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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Reason for The Challenge

The Volcano Charity Challenge we completed two weeks ago raised over $8,000 dollars for the GVI projects in Nicaragua with mine and Troy´s sponsors alone being almost enough to fund fund the much needed addition to the school in La Chiriza. We cannot thank you enough! Over the past week we have had the pleasure of watching the addition take shape. With close to 100 students in seven grades in only three rooms, the outdoor addition will give 40 preschool children their own space to do what 3-5 year olds do best—make their voices heard!

Our friend Aaron has been overseeing the school project here since its inception a year ago and in that time it has grown from simply chairs and tables set up in the open, to the three room structure that exists today which now boasts a brand new addition. The school, run by two local teachers in addition to volunteers, provides what is best described as a supplemental education. The learning environment of national schools is often less than ideal and depending on cost and location barriers, some parents don´t send their children at all. The volunteer-run school reinforces the national school curriculum at no cost, therby increasing the odds of successful education even for those with little or no means. In addition, adult literacy and english classes are provided twice a week.

Ofcourse it was not all business, we had plenty of fun and laughed a lot, especially during recreo!

The community of La Chiriza is quite new, only slightly more than a year old. La Chiriza is one of those communities that is all too real; the people are real and the poverty is real. It is a community in which the combination of tarps and scrap wood is a house, an outhouse is a bathroom, a bucket is a shower, and an open fire is a stove. This particular community is best described as a ´squatter´ community where people have travelled from both near and far to stake their claim on available land close enough to Esteli to find work there but with less expense. The community has only recently been legally recognized and it continues to grow. Power lines are currently being strung from plot to plot, though it has yet to be activated, and houses continue to go up.

After spendiing time in Chiriza, we have no doubts that the challenge and the project it supported was more than a worthwhile endeavor.

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