Written by: Roman Yavich, Comunidad Connect Co-Founder
I’m really lucky to have been born where I was and have the chance to get good healthcare, a good education, and an opportunity to do what I want to do in life. Many people don’t have that type of luck. They are born in places where meeting basic human needs is a daily challenge. For me working in Nicaragua is a way to make the best use of the opportunity that I have had in life.
I came to Nicaragua in 2006 to study the impact that tourism growth was having in this country and understand what would make tourism more sustainable. What came out of that project is Comunidad Connect.
One of our first volunteers Mat Mendonca was so inspired by his experience that he donated all of his summer earnings from fighting forest fires to start our water filter project, Nica Agua, that this day has allowed more than 6000 people across Nicaragua to drink clean water. I recently had the chance to translate for a group of doctors and nurses as they visited residents in the rural Los Robles community, where much of our work has taken place. What an amazing feeling to be able to facilitate these connections!
Our vision in Nicaragua is ambitious but attainable. We want to create a network of communities across Nicaragua, driven by their own strengths, knowledge, and leadership, with support from international partners, donors, and volunteers. Income through tourism and small business entrepreneurship can support health and education-focused programming envisioned, driven, and managed locally by the community. Comunidad Connect would be like a phone operator of the past, plugging resources into development projects. We’re building a large puzzle with thousands of pieces. When you put all the pieces together a beautiful picture emerges.
I invite you to help us complete this puzzle. Come to Nicaragua, learn about what makes it such a special place, and experience sustainable community development first-hand.