Update on the changes

An update on what is happening – and a big thank you to all of you who have sent messages of support. I have not yet had time to reply to you all individually but it really does help enormously to know we have such a well of sympathy out there in the big world!

In the meantime, the services we provide at the Mariposa will either be affected only minimally or not at all. The garden may start to look a little bit overgrown but I promise the monkeys (and the students!) will still be well fed. All of the community projects,  the horses, the organic farm have had their funding assured. There will be no impact on students wishing to come here to take classes, do the activities or live in homestay and do volunteer work.

We are currently exploring different ways of trying to sort the problem. We will probably still have to fire a number of the workers but the majority will be immediately reemployed and hopefully the rest within a period of time (it is complicated how this helps but it does!!!). Secondly, the lawyer is working on a way to remove the teachers from our paybill and place them on a different footing financially – one possibility for example would be to put them on direct weekly contracts with the students. Again, complicated to explain how this helps exactly (I am learning so much through all of this!!) but it would really go a LONG way to taking us out of the mierda.

Finally, we had a meeting with the Mayor of La Concepcion – his support has been invaluable, morally and emotionally as well as on the practical side. I discussed with him how this is going to be a major issue for all Spanish schools in Nicaragua as none of them employ their teachers on a permanent basis and this will seriously damage the possibilities of increasing sustainable tourism here in Nicaragua as a lot of foreigners come here to learn Spanish. And, thanks in no small part to the efforts and success of the Mariposa, more and more students are choosing Nicaragua over Costa Rica. He is going to pursue this line of argument.


4 thoughts on “Update on the changes

  1. Hello there,
    I just read your last two blogs. It’s sad what is happening. I wish I could do something for you and all the others. For now a big Dutch hug and know that I’m thinking about ways to help. Will write to you soon.
    Big hug. Ruth


  2. Yes, making the argument that Nicaragua must be able to compete with Costa Rica and other Central American countries for students is essential. I wonder how Costa Rican and other Nicaraguan Spanish schools are handling the social security issue and if anything can be learned from their strategies.

    Having just spent a wonderful two weeks at La Mariposa, and benefited from your highly reasonable prices, I must say I would still have come even if the price were a bit higher.

    Wishing you all the very best, Paulette, as you get this issue ironed out. (P.s. I’d love to post my new Mariposa blog with your “other blogs” page but don’t see how. Let me know when you have a moment?)


  3. Oh, Paulette. This is all just heartbreaking to hear. I’m sensing by this second post that you feel a bit more hopeful than you did a few days ago? Please know that Jenny, the boys and I are thinking of you all. We love you dearly and belive in you and want to do everything in our power to keep things going at the Mariposa. I’ll get on the pay pal thing as soon as I can.




  4. I am so relieved that there seems to be a solution to this huge problem, Paulette. I’ve talked a lot about this issue with people here on Salt Spring Island, as it is another example how good intentions (in this case, social laws aiming to protect the work force) can have the worst possible effects when they are not thought through well. We were all stumped at what to do… It was extremely upsetting to hear what you have been going through, also at an emotional level – I hope you are able to work it through with the staff who weren’t supportive.

    Keep us posted, Paulette, and please keep up the good work – you have created an amazing environment where local staff, students, and social justice ideas are thriving. I would have been tremendously sad if you had been forced to let go of all that.

    Big hug,



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