October 2013 Update
Dear Friends of Rio del Cambio
I am happy- but cautious- to say that the weather in Nicaragua is co-operating and the crops are looking quite promising. Citalapa received a good rain late last week which was well timed and the days are beginning to hold more sunshine as the raining season starts to wind down. The farmers hope to begin harvesting in mid to late November. This will bring much needed grain for food and an income to many of the families.
Rio del Cambio did, however, again provide food staples to many of the households that are struggling to make ends meet. We delivered 5 pounds of rice, 5 pounds of beans, 3 pounds of sugar, 1 litre of oil and 1 pound of spaghetti to about about 60 families for a total of just over $800. It is too soon to say if more food will be necessary in the coming months. The food delivery was a very welcomed surprise to the community. Elias asked me to convey their enormous gratitude to each of you on behalf of the people of Citalapa.
We are also please to report that the level of sickness in the children has improved significantly since installing water filtration canisters into every home in July and August. The rainy season continues however to be a challenge for the seniors in the village with ongoing bronchial issues and an increase in arthritic pain. Combating these issues is difficult since there are no medical facilities close by.
The teachers at the Rio del Cambio Learning Program are reporting steady attendance and clear academic improvement in the children. The school year will finish at the end of November and commence again in mid February. To date, there are already 6 preschoolers enrolled to start school in the new year. Below you will see pictures of the food delivery and group pictures of the children of which you may recognize your sponsored child. Unfortunately, not all of the children attended the community meeting or were present for the picture but we hope you enjoy seeing their growth and progress.
I will be travelling to Nicaragua in late January or early February of 2014 for about 12 days. If you are interested in joining me for a Service Learning experience, please feel to contact me. The group size will be a maximum of 6 people to ensure an authentic experience for the travelers. The cost including flight, accommodation, meals, transportation, wages for drivers and guides and activities is $2500 per person. (It may be less depending on the cost of flights which will need to be booked in early December.)
Thank you for you ongoing support and interest in Rio del Cambio and the children of Citalapa. Although change can be slow and at times, very challenging, we are pleased with the improved health and well-being of the village. Your donations and support are truly making a significant difference to the lives of these children and their families.