Recent Posts

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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July 2, 2012

Leon, about a 2 hour bus ride from Managua, was the next stop in our circuit of service visits, where we visited Steph and Marissa.  Leon is a historic city, the site of many beautiful cathedrals, and a former capital of Nicaragua several times when the Liberal governments were in power.  After 1852, the Liberals and Conservatives agreed that Managua would be the capital of Nicaragua no matter who was in power, but Leon continues as the largest city in the Nicaraguan northwest. Steph is working at

July 1, 2012

Anna and Rachel are spending their service time at Batahola Norte Cultural Center.  Batahola Norte is a barrio on the northwest side of Managua.  The center was started in 1983 by a Catholic nun from Cincinnati and a Catholic priest from Spain, and is now a thriving community center offering music and art classes to children, scholarships to college-bound students, practical skills training for under and unemployed adults, and a community library. Both have plugged themselves into some of the many things going on at the center.  Rachel works with the weekly theater class, and was busy preparing for an…

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June 29, 2012

The next stop on our service visit schedule was another day trip into Managua to visit Hannah and Jennifer, who are both working in the area around Barrio Grenada. Jennifer is working at Escuela Gabriela Mistral, a busy primary school in Barrio Grenada.  She assists the preschool teacher, Raquel, each morning from approximately 7am -11am.  The classroom is a place of lots of activity and noise.   When we arrived the students were learning about the Nicaraguan flag – the colors (blue and white), and what is included in the center of the flag (5 volcanoes), even while recess was going…

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June 29, 2012

After visiting with Kat and Breanna, we continued about 30 minutes north to a barrio just outside Managua called San Antonio Sur where Amy and Jen live.  They work at Hogar Belen (Bethlehem Home), an orphanage for children with disabilities, a ministry of Mustard Seed Communities. Hogar Belen currently houses 22 children, although 5 new children were scheduled to arrive the day we visited.  All children are referred to the orphanage through the ministry of health. Amy and Jen help out wherever needed in the orphanage, which can include supervising children in the “ranch” (enclosed play area), helping with snack…

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June 28, 2012

Students are now about halfway through the service portion of their service assignment, so Keri and I have started traveling around to all the service locations to check in on the students and see how their service placements are going.  The first stop was La Concepcion (usually called La Concha for short), where Kat and Breanna are working at a Centro de Salud (Health Center).  We met with the jefe (boss) who showed us around the center and praised the work that Breanna and Kat are doing.  They usually work side by side with a nurse, and help with taking…

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June 20, 2012

Back in late May, the students had the opportunity to learn some new dance moves.  At the University where we held our afternoon charlas (chats), we asked the dance instructor to give our students a dance class.  We had one problem though, our group is 18 girls and 4 boys.  Julio, one of the workers at the University told us that he would find some young men to dance with our ladies.  Sure enough, he came through.  Deanna and I were unable to be at this class due to some sick students, but from what the students said, it was…

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June 19, 2012

Despedida (farewell) is an event planned by the students to thank their host families and everyone that has helped to make the study portion of Nicaragua SST a success.  The Despedida was held on the evening before students left for their service assignments, but preparations had been going on for several weeks.

June 18, 2012

Our last field trip was only about 30 minutes away from Jinotepe, but in an area that felt a lot farther away.  We drove through the town of Diriamba, where 7 students live, and continued past the soccer stadium where the road eventually turned to dirt.  We bumped along the road

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