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A Year in Nicaragua – Annual Report from Comunidad Connect

October 31st, 2016

Written by: Grace Galloway, Princeton in Latin America Fellow, 2015-2017, Comunidad Connect

A year in community development can mean a lot of different things. It means patience and progress, it means shovels and sweat, but most of all it means determination from the amazing community members that we are honored to work with here in Nicaragua.

Learn more, check out the 2015 Annual Report!

Do you want to join us as we work towards better health, clean water, and youth development in Nicaragua? Join our Volunteer Adventure Trips this winter and see sustainable community development for yourself!

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Links, connections and opportunities

October 10th, 2016

Written by Yarisleidy Mayorquin, Coordinator of Nica Agua

Léalo en Español

Yarisleidy Mayorquin - Comunidad Connect,  con los colaboradores Dr. Ortiz Ayala - FUNDOH, Ejecutiva Alba Gonzalez- UNAN Managua. Ms. Yarisleidy Mayorquin from Comunidad Connect with representatives Dr. Ortiz Ayala from FUNDOH and executive Alba Gonzalez from UNAN Managua.

Yarisleidy Mayorquin – Comunidad Connect,
con los colaboradores Dr. Ortiz Ayala – FUNDOH, Ejecutiva Alba Gonzalez- UNAN Managua.
Ms. Yarisleidy Mayorquin from Comunidad Connect with representatives Dr. Ortiz Ayala from FUNDOH and executive Alba Gonzalez from UNAN Managua.

When the name of an organization shines through in the execution of its work, the results are a clear example of its mission. This is how we feel day to day while “we connect opportunities.” A beautiful example of “links and connections” was this past May when, thanks to the collaboration of our friends from Maderas Sostenibles, we were able to “think green” through the donation of trees dedicated to several reforestation projects: one being with our new friends from UNAN Managua and the other in the community of San Esteban 2 in Jinotega, Nicaragua. And how does this link opportunities? By giving resources we receive to people who could utilize them the best. We are confident that “hand in hand,” “ voices united” is the best way to form networks of friends and collaborators that help each other to strengthen the social work of many organizations and institutions. During this month of independence, we give thanks to the friends and colleagues who have, without a doubt, served as the bridge between resources and various social development opportunities in our beautiful country, Nicaragua.

Yarisleidy Mayorquin and Alba Gonzalez meet to receive the donation of saplings. Yarisleidy Mayorquin y Alba Gonzalez reunen para recibir la donación de árboles.

Yarisleidy Mayorquin and Alba Gonzalez meet to receive the donation of saplings. Yarisleidy Mayorquin y Alba Gonzalez reunen para recibir la donación de árboles.

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Come to Nicaragua this Fall or Winter!

October 4th, 2016

Volunteer Adventure

We are excited to announce our first ever open-registration group trips to Nicaragua!

See and participate in our work, meet like-minded travelers interested in sustainable tourism and sustainable development, and see the beauty of Nicaragua.

We will host numerous Volunteer Adventure and Donor Immersion trips this November and December. The flexible schedule is meant to accommodate small groups. Donor immersion trips are offered only to past supporters who have contributed $350 or more in the last 12 months.

 

Lear more about Donor Immersion Trips in November

Learn more about Volunteer Adventure Trips in December

 

See you in Nicaragua!

¿A dónde vas? Where are you going?

September 28th, 2016

Written by: Theresa Bailey, Princeton in Latin America Fellow, Comunidad Connect 2015-2017

Lea en español.

Theresa, at Lake Nicaragua, in front of the beautiful Concepcion Volcano on Ometepe Island.

Theresa, at Lake Nicaragua, in front of the beautiful Concepcion Volcano on Ometepe Island.

¿A dónde vas, Esteli? ¡Hay nancite, hay naranja, hay limones! ¡Acércate a boutique 5 Estrellas hoy y aprovecha de la gran liquidación! These are just a few of the many phrases and sounds that fill the space around me here in Nicaragua. 

After living in this beautiful country for over a year I’ve learned an important fact: Nicaragua is loud. However, the most relevant skill that accompanies this fact is the ability to be still, slow down and listen to the quiet sounds that flit beneath the overpowering din. When I am still I hear the laughter of my co-workers as we work together on our daily tasks. When I am slow my host sister soothes my stress and builds me up with words I need to hear. When I listen I hear the sincerity and vulnerability that accompanies the ideas we hope will transform our communities.  

Working in the field of community development means accepting an inescapable vulnerability. My co-workers, our academic partners, the community members themselves, we are all architects, constructing new environments and structures that we hope will translate into better quality of life and increased opportunities throughout Nicaragua. And like architects, the results of our innovations will only be tangible years after the first thought dared to slip through our lips, uncertain of its reception.

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Leading Volunteers – Doricel’s Perspective

September 19th, 2016

Written by: Doricel Aguirre, Cultural Connections Volunteer Guide, Comunidad Connect

¡Lea en español aqui!

Doricel (left) and co-worker Nerys in Los Robles

Doricel (left) and co-worker Nerys in Los Robles

So far during 2016, I have guided 7 groups from Honduras Outreach International (HOI). That’s 99 volunteers who have come to share their experiences with the community of Los Robles, contribute to the social projects and promote religious values through bible studies with children, women and men. One of the most impactful experiences I have had was when we visited the home of Doña Guillermina to build a floor that was just 16 meters in area; her home was too small to build a larger floor.

 

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We Now Have Locations in 10 US Cities – well, kind of.

September 6th, 2016

Written by Roman Yavich, Comunidad Connect Co-Founder

You might very well know that Comunidad Connect works in Nicaragua, but do you know where our offices are in the US? In fact, there might be a CC location or board member in your city.

Here is a map of where Comunidad Connect staff and board members work in the US.

CC's Many Offices

If you live near a CC “office” drop by for a visit. If not, we’d love to hear from you to info@comunidaconnect.org or our at our mailing address: PO BOX 1687, Madison, AL 35758.
Because we love maps so much we also made a nifty map to show you where we work in Nicaragua, which you can see below.

Where We Work in Nicaragua

A partnership forged of steel!

August 20th, 2016

by Roman Yavich, Co-founder

Last weekend was awesome! Some of my best friends from college  (University of Colorado) helped Comunidad Connect raise over $5,000 through an annual fundraiser called Pro-Am Craft Beer Fundraiser held in Boulder, CO by his company Coalesce Design and Fabrication. Both co-owners of Coalesce BJ Titchenal and Greg Vanderbeek  have been to Nicaragua to volunteer, making their support even more special.

Attendees eating tacos.

Attendees and supporters Christine Schulz Hood and Stephanie Drennen enjoy veggie tacos from McDevitt Taco Supply.

The fundraiser drew more than 100 craft beer enthusiasts eager to try the new and classic flavors from some of Colorado’s best breweries: Avery, Boulder Beer, and Sanitas. The breweries graciously donated their delicious beers. McDevitt Taco Supply came through with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of donated vegetarian tacos to compliment a trailer-load (literally) of meat smoked to perfection in a smoker designed and built by Coalesce, which also donated the meat. (A smoker is not the only thing these guys can build. Check out their website for floating staircases.)

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News from the Clinic: A Note from Dr. Lia Amador

August 18th, 2016

Written by Dr. Lia Amador, Comunidad Connect Staff, August 2016

¡Leer en español!

Since I was a little girl I dreamed of becoming a doctor so that I could help people. I dreamt I would be a vital and important agent of change in the lives of people, not only addressing emergent health issues, but also helping individuals to accept their illness and making them aware of how they could better care for themselves – always providing quality care that improved the wellbeing of others.

Dr. Amador treating patients in Los robles

Dr. Amador treating patients in Los robles

Comunidad Connect works hard to improve the health of the populations in which it works, involving the individual and understanding how they fit within the larger picture of their family and community. Comunidad Connect works for the community and from the community, not just addressing curative health, but focusing on preventative work as well. Their work inspires me to formulate a vision for the future; I dream of a community that is integrated in the search for better lifestyles and greater quality of life. For example, we could adopt the World Health Organization’s model for strengthening families and improving communication between parents. We could work with adolescents to promote various topics, like sexual and reproductive health, life plans, empowerment and respect of women and their rights, independence, and the prevention of violence. Finally, we could work with men to promote new masculinities and engage elderly in clubs for senior citizens. The main challenge will be having patience as we wait for changes in behavior.

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Small Steps to a Big Difference

August 15th, 2016

Written by guest blogger: Gina Carroll, Ph.D. candidate, University of Calgary, Comunidad Connect volunteer, Summer 2016

Like everyone, I have always struggled to find my place in the world. To find the one thing that defines me…the thing that separates me from the endless masses of people who seemingly meld together in a sea of accomplishments I never quite seem to master. As a 27-year-old Ph.D. student, still living in her parent’s basement, I never thought that I had much to offer to anyone, let alone the world. How could I? I have barely any money, and the majority of my time is spent sitting at a poorly lit desk desperately trying to finish assignments before 3am. Like a lot of people my age, I felt utterly lost in who I was as a person, and couldn’t overcome the feeling that I had missed the opportunity to blossom into the person I should have been by now. This all changed in the summer of 2016 when I was lucky enough to work as a biological anthropologist with Comunidad Connect, an NGO working to enrich the health and welfare of Nicaraguans.

Gina Carroll Comunidad Connect BlogAs a biological anthropologist, my job is to use both the biological and behavioral aspects of humans, and their culture, to define and inform my research – in this case, why do so many young children in Nicaragua have iron deficiency, despite access to an assortment of iron-rich foods. The goal of my three-month trip to Los Robles, a small community in Northern Nicaragua, was to immerse myself within the community, and learn first-hand what factors might contribute to the epidemic of malnutrition within, and outside, of this small community. While I was fortunate enough to gain insight into what some of these factors might be, what I really learned from my neighbors in Los Robles was that it doesn’t take much to be a hero – to positively affect change in the world, and be someone worth having around. This revelation didn’t come crashing down on me, like a swell of wisdom sent forth from the divine, but rather, it occurred slowly and throughout the course of three months. While many incidents profoundly changed who I was as a person, and I hope who I will continue to develop into, one stands out the most.

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WANTED: Clothing, School Supplies, Gardening Tools

July 14th, 2016

¡Español abajo!

Do you live in San Juan del Sur? Do you want to give back to our community? Do you have extra clothes, gardening tools or school supplies lying around the house?

Comunidad Connect is currently accepting donations for our community health worker team in Northern Nicaragua and our community garden in Barrio Nuevo. If you or your friends and neighbors are moving, or doing some rainy season cleaning, we’d love to put your gently used clothes, school supplies and gardening tools to good use!

Clothing and school supplies will go to community health workers in Los Robles and San Esteban, two rural communities in Jinotega.

Message the Comunidad Connect facebook, or reach out to grace@comunidadconnect.org to make a donation!

Comunidad Connect Staff, Blog author, Roman Yavich, stands on the far left

Comunidad Connect Staff 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¿Vives en San Juan del Sur? ¿Quieres contribuir a nuestra comunidad? ¿Tienes ropa, herramientas del jardín, o útiles escolares extra en su casa?

Comunidad Connect está aceptando donaciones para nuestros brigadistas de salud en Jinotega y para nuestro huerto comunitario en Barrio Nuevo. Si tu, tus amigos, o tus vecinos están mudando, o están limpiando la casa de cosas fuera de uso, nos encantaría utilizar tu ropa, útiles escolares, o herramientas de jardín para una buena causa.

Manda un mensaje al Facebook de Comunidad Connect, o escribe a grace@comunidadconnect.org para hacer la donación!

 

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Become a piece of the puzzle.

GET CONNECTED

COME SEE US:

Parque Central / San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Tel: 011-(505) 2568-2731

MAIL US SOMETHING:

Comunidad Connect / PO Box 1687 Madison, Alabama 35758

Tel: (720) 363-6453

©2014 COMUNIDAD CONNECT - Registered 501 (c)(3) organization