Brandon and Vories Pittman
Brandon Pittman has been supporting Comunidad Connect for over a decade with his time, resources, and heart. A trip to Finca El Peten in 2010 with his sons and father, Vories, led to meeting Jon Thompson, sparking a lifelong friendship. Brandon and Vories remain engaged to this day through the board of directors, sharing stories of impact, and recurring contributions to CC programs. Thank you, Brandon, Vories, and the entire Pittman community for your partnership and commitment!
Brandon recently shared his story in his own words. See below:
Brandon, his sons, and father, Vories
I first learned of Comunidad Connect back in late 2010. I was intrigued as to why the founders felt a pull to do something in Nicaragua, not to mention the most rural of communities in the northern highlands. At the time I was planning a vacation to Nicaragua with my boys, then 10 and 12, and had no other intent than to get a little culture while hanging with my kids in a new place. What I saw was amazing. The experience changed me, and more importantly, it changed my sons.
Before our trip I struggled to explain to my younger son, who is on the autism spectrum and is very schedule-oriented, that I didn’t know where we would stay, what we would eat, or what we would do. When we got to Nicaragua something in him clicked. He was more amenable to the unknown, his schedule-o-meter didn’t care if mealtimes were sporadic, and he didn’t even care that we stayed in a renovated barn. Both my kids laughed and played and sang their way across Nicaragua, something that would never happen back in Alabama. They also engaged with everyone around them, and they didn’t even speak the same language. But the most amazing thing is that they brought that spirit home with them.
Riding horses at Finca el Peten
During our adventure, we spent New Year’s Eve at a small farm in Jinotega, Finca el Peten. It was there that I met Jon Thompson, founder of CC, and we immediately clicked. I saw his passion for engaging with the communities surrounding the farm and got to visit some of the projects he was doing with Comunidad Connect. This really opened my eyes to how much of the world lives in makeshift homes, making the best with what they have, and, amazingly, sharing what they have eagerly and without any expectations. As I learned more about Comunidad Connect and their ability to foster ownership, not dependency, and rally community resources through their programming, I knew this was something that I had to be a part of. —
Exploring El Peten
After a year of volunteering remotely, Jon asked me to become a member of the board of directors. In good engineer fashion, I found a local non-profit 101 class at the library and learned that 85% of all nonprofits do not survive to see their third anniversary. Turns out you can’t run an organization on passion alone. Having witnessed first-hand the growth of Comunidad Connect and it’s impact on people in Nicaragua and people like me and my sons, coupled with the fact that CC survived the early stages, led me to gladly accept a position where I have been serving ever since.