Goodie Bags for Los Ramos

It’s not often that one gets to see immediate results of their donations or knows that all of the money received goes directly to those who need it the most. For $800 we bought over 1,000 pounds of food for 125 families. That averages out to be $6 for each goodie bag.  Thanks, Kris, for figuring that one out for me. 🙂 No overhead costs, no administrative costs…all the money goes directly to these lovely families of Los Ramos.

On Saturday, Ron and I walked…and sometimes climbed, scooted, and tramped over boulders to get into Los Ramos to help distribute the food bags to each family. See my earlier post.

When we arrived, Ever’s family was busy scooping rice, pouring cooking oil into small plastic bags, and packing the bags for 125 families living in Los Ramos. Landslides destroyed their community.

"Say Pizza," I say as I snap a photo. "Pizza? Where's the pizza?" they all laugh.

“Say Pizza,” I say as I snap a photo. “Pizza? Where’s the pizza?” they all laugh.

Ever's uncle has the slippery job of scooping the cooking oil and pouring it into plastic bags.

Ever’s uncle has the slippery job of scooping the cooking oil and pouring it into plastic bags.

Ever's mother organizes all the bags, and says "Hello world. Thank you for everything."

Ever’s mother organizes all the bags, and says “Hello world. Thank you for everything.”

This is what your donations have bought, so far. The donations continue to come in daily.
IMG_4922The bags are all filled and we wait for the families to arrive.

IMG_4928Here they come!

IMG_4958It was a hugging kind of day! I received 125 hugs. I’m passing these hugs on to YOU.

IMG_4942Within 30 minutes all bags had been distributed to the families. Ever checked off the list of the families and announced each one.

"These gifts are from the world," I tell everyone.

“These gifts are from the world,” I tell everyone.

Since I was too busy to take photos, the following photos are from Rich, who took us on the shopping spree for the food and other items. Thanks Rich! I wanted you to see some of the beautiful people you helped.

A grandmother of Los Ramos

A grandmother of Los Ramos

Ever and Francisco's grandmother.

Ever and Francisco’s grandmother.

Children of Los Ramos

Children of Los Ramos

Alexandria and Sayid..step brother and sister.

Alexandria and Sayid..step brother and sister.

After a busy afternoon, Lilieth called us into her kitchen, where she had made fresh empanadas and rosquillas in her adobe oven for us to take home. Can you believe this?

IMG_4969Walking through the valley, headed home, we pass the church. Music and song flowed through the community. Everyone had gone to the church after receiving their gifts to give thanks. This was so touching. I cried all the way up the boulder strewn hill.

IMG_4973A family walks through the rocks and mud headed home with their goodie bags.

IMG_4980The donations are still rolling in. I’m going to start thinking BIG! Maybe solar panels, or bulldozers, or bridges. Who knows! With your help we can make life a little better for the resilient Los Ramos residents. My heart is filled with their amazing grace for your generosity and loving kindness.

21 thoughts on “Goodie Bags for Los Ramos

  1. This is so wonderful! Warms our hearts. We have loved the people of Nicaragua since we visited on our boat back in 2003. Thank you for your efforts, and please keep us posted and let us know of other ways we can help.

      • We left San Francisco in 2001 and spent two years in Mexico, then another year in Central America. We eventually transited the Panama Canal and sailed back up to the Yucatan and then over to Florida, where we sold our boat (long story short!).

        We visited every country in Central America and Nicaragua was one of our favorites. We kept our boat near Chinandega but did quite a bit of land traveling. Visited Leon, hiked Mombacho, spent money in Masaya, got hopelessly lost in Managua, spent holy week in Granada (unforgettable!), but never quite made it to Omotepe although we really wanted to. Everywhere we went, we were captivated by the warm hearts and generosity of the people, especially those who had so little in the way of material comforts (at least, as we understand them). I have a story to tell you about our sweet Nica friend Marlon, but I’ll save it.

        Aren’t you glad you asked? 😉

        One more thing to tell you. My husband John is retiring and we are planning a move to Panama next April. We’ve made two other trips back there and last time got to know Kris and Joel Carpenter and Holly and Scott Carter. We’re avid readers of their blogs and through them, learned of yours. What a peaceful and beautiful life you’ve made there on Omotepe! We loved reading about the birthday party.

        Enough for now! Hope we can finally get to Omotepe and meet you some day!


        • Yes, Susan. I am so glad I asked. 🙂 I really enjoy hearing stories about how people decide to move abroad. Now, I have to hear the story about Marlon. Jeje. I am so glad that we “met” through Holly’s blog and Kris’ blog. Now, we need to meet in person. Congratulations on your impending retirement and move to Panama. It’s a beautiful country. Thanks for answering my question.

  2. Reblogged this on The Panama Adventure and commented:
    If you helped the people affected by the disaster on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua, you need to read this and see what an effect it is having. When it got to the part about all of them going to the church to give thanks, I needed a tissue. For a little over $6/family they not only got desperately needed supplies, they understood that there are many others out here in the world who care about them. If you want to help, go here – Every single penny is going to these loving and gentle people who are having a very hard time right now. Thank you Deb for heading up this effort!

    • Thanks Anita and Richard. There were two more landslides the other day. The rain just won’t give them a break. When I see how the landslides affected these beautiful families and then their strength and fortitude to step over the boulders in their paths, I am in awe.

  3. Their beautiful faith brings tears to me too. I echo Chris’s comments. This is going to be a slow process and a complicated one to not only clean up but to have any kind of sustainable income. I so admire what you and Ron and others are doing.

  4. This brings tears to my eyes too, especially the part about them all going to church to give thanks.
    Is anyone else doing anything to help? They need that road cleared, and fields cleared, and homes rebuilt, and and and… and they will continue to need support while all this is going on because they won’t be able to sustain themselves without crops and animals and tourists.

    • There is a group from the other side of the island that is supplying school materials…backpacks and other things for the children. A friend of mine is looking into solar lamp or solar panel donations. The bulldozer from Altagracia will be coming to Los Ramos once the main roads are cleared. The main roads are still a mess, and they only have one big bulldozer. I don’t know how they will fix the road to Los Ramos. I couldn’t believe it! It’s like a deep canyon, now.
      There are other communities that have been affected as well…La Flor and San Marcos. Moyogalpa is supposed to be helping these communities, but I heard yesterday that the mayor of Moyogalpa donated thousands of plastic bags to these villages. Plastic bags???? I’m not sure what that is all about.
      I’ll keep you updated. The whole country is going through some hard times, now. Heavy rains have caused much damage throughout the entire country.

      • I saw something in the news about torrential rains throughout the country. That’s the last thing you all need right now. What a mess, and what a job it is going to be to put things right again. I agree with what you said in your “humility” post. We can use our voices and keyboards, and we can continue to do so to get these people through this.

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