January 2015 Update

Dear Friends of Rio del Cambio

In just one week Doug and I plus Cathy and Esther, will be travelling to Nicaragua. This is always a very exciting but hectic time. Since I have not been in the village since April, there will be a lot to catch up on and much progress to celebrate. I will be posting regularly on Facebook/riodelcambio during our trip if you would like to follow along.

On this trip, we will be introducing Solar Ovens to the village thanks to the work of FUPROSOMUNIC. This Nicaraguan NGO will be helping the women to build 10 ovens then teach how to use them. These ovens will greatly reduce the amount of toxic smoke the women inhale daily, the amount of wood each household must scavenge or purchase, and increase the diversity of their diet since it will fry, boil and bake all from the sun’s rays.

Armando, the supplier of the Moringa seeds, will be in the village to host a workshop on how to incorporate the Moringa into the villagers daily diet. This includes uses for the leaves which are very high in protein and rich in nutrients, and can be made into tea and ointments.

We will teach the farmers how to install ceramic tiles so that they can finish the floor in the new Education Centre which is currently rough cement.

The new school year for the children begins on Feb. 5th which is always fun to witness. Just like here, the children love to crack the cover of a brand new notebook and sharpen their new pencil. We will be purchasing notebooks, pencils, erasers, paints and a few textbooks for the Rio del Cambio Education Program on the day after we arrive. We will also purchase new knapsacks for those students that will be entering high school after successfully graduating Elementary School.

The Rio del Cambio is celebrating its 5th year in 2015. Thanks to your generosity and ongoing support, the changes and progress in the village is truly amazing. One of the greatest changes is the level of academic improvements in the children of all ages. Enrolment in the Rio del Cambio Education Program has grown from 26 to 130 including 32 in high school. The number of students in high school is quite evenly split between males and females which may be our greatest achievement. Also, the academic standing of the public school in Citalapa, which the children attend from 7am to noon, has risen from one of the worst in the district to being in the top 10 of 36 schools.

To celebrate the children’s handwork through out the year, we will once again be taking them and their families to the beach for a day. The cost is $5/person including transportation and a hot lunch. Although it is only 20 minutes down the road, most children never get to experience the joy and wonder of the sand and surf until Rio del Cambio takes them. This is the highlight of the year for all ages!

We will also be photographing all of the children for the Rio del Cambio Sponsorship Program. This Program is the backbone of Rio del Cambio. Our first priority is and always will be the education of the children of Citalapa. Education is the best vehicle to foster change and give hope that the daily burden of poverty will one day be lessened.

Now is a great time to support Rio del Cambio by continuing to sponsor your child in the Sponsorship Program. The start of the new school year is when we experience the greatest financial need. We invite you to sponsor a child for just $75/year today. Or, if you prefer, you can make a contribution to the General Fund which will cover expenses such as improvements to the Education Centre, facilitate the Farmers Co-operative, assist the Sewing Ladies, purchase new water filters, and pay for the trip to the beach.

There are several easy ways to make a contribution – here on our website, e-transfer to or by cheque made payable to “Rio del Cambio” at 3714 20th Sideroad, Innisfil, Ontario L9S 2Y1.

Thank you to each and everyone of you for your part in making Rio del Cambio a success! It is only through the love and support of family and friends that this adventure is possible.

Kari Williams
Rio del Cambio

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