September 2016 Newsletter
Dear Friends of Rio del Cambio
Fingers crossed… It looks like the tides may be changing in Citalapa. After 2 years of extreme heat with little to no rain, the skys opened in early September. Citalapa experiences a week of steady rain and slightly cooler temperatures. This allowed the farmers to plant a crop for the first time in since the spring of 2014 (which was wiped out by flooding and insects). The weather to date, seems to be holding with a nice balance of light rain and sunshine. Temperatures have been in a more normal range of 30-32 instead of the 33-36 degrees experienced over the past 10 months.
We live in hope that the farmers will finally be harvesting a much-needed crop in December. Project Manager Elias stated in his last email:
“I give out corn to make tortillas and all very happy women because this grain is well expensive and scarce in the market because last year no corn was harvested and now it sells with a very high price – almost double. I also give rice, beans, sugar, salt, oil, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and bell peppers. They gave thanks to God and to you for this valuable help in these very difficult times, you may notice in their faces the joy on this day.”
The villagers came together cleaning the school, the church, the streets and moringa grove to show their gratitude for the food baskets.
Rio del Cambio purchased food for the food baskets and seed for the farmers to plant. We are hoping this with finally energize the Farmers Co-operative that we started in 2012 and was working so well until the El Nino in 2014 began – among the strongest on record.
The Learning Program continues to be Rio del Cambio’s first priority and our little “diamond in the rough”. Elias, teacher and parents all confirm the Learning Program has given the children of Citalapa purpose and determination during these difficult times. Their grades have improved significantly in the past 6 years since we began the program, and the number of high school students has risen from 2 to 32 with 5 graduates and 2 now attending university. The English class continues to attract over a dozen students each week.
I will be travelling to Citalapa, Nicaragua next week from September 29 – October 6. My friend Esther will be joining me as translator. We are looking forward to reconnecting with the children, learning about the challenges the village has faced over the past 10 months and hopefully begin to develop a more positive plan and budget for 2017. I will be photo journalling the trip on Facebook/riodelcambio and invite you to follow along.
For just $100 (or less than $2/week), you can keep a child in school fora whole one year. This pays for teachers, notebooks, text books and writing supplies. If you have not paid for you 2016 Sponsorship of a child in the Learning Program, we invite you to do so here via PayPal. General donation will help to purchase new water filters for each household to ensure safe, drinkable water, and help to supply the farmers with a machete – their only farming tool. You may donate here via PayPal, or etransfer your donation to firstname.lastname@example.org, or sent a cheque to “Rio del Cambio” at 3714 20th Sideroad, Innisfil, Ontario L9S 2Y1.
Thank you for your ongoing interest and support for Rio del Cambio (River of Change). It is through your generous donations that the village of Citalapa IS experiencing a greater level of human dignity, health and well-being through a variety of funded programs and projects. Together, we truly are making a difference!