May 2015 Update

Dear Friends of Rio del Cambio

We are very excited to announce the details of the 5th Annual Backyard Fundraising Festival on Saturday July 4, 2015. This year we will be featuring the incredible music of My Son the Hurricane, a super funky 14 piece brasshop band. My Son the Hurricane has played at the Hillside, the Beaches Jazz Festival, the Toronto Beerfest and the One of a Kind Show!! Along side them, Rob Tomkinson and Randolph and the Rivieras will be playing up a storm on what we hope will be another perfect summer evening. Food will be provided by the Williams family’s newest adventure – Redline Brewhouse, Barrie Chef Chris Gardiner has promised to work his magic and provided the “perfect summer BBQ” experience. Doors open at 5pm. Tickets are $50/person and can be ordered by emailing You can also call or text me, Kari Williams at 705-734-5349.

The month of May in Citalapa has been fruitful in many ways. The Rio del Cambio Learning Program continues to see excellent attendance by a record number of students. The academic achievements of the children is improving with each passing year and this was recently acknowledged by the high school teachers. It seems “three times’ the charm”… after 3 attempts, we have 18 students of all ages learning English from Westling on Saturday mornings. Classes continue to be well attended and Westling is pleased with their progress.

Rio del Cambio provided the Farmers with their new machetes last week which is customary just before planting season. However, the weather in Nicaragua is remains unusually hot with no sign of rain. Several weeks of rain are necessary to soften to hardened earth before the Farmers can plant their beans and corn.

The second class of ladies learning to sew is progressing well. Several Elementary students have joined the class and are excited to be learning a new skill. The more seasoned sewers are beginning to make items that they can sell to earn an income and help support their families.

The Solar Ovens that we introduced in February 2015 are now being embraced by the women and village after some initial “learning curve” challenges. Rio del Cambio sent two women from Citalapa along with Elias, our Project Manager to the Fuprosomunic Solar Farm for a day of education. There the women learned to use the ovens more efficiently, how to dry fruit, and to dry herbs to make natural medicine remedies. This was a very positive experience for Elias and the women. As a result, they will be hosting a workshop in Citalapa to share what they learned at the Solar Farm. The solar ovens will never completely replace the wood burning ovens in the homes but it will drastically reduce the amount of wood they must scavenge for or purchase as well as reduce the amount of toxic smoke the women and young children are exposed to.

Regrettably, I have not as yet, had the time to send out Sponsorship Photos. It is on my list for the very near future. I apologize for this delay. Renew your Sponsorship for 2015 or e-transfer funds to, or of course, drop a cheque in the mail c/o Kari Williams, 3714 20th Sideroad, Innisfil, Ontario L9S 2Y1. For just $75. you provide a student with a full year of education at the Rio del Cambio Learning Centre. The Rio del Cambio Learning Program focuses on basic reading, writing and math skills. Your donation helps to pay for 3 teachers, notebooks and pencils, textbooks and supplies. This gift from the heart by so many of you has made a significant difference to the lives of over 130 students in the village of Citalapa. Thank you for your generosity and continued commitment to Rio del Cambio and the people of Citalapa, Nicaragua. You truly are making a difference!

Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement.

Kari Williams
Rio del Cambio

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