I’ve traveled once again this past August to bring assistance to the very poor folks in northwestern Nicaragua. I led a group of ten “Friends” from Long Island which included two doctors, three teenagers, and five others. As usual, while there we funded and helped construct two sturdy houses for homeless families, bringing our total in the past four years to 30 houses! We also furthered work on a park we’ve been constructing since 2013. The children of the region have never had any recreational opportunities, so this park, named for Maryknoll missionary Sister Joan Uhlen who lived in Nicaragua for more than 40 years, is very important for the community.
In addition, brought some assistance to a very poor community called El Jicarito, located northeast of the city of Leon. El Jicarito is made up of several hundred families who lack mostly everything. They are wonderful, patient people who have not asked for much, so we want to be of whatever help we can.
While things are getting better in some of the regions in which we work, hunger, poor housing conditions, sanitation and unemployment remain problems for many. If you’d like to help, please consider once again making a tax-deductible contribution made out to our 501c3 charitable organization, Friends of Students for 60000, and sending it to me at 16 Stony Hollow Rd., Centerport NY 11721. Or, see the Paypal option on this website.
Mil gracias, a thousand thanks,
Here’s how it works: There are 100 families in El Jicarito without latrines of any sort, they cannot afford it.
A latrine is essentially a 20′ deep hole in the ground, much like a cesspool here. The top four feet is lined with brick so it doesn’t collapse. See some of the photos. On top of the hole goes a cement floor type thing, with a hole in it, and a potty seat, cement, goes over the hole. The whole thing is then surrounded by three brick walls, a door, and zinc sheet roof. All pretty small, though I can fit, barely, inside one. But they are necessary for privacy and sanitation.
None of the families could afford the $200, which is for cement and brick, etc., the family must dig the hole by themselves, or have neighbors help in case of elderly person. We left $6000 to have 30 constructed. While discussing with Conchita and the women, problem was which 30 families would get a latrine, and which 70 would not. The women said they would work together to create more latrines. Here’s how: Conchita and the women agreed that since though none could afford $200, and none could even afford to pay half, or $100, if given time, like one year, they could pay $8 a month and thereby contribute half over that time period. So $8 X 12.5 months = about $100, or half. So the payback from the first 30 latrine families would yield $3000 in payback money, to fund constr. of 15 additional latrines.
What I really want to do is get enough to get the remaining 42 latrines done. The patient people of EJ deserve at least that.