8th October 2013
Getting to northern Nicaragua took 4 buses, 3 taxis, 42 hours over a distance of 542 kilometres. As we trudged up to our final destination, the beautiful mountain village of Los Pinares, we were absolutely exhausted yet filled with curiosity about what we were going to encounter. We were greeted enthusiastically by the whole village and given a delicious cup of coffee (locally grown of course). We had just 24 hours to introduce ourselves, meet the families, see their houses and start planning the logisitics of this important project.
The people of Los Pinares and El Canton are generous, open and kind. They are experiencing tough times, after a year in which the crop on which they rely heavily, coffee, was plagued by Coffee Rust (in Spanish, “La Roya”). The lack of clean water and sanitation is a huge problem that has been identified by the community themselves. Our job is to get in there, raise awareness about sanitation issues and collaborate with them on their plans to construct a clean water system.
The community is poor, housing is basic and in some cases there are no washing facilities or latrines. We came to realise that this project is going to be a real tough one, but one that will make a big difference. We are prepared for a culture shock, leaving behind the things we are used to and being involved in a project that will have an incredible impact on this community and on ourselves.
Lucia – I feel a sense of satisfaction in making this community´s wish come true. We had empanadas (a kind of Costa Rican pasty), they were delicious. Patricia, from one of the homestay families, cooks really well. I hope to see her again when we come back and of course, the empanadas!
Steve – The highlight of my trip was getting to know our host family. We sat up chatting for hours, playing games with their little boy and trading a few songs on the guitar. Can’t wait to go back with a team of venturers!
Shalini – What a project! It´s going to be a challenge but totally worth it for all involved. I´m looking forward to waking up to the stunning mountain views and being greeted by the kind, friendly faces in Los Pinares.