Ready for some futból

We are almost at our goal for getting this futból (soccer) league underway.

Check out the video.

Gotitas Del Amor 2014

On Tuesday December 30th, the second annual party started at 8:30 AM in the shade of the trees at the entrance to Los Mangos barrio.

Almost 500 children celebrated the holiday season as guests of DIDES and Los Pequeños Búfalos de El Sauce. Music and games, good food and prizes, piñatas and a toy to take home!

Need: Materials to make piñatas

Christmastime is piñata time in Nicaragua!

In our town of El Sauce, people will buy hundreds of piñatas. Typically they have to travel to other cities to buy them. But this year we would like to make and sell piñatas. Through JOS and other supporters in the USA, we are looking to raise $600. This will cover the supplies we need to make and sell 120 holiday piñatas. 

After Christmas, we hope to continue making and selling piñatas for birthdays and other celebrations.

People will buy hundreds of piñatas at Christmastime

Accomplishment: Learning English

We really want to learn English. Our friend Colleen taught us some when she visited El Sauce.

Says Colleen, "They met at the DIDES office every Saturday for six weeks. By the time they were done, they had mastered a little "Spanglish."  Their choice to give up Saturday free time was because they know that learning English can be a ticket out of poverty."

H O P E F U L  !!!

Accomplishment: Beautiful bracelets made of macrame

Pulseras (bracelets)
We make them. We sell them.
We invest our profits in our group.

Accomplishment: River cleanup

At the suggestion of a visitor from Buffalo, and with a cash donation from him to pay for our transportation and lunch, we spent two days cleaning trash from a beautiful swimming hole near our town.

Accomplishment: Clean cook stoves

Many families in our community still cook over open fires. Smoke in the house is dangerous for obvious reasons. The World Health Organization attributes millions of premature deaths per year to smoke from open cook fires.

Firewood is hard to find and expensive to buy. In the priority of things, money that could be
spent on medicine, education, or clothing must be spent on firewood. When money is scarce,
people poach firewood from private property. This is illegal and comes with its own set of

Better cooking stoves mean three important things:

  1. no smoke in houses
  2. less firewood
  3. better environment

We are stove builders! Through DIDES, we have learned a design for a very efficient stove made of brick, pumice, and a tin chimney. We have built dozens of stoves for people in El Sauce and will continue to build more.

Mud made of pumice. This is a view of the fire chamber and it's connection to the tin chimney.
Smoothing the mud

Accomplishment: A huge holiday party

It was called Gotitas de Amor (Little Drops of Love) and was held on December 30, 2013. More than 200 children attended. We raised the money for food and fun by soliciting businesses in our town and reaching out to our friends in the United States. Nothing like this had ever been done before in El Sauce.

The kids at this party are from families that never have enough money to celebrate Christmas. They got lunch, ice cream, music and a piñata, and games with prizes. Everyone got a toy to take home.

Accomplishment: Dengue control

Dengue is a mosquito-born disease. At the end of the rainy season in 2013, Nicaragua experienced an outbreak of dengue.

As the Center for Disease Control in the United States noted, dengue prevention required a coordinated, community-based effort to increase awareness of the disease, how to recognize it, and how to control the mosquitoes that transmit it. So the kids got busy with the community.
"We went door to door to tell people about dengue and to show them easy ways to stop mosquitos from breeding in their yards."

Accomplishment: Better food and hygiene for our families

After learning about the importance of personal hygiene and developing skills to keep the kitchens and yards cleaner at our houses, we undertook a project to add an assortment of fruits and vegetables to our families' regular diets of beans, rice, and tortillas. We planted seeds and seedlings in our yards to provide better nutrition for our families, such as tomatoes, squash, a variety of peppers, and several fruits. We learned about fertilization and hydration. Some of us also received chickens and pigs to raise.

This is an ongoing project. We will continue to work on nutrition and hygiene for our families. We will continue to find additional plants for our yards.

How it all began

One day in February 2013, a man named Alfonso introduced himself to a woman named Colleen. She was in El Sauce as a volunteer with the 4Walls Project. Alfonso, general manager of DIDES (Asociación Dimensiones del Desarrollo), an NGO in Nicaragua, had noticed how 4Walls beneficiaries lovingly cared for their new houses. He observed that, not only did these people have new houses, they also seemed to have new attitudes about themselves and their lives. Alfonso wondered how these new attitudes would contribute to a backyard agriculture project that would enable families to eat better and make a little money.

The “Pig Project” began as a tiny effort to improve the lives of five families in El Sauce. Each family got a pig, chickens, and some vegetable seedlings. They raised the animals and shared the profits when they were sold. Each of the families was required to enlist a young person to help with the crops and animals. The kids had to report to Alfonso each Saturday to discuss their progress and help each other. They became good friends. They learned a lot and wanted to learn more. Their enthusiasm was contagious; others approached them and asked to join the group.

The kids organized themselves and elected officers. They began establishing goals for their organization, which they named Los Pequeños Búfalos de El Sauce.