as a butterfly garden.  Part of finishing the orchid display includes finding the orchids on the mountain and then making informational cards…

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July 13, 2012

Our journey to visit Caleb and Lynelle started out early as we left on a 6:15am-ish flight to Bluefields from Managua.  After arriving in Bluefields, we took a panga (speedboat) to Pearl Lagoon and got in just before it started raining.  We met Lynelle at the hotel and started hearing her stories of life on the East Coast.  Caleb soon joined us and we went to see where Caleb is working. Caleb is working with several doctors at the local Centro de Salud. 

July 12, 2012

Erin is working at the Fortress of Hope children’s home on the outskirts of Managua.  The seventeen children and youth in this home have been abused either emotionally, physically, or sexually and been taken from their homes and placed at Fortress of Hope by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Family.  They have three separate houses on the property that house

July 12, 2012

Kelsey lives in the small rural community of Santa Julia outside of El Crucero.  El Crucero is only about a 30 minute bus ride from Jinotepe but then the 6 km down a bumpy, muddy road takes another 30 minutes in a pick up truck.  Kelsey has walked the road a few times and agrees that it’s easier to go down then up the road if you have to walk.   Santa Julia is named after

July 11, 2012

Andrew is working in the rural community of Candelaria in the Boaco department (state).  Normally it is a 30-45 minute bus ride and a 20 minute walk if the road is in good enough shape for the chicken bus to make it in.  We were fortunate enough to be able to get a ride to Candelaria with some Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) volunteers in their truck.  We enjoyed beautiful scenery driving in as well as seeing how the houses are constructed in this part of the country – more mud and sticks than cement.  We met Andrew

July 11, 2012

After visiting students in and around Matagalpa, we enjoyed a scenic 1 ½ hour ride to Jinotega, the City of Mists.  Nearly 100 years ago, Nicaragua’s German immigrants brought coffee to the mountains, and this region is the site of most of Nicaragua’s coffee farms.  More recently, Jinotega experienced some of the heaviest fighting during the revolution and Contra war in the 1970s and 1980s. After our arrival on Sunday,

July 10, 2012

We rode a chicken bus for about 30 minutes along a bumpy road to the community of La Grecia just outside San Ramon, Matagalpa to visit Mary.  Mary is working with Vicente Padilla (not the baseball player) on his organic farm.  You may remember Vicente’s farm from an earlier visit by the entire group in May.  She has experienced a wide variety of tasks

July 9, 2012

Brook is serving in a community about 22 km outside Matagalpa called Bálsamo Norte.  We literally traveled over the rivers and through the trees on a rutted, rocky road for about 45 minutes to reach Bálsamo.  Brook is working through CEPAD on community building.  This has included

July 9, 2012

The department (state) of Matagalpa is the most mountainous of Nicaragua, and Matagalpa City, where Kyle and Allison are living, is true to form.  Walking the streets of Matagalpa, you will realize that the city is spread out over a valley, but also spreading up the mountains surrounding it, making for some very steep streets.  Nicknamed La Perla del Septentrion (The Pearl of the North), Matagalpa’s real pearl is a red, ripe, coffee bean. The production and harvest of coffee is an essential part of the region’s, and the nation’s, economy. Neither Kyle or Allison is working directly with coffee,…

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