Written by Alex, La Mariposa Intern
It has been quite some time since a general update about the status of our projects at La Mariposa. We have been busy bees over the last few weeks, so here are some of the most notable updates!
Appeal letter goes out to buy land adjacent to La Mariposa!
First and foremost, our latest and greatest update is our appeal letter to purchase the land neighboring La Mariposa. We are hoping to raise enough funds over the coming year to make this project a reality – purchasing the land would be a major achievement in conservation, since it remains the only piece of land on our ridge (other than ours) yet to be deforested. Click on this link to see the appeal letter on our website. If you are interested in donating towards this goal, please see the details in the letter and/or contact Paulette!
Cleaning & Repairing the Santiago Community Pila
Last year Pedro, a community organizer in the barrio of Santiago where we have several projects operating, petitioned La Mariposa to clean and repair a giant community “pila” or water tank. Unfortunately, it was almost July and the heavy rains had already begun so we had to put off the project until the following year. Well here we are in 2011 and are pleased to announce that the tank has been cleaned and repaired!
It was a long process but it was finally finished! First off we tried to get our hands on a pump that had the capacity to pump the water out of the tank. We figured we could purchase a pump for C 1500 (thanks to the group from Pacific Crest who donated towards this). It turned out we had a pump available to use in La Mariposa instead, so excitedly we brought it over to Pedro who tried tirelessly to get the pump working. Ultimately, the pump did not have the capacity to pump the water out and our consultations with the department of Carazo’s firefighters led to even higher costs! In the end the water would have to be pumped out manually, yes that’s right buckets and lots of work! The Pacific Crest group should know that their donation did not go to waste; the money they gave went towards other costs of the project. Take a look at the pictures below of all the hard work!
Finally, once the tank had been emptied, the workers could start on the repairs. Luckily, the actual cost turned out lower than our original estimate. Until the water had been emptied there was no real way of knowing just how much work had to be done – so this was goods news! In the end the total cost of the project, including labor (though several community volunteers did help out) and materials came to C 7700 or $345! Thanks also to Nancy who donated $150 towards the projects various costs! Now the tank will collect rainwater over the coming season that can then be used in the dry season for non-potable water uses (cleaning, watering plants namely). The tank also houses fish that can be served up as a nutritional supplement to the community and the neighboring daycare center we support.
Community Gardens Moving Forward
Clare’s on-going community project has been moving forward over past weeks, with more beneficiaries beginning the process. Now almost all 26 families have the espadillo to build their living fences, as well as seeds and access to organic compost. The original group of families is already seeing the fruits, or more accurately veggies, of their labor! We have now coordinated to start planting on a small plot adjacent to the daycare/after school reading program building in Santiago. Pedro, the same community organizer who petitioned us for the cleaning of the water tank, is in charge of this garden plot. The veggies produced will provide added nutrition to the meals given at the daycare project.
Goodbye Alison, but Hello More Sports!
At the end of April 2011, we said goodbye to one of interns, Alison, who went back to Canada after working at La Mariposa since December 2010. Alison spearheaded several sports projects, which we are carrying on in her honor. Her last achievement before leaving was coordinating an all-girls soccer tournament in the San Juan cancha (concrete basketball court used for playing soccer). Six teams of girls ages 11-17 battled it out for the top prizes, donated by the Corradino family who visited La Mariposa. The event was a huge success, and Alison’s last request before heading home was to see more sports projects continue on in her absence. Since then we have coordinated with Marlin to organize two new leagues in our municipality. One league is targeted towards boys ages 15-17 who are too old to play in the existing league and too young for the adult leagues. The league is due to kick-off in the coming weeks, and hopefully we will also have coordinated an open league for girls in our municipality as well.
On May 26, La Mariposa hosted a morning-long tournament for the local San Juan primary school boys aged 9-11. This tournament would not have been possible without the help of one of our Spanish teachers, Kinema, who also along with Marlin understands the importance sports can play in the lives of children and youth. The tournament consisted of 8 teams of 11 kids out on the field playing futbol campo or field soccer. Thanks to so many generous guests that brought down donations, we were able to give every kid who participated a prize. The top winners got soccer jerseys, hats, and knee guards, while the bottom teams did not go home empty handed – they got pencils and crayons. We also gave every team’s Most Valuable Player (decided in a special team shoot out) a pair of soccer shoes.
With more donations of soccer equipment we can keep these tournaments going for different segments of our municipality – not just to play, but also for prizes! Also Marlin’s leagues are always in need of equipment, again for playing and for prizes.
The following are the most useful in terms of sports equipment at this time:
- Futbol sala size 4 balls (soccer played on concrete)
- Balls for field soccer
- Chin guards, knee guards – Sizes for ages 8-18
- Soccer jerseys, complete sets or individual, kids sizes S, M, L and adult sizes, XS, S, M
- Soccer shoes large kids sizes to adults
NOTE: Nicaraguans are generally smaller built than your average North American; keep this in mind when selecting gear, such as chin guards and jerseys. For example, adult sizes L, XL for jerseys rarely fit anyone!!
Stay tuned in the coming days to see pictures of our new additions to La Mariposa…….