Let the Good Times Roll?


“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

 

let the good times rollRecently, I’ve been bombarded on my Facebook news feed with videos of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. The ALS marketing strategy is brilliant and has raised over $30 million dollars for ALS research and created an awareness of ALS throughout the world. Letting the good times roll by donating to a reputable charity AND having fun while doing it is exhilarating.
Keep rolling. More good times ahead.

Part One: The Culture of Reading in Nicaragua, or Not


“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
― Mark Twain

IMG_5762Imagine a world where books are rare… where children are never read bedtime stories… where there are no libraries…no understanding of reading for pleasure…Oh the Places You Won’t Go without Dr. Seuss…no teacher literacy training…nothing to help advance literacy in children. If you can’t imagine this world, all you have to do is come to Ometepe Island, Nicaragua.
Definitely keep reading.Reading is so very important.

Two Kids from La Chureca Looking For Sponsors


Rewired and Retired in Nicaragua:

Jefferson is a Weekend Philanthropist and he is looking for sponsors for two children in Nicaragua. If you are interested in sponsoring one or both of these children, please contact him.

Originally posted on The Weekend Philanthropist:

For the past year, my mom and I have sponsored two children from La Chureca, paying so they could go to a private school outside of the landfill.

The kids worked hard, but private school is difficult and there has been a lot of change going on around them, including the community being moved to concrete homes together with people from other extremely poor areas of Managua.

This year, our scholarship director in Nicaragua, a nurse who has been serving the people of La Chureca for over a decade and who volunteers her time to help administer these scholarships, has two more children who she thinks are up for the challenge of private school – all they need is the funding.

Benefits of private school over public school:

  1. Smaller class sizes.
  2. Higher discipline.
  3. Access to a psychologist, a library, and a computer lab.
  4. Incentives to be the best…

View original 226 more words

Women’s Soccer in Nicaragua


“Soccer isn’t the same as Bach or Buddhism. But it is often more deeply felt than religion, and just as much a part of the community’s fabric, a repository of traditions.”
― Franklin Foer, How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

Las Divinas de Los Ramos

Las Divinas de Los Ramos

This year, the indigenous community of Los Ramos on Ometepe Island started a women’s soccer team. Twenty-two young women ages 12-31 joined Las Divinas. And, oh how divine this team is! Their lack of uniforms, soccer shoes, and proper equipment didn’t hold them back. They ran in bare feet and practiced with a homemade goal constructed with a large PVC pipe, while onlookers held their babies and cheered for this determined group of women.

Sports, in general, are great motivators to help people around the world to connect with one another and become united. The community of Los Ramos recognizes the potential for soccer to help improve their young women’s lives through fostering teamwork, teaching the importance of hard work, dedication, and cooperation with others. They believe that the humble beginnings of The Divine Women’s Soccer team can effect positive social change in their community, as well as play an important role in the fight for gender equality in Nicaragua.

I would like to help this team buy uniforms and equipment for their next soccer season. With your donations, we can help them fulfill their dreams of a brighter and divine future for women in the Los Ramos community.  They have compiled a list of needed items, the costs, and where they will buy their uniforms. Any extra money received, once the goal is met, will go to purchase soccer balls, nets, and other equipment these deserving young women will need.

Here is the YouCaring donation page: The Divine Women’s Soccer Team

All donations will go directly to The Divine Women’s Soccer team. I’ll be sure to update you with pictures, team scores, and profiles of some of the women that you have supported. Thank you so much in advance for your generosity.

A little information about Nicaraguans and the internet:
The soccer coach visited my home several times, and gave me a carefully compiled list of what they need, the costs, and the places where they will buy the soccer uniforms and equipment. He also compiled a list of all the women, their ages, and showed me all of their identification cards. Then he said, “Can you put this on the internet for us?” I silently chucked to myself because they don’t understand how the internet works. It’s a mysterious miracle to them. In exchange for a bag of beans, two watermelons, and lots of hugs and thank yous, I said, “I will be glad to put your soccer team on the internet for you.”

Women’s Soccer Exchange
Our Women’s Soccer Team
Soccer Without Borders in Nicaragua

Holiday Gifts from Nicaragua


shop localLiving in Nicaragua, Christmas shopping gives me a new outlook on the importance of shopping local. Buying local stimulates the economy, creates new jobs provided by local businesses, reduces the environmental impact, and nonprofits receive greater support. Although Nicaragua is still in its infancy in high-tech shopping online, there are  a few websites devoted to selling their products from Nicaragua.

Enjoy the list I have compiled and Happy Local Shopping.

1. Masaya Market-Handmade Gifts  One of the few websites where you can buy online.
2. Sexy and Sexy 
One of Nicaragua’s first online-only stores. Warning: This is an adult erotic supply website. Leave it to Nicaragua to develop a virtual sex shop as a way to help innovate the way the internet is used in Nicaragua.
3. Vidalife Granada  This website focuses on shopping in Granada, Nicaragua. Check out the directory of services.
4. Una Buena Chica Nica  A Facebook page displaying her fine local crafts in San Juan del Sur.
5. Empowerment International  Give a gift of education for impoverished Nicaraguan children through this wonderful organization.
6. Nicaraguan Cultural Alliance   a U.S.-based organization that works to support the arts and community development projects in Nicaragua.
7. Fabretto   Fabretto’s mission is to empower children and their families in Nicaragua to reach their full potential and improve their livelihoods through education and nutrition.
8. Nica Nelly  Purchasing pottery, hammocks, Nicaraguan coffee, and other crafts from NicaNelly directly benefits the artisans from Nicaragua who take pride in their craftsmanship.
9. La Esperanza Granada  Give a gift of educational supplies that will last a lifetime.
10. Opportunity International  Shop in the Ojala Store The Ojala brand represents the creativity and potential of Nicaraguan microentrepreneurs

In addition to these online stores and NGOs that support local craftsmen, below are a few resources from Melissa, an expat friend who has lived in Nicaragua for 10 years. Thanks Melissa for the pictures and contacts.

eggnog

An awesome locally made eggnog, with or without rum. 8-404-1816 for info on where to get in Managua.

nativity scene

From Pesebres, hand-carved jicaro shells, and baby Jesus is in a cradle made from pine needles from Cusmapa, terranica.artesanos@gmail.com

chopping block

An early Christmas gift made using gorgeous woods by Crearte. Maria and Gerardo Gutierrez run the place and have a shop in Masaya. gerardojoselopez16@hotmail.com

Again, happy local shopping this holiday season. If you have any additional links for Nicaraguan products, please add the link in a comment below.

 

Foreign Philanthropy


Inspired by Jefferson’s philosophy and practice as a Weekend Philanthropist and because we got paid for our gig on a TV show (well, not yet…but soon),  I decided to dabble in a little foreign philanthropy myself.

Although philanthropy isn’t foreign to me, the sense of caring for, nourishing, and enhancing a love of humanity, is fading quickly in our troubled world. Read some comments on a Yahoo article or Facebook and I’m sure you’ll agree. But, what exactly is philanthropy and how does it differ from charity?

When I was a working woman, I used to give to charities, mainly because I had more disposable income and less time. But, I found charities to be impersonal. Charities relieve the pains of social problems, such as food, clothing, etc. for natural disasters and other societal pains, but it is temporary relief. On the other hand, philanthropy attempts to get to the root of the problem. I like the thought of getting up close and personal to a problem and trying to solve it from the inside out.

I’ve heard people describe the differences between charity and philanthropy as: charity gives a man a fish and philanthropy teaches a man to fish. Or charity=giving and philanthropy=doing. Either way, charity’s Latin roots and philanthropy’s Greek roots are both based on meanings of loving kindness and generosity. Both are admirable and make a difference in our troubled world. Yet, I lean towards philanthropy because; I have less disposable income and more time, and philanthropy addresses the root causes of why people are vulnerable in the first place.

Although there is a blurred line in the distinctions between charity and philanthropy, the important thing is to do something, right? So in the interest of doing something, I’d like to share with you some of the organizations and people, to which I am paying forward loving kindness and generosity.

1. Johnson Cruz Races for Funds
I have written several posts about Johnson, and I will continue to support him in his quest of becoming a Nicaraguan Olympian.

2. El Carizo Sustainability Project
A friend of mine is empowering a small community in Nicaragua to break the cycle of poverty through organic agriculture, environmental protection, education, and intercultural exchange.

3. OutMore Adventures
My son and his business partners created cultural tourism programs for the indigenous community of Los Ramos, which I will always support. In fact, the TV show filmed them, which was lots of fun. We made nacatamales in their cultural cooking class and filmed the process. The TV crew gorged themselves on the delicious nacatamales. :-)

Of course, I have more books to buy for my mobile lending library, my neighbor needs running shoes so he can compete in local races, and I’d sure like to help our local hospital with donations of latex gloves (I’m going to stock up on boxes of latex gloves when I go back to the states).

I’ve only begun on my philanthropic journey….with miles to go before I sleep. Yet, when I do sleep…it’s with peaceful, loving thoughts and dreams of what I can do tomorrow.

Johnson Cruz Races for Funds


If you haven’t read my post about Johnson Cruz, please read it here. Johnson: A Nicaraguan Giver.

With your help, Johnson, an endurance athlete and ultramarathon champion, will have a chance to make a name for himself training and competing among the most élite athletes in the USA.

Johnson and Pac with their chickens at the start of the Fuego y Agua Survivor Run.

chickens at starting line copyPlease consider donating to this incredible young man.

Johnson Cruz Races for Funds

Thank you for your support. I am so proud of Johnson and his remarkable talents. With your help we can make his dreams come true.