Near to my heart are the people of Nicaragua. The country itself is fascinating – bordered on both sides by oceans, full of volcanoes, cities, jungles, and a resilient people who have endured an onslaught of earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions over the centuries. Plus, my wife was on her way to Nicaragua when I met her in Texas. We spent two years dating each other long distance during which time I was able to travel from California down to Nicaragua several times. My wife spent time volunteering for a mission that eventually evolved into today’s Nuevas Esperanzas, which stands for “New Hope”.
I am a board member for Nuevas Esperanzas, which specializes in working with the people who live in the villages on the side of Vulcan Telica – an active volcano outside of Leon, Nicaragua. Nuevas Esperanzas is partnering with people from the villages of El Ojochal del Listón, Agua Fria, San Jacinto, and Nuevo Amanecer on projects as wide ranging as arsenic filtering and beekeeping. Other projects include rainwater harvesting, ecotourism, sustainble farming, and road building.
One special connection to Nicaragua is the address system. In Nicaragua most roads are unnamed. Cyclists in any country navigate frequently by landmarks rather than road names. Ask any cyclist the name of a road that they ride every day, and they may not be able to tell you. But ask them to describe the road and they can tell you the location of every pothole, tree, and mailbox. Addresses in Nicaragua are given as directions from familiar landmarks. For example, the postal address for Nuevas Esperanzas is the following: Iglesia La Recolección, 1 cuadra al oeste, 20 varas al Norte, León, Nicaragua – which translates roughly to 1 block west of the church called “La Recoleccion” and 20 steps to the north. How cool is that?!
Find out more about this organization and how to partner with them in the work that they do by visiting their excellent website today!