UPDATE & THE FUTURE – LA MARIPOSA

20180728_100245

Although visitors have yet to return to NIcaragua in large numbers, many tourist hotspots, including the Masaya Volcano, Laguna de Apoyo and Granada (photo above) have reopened and the country in general is in a calm state though still somewhat tense. The government is now firmly in control and the opposition soundly defeated. La Mariposa has continued to welcome the occasional student and friend to stay throughout the crisis…important less for financial reasons but keeps our spirits up. We are always ready to host individual Spanish students (though we cannot cater for just one so bring a friend!), volunteers, families and groups of up to 20.

WE PLAN TO REOPEN FORMALLY IN DECEMBER

with a campaign -THIS IS THE TIME to come to Nicaragua to
HELP US REBUILD OUR COMMUNITY with practical help on projects as well as help rebuilding relationships shattered by the crisis. In La Mariposa people of all political persuasions work with the local community together in an atmosphere of respect and dialogue.
Ideas for putting this into practice
(1) progress projects planned but suspended eg children’s communal eating area in Palo Solo
(2) complete the sustainable building project & playground for Chispa de Vida
(3) initiate new childrens project in barrios in San Juan most heavily affected by the recent political crisis where people can feel isolated from the rest of La Concha.
HELP US PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT which has also suffered from increased hunting of wildlife (birds, iguana, turtles) and tree felling as a result of the political crisis. Some ideas…
(1) develop an educational program especially for use in children’s projects
(2) continue with reforestation, improving our tree nursery with rare and threatened species of trees
(3) raise donations and grants for purchasing land as pretty much the only way especially now to preserve trees & other plants, birds, bees, frogsAs well as helping us, visitors will improve their Spanish, learn about Nicaragua (including recent history) and have some fun!

Recent tripadviser review https://www.tripadvisor.com.mx/Hotel_Review-g551472-d677852-Reviews-La_Mariposa_Spanish_School_and_Eco_Hotel-Masaya_Masaya_Department.html

 I travel a lot internationally and give thought to where I head – and I have chosen to visit Nicaragua and the La Mariposa three times already this year – in April, May and July. Previous plans will keep me away in August, but I’ll likely be returning in September as well.
If you are considering visiting, remember that the nature of news is to focus on the dramatic scenes and then use them over and over which makes it seem as if the entire country is engulfed in violence 24/7. It is not and never has been (pay close attention to the dates on the media credits and you’ll see what I mean). The reality is that, in much of the country, life is going on in a usual manner and has been doing so the entire time.
No one is interested in foreigners – not in the least bit – and there is nothing that points toward this changing. This has been very much an internal struggle.
And, most importantly, the staff at the Mariposa knows what is going on – their news gathering network is a wonder to behold – and they will not allow guests to take the slightest risk.
So, on with it! There is, with the help of excellent teachers, Spanish to be learned. There is volunteer work to be done and community projects to support, there are wonderful people to meet, there are dogs to play with and horses to ride and wonderful food to eat. Go.

On a personal note – Chester is leaving the magagement team, he is worn out and rather depressed by only working with cancellations! Hopefully this will be temporary, depending on whether we can recover in Dec and Jan 2019. If we do not then we will have to close permantly.
Paulette too is hoping to take something of a break to recover from exhaustion.

For the past 2 months we have survived on donations from friends and ex students. You have been incredibly generous with us and we estimate we can continue as we are (workers and projects on half pay) until Oct/Nov. We have made some hard decisions such as whether to spend money now on repairing the roof, vehicle upkeep – hoping against hope it is not money wasted.
We have tried to thank everyone…if not please accept our apologies and thanks!
If you would like to donate from the USA go to http://www.masmariposas.org (our new 501)
From the UK, use Sustainability Partners button on our webpage http://www.mariposaspanishschool.comYOU CAN ALSO HELP BY TAKING SKYPE SPANISH CLASSES -$12 per hour
as in true Mariposa style we still try and earn our way!
Contact Josimar on lamariposaspanishschool06@gmail.com

Advertisements

Weekend in Tola – Hurricane Update

 

These days Tola is normally associated with south Nicaragua’s stunning beaches, internationally famous for surfing. Hurricane Nate hit hard and we got an SOS from a Mariposa ex intern. We responded as fast as possible, collecting both financial help and asking local people to donate whatever they could (bearing in mind that we also suffered badly from the hurricane). Many local businesses were super generous, and we filled the pick-up truck and part of a truck with food, clothes, cleaning tools and – on top of all that – several volunteers.

Loading Up

And Away We Go

Saturday afternoon in Tola was spent dividing everything up into family size packages, to be delivered by Fundacion Medical Para Ninos, a local NGO, to the more remote communities who have so far received little help. Sunday the Mariposa volunteers really got to work helping to clean out some of mud from houses – distressing to see houses without walls, ruined school supplies, mattresses and clothing hung out to dry still wet nearly a week after the rains, and talk to people who had everything swept away by the current. Driving past, we could see how high the mud and water reached on the still wet and dirty walls of houses and schools. One family lost two calves and several of their pigs. There are fields that used to be of corn and platanos completely drowned in a sea of mud.

Houses and fields covered with sticky mud

Ruined school supplies

Everything hung out to dry

 

It is not just a human disaster but an ecological one too. Innumerable trees came down which of course will only make extreme weather even more probable in the future. The vast quantities of mud deposited by the swollen rivers came not just from the river beds but from the eroded fields higher up. The surrounding hills have been clear cut for small crop patches but also there are large cattle ranches which bear a great deal of the responsibility – leaving no vegetation to hang on to the soil. Exactly what is happening around La Concha!!!!

055

Ending on a positive note…..we returned to La Mariposa tired but pleased with our accomplishments. We plan an extra trip this Thursday to take down more supplies. And on the home front we have visited all of the damaged houses in Palo Solo (the community near our nature reserve, Canada Honda – we estimate about one fifth of which was badly damaged) and will be spending about $2000 on supplies for repairs.

Just remains for me to THANK EVERYBODY EVERYWHERE who has donated.