October 2014 Update

Dear Friends of Rio del Cambio

It has once again been a month of great emotion. I was beginning to feel a sense of calm after writing the September newsletter since life in Citalapa seemed to have begun to find a measure of normal and familiar after 4 months of devastating drought and heat. The rains had finally begun, the farmers were doing what they love with real hope, and the children were back into the routine of school after a great deal of illness.

However, the absence of regular Monday morning emails from Elias left me very concerned. It turned out Elias had been very ill. He experienced a 140 degree temperature for 10 days. It was not until he was able to get several shots from the doctor did he begin to improve. He is now on the mend and once again travelling to Citalapa. His sister-in-law Rosa, who feeds and cares for me and my fellow travellers, was also very sick and experienced some paralyses. She is currently getting treatment and is beginning to feel better but she does not yet have full mobility.

Also, during this time, Nicaragua experienced a week of excessive rain and damaging wind. This wiped out half of the bean crop and about 10% to the corn. An insect infestation is the most current challenge. The farmers are desperately trying to protect and salvage their remaining crops.

On a more positive note, the general health in the village is gradually returning to normal. There are less and less new cases each week of the virus that gripped most of Nicaragua over the past 2 months. Secondly, the farmers were able to plant new Moringa seeds and they have already begun to sprout. Elias is cautiously optimistic these plants will be 4-6 feet high by our visit in January. At that time, we will bring in experts to educate the people of Citalapa on how to best use the Moringa plant to improve their health and general well-being. Also, a second shipment of food was delivered to the villagers last weekend.

As we move into the final month of the school year in Nicaragua, I would like to ask that if you DID NOT receive a sponsorship photo and information as expected, please email me immediately.

I apologize in advance for the over site. Keeping all of the details of our initiatives in Nicaragua organized can be a little challenging! Also, if you have not paid for your 2014 Sponsorship or would like to sponsor a child, we would ask that you consider doing so now.

There are several ways you can do this:

Education for the children of Citalapa is Rio del Cambio’s first and ongoing priority. It is through education that, together we can positively change the direction of lives. For just $75 per year, you will directly improve the health and well-being of a child.

The other option available is to donate $120 to help purchase a solar oven. We will be hosting a workshop for 12 women in January during which they will each build their own oven and learn to use it. One oven can be used by several adjoining households. These ovens with reduce the need for wood, reduce the amount of toxic smoke that the women are exposed to, and expand the cooking options available to them. Once built, the women will be able to cook chicken, vegetables, tortillas even bake a cake, by the energy generated from the sun.

As I mentioned, I will be travelling to Nicaragua in late January. If you are interested in joining me for a unique and authentic experience, please contact me at The group size is limited to 5 to ensure the best possible experience for the group and the village of Citalapa.

I would like to personally thank everyone that continues to support and donate to Rio del Cambio. Together, we have adapted to the changing needs of the people of Citalapa. This is not easy work. But the successes and celebrations, for me, far out weigh the challenges of providing foreign aid to a remote rural community in a country that puts very little emphasis or effort into basic human needs.

Kari Williams
Rio del Cambio Founder and Director

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