Yolanda Altamirano Gutierrez was recently recognized as the 2022 Miguel Angel Diaz Caregiver of the Year. This award is named after a dear friend and patient of the Together For Health program who passed away in January 2020. Each year, we recognize someone who goes beyond the call of duty, demonstrates selfless compassion for others, and inspires all of us to lead our lives in a more generous way. Congratulations Yolanda.

Give Opportunity

In August of 2022, we granted a small investment to Pablo Rafael Zelaya for the construction of a pigpen in his backyard. Pablo works in agriculture but recognized that the temporary and seasonal nature of the industry presented a risk to his livelihood and family. To mitigate this risk, he began to raise pigs for local sale. With the funds from Comunidad Connect, he built shelter, purchased food, and created a hydration system for his pigs. Pig pens are important because they keep pigs safe from the elements and other animals as well as reduce stressors that can cause birth problems. A well fed and cared for pig will produce at least 10 piglets from each pregnancy and may have 3 or more litters during its lifetime. Our entrepreneurship loans are small investments in people and their ideas, and help stabilize the local economy.

Comunidad Connect manages a scholarship fund for young people living on the outskirts of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua in a community called El Carrizal. One of those young people is Jose Eliseo Talavera who recently graduated with a degree in civil engineering. We recently invited Jose to visit our Homes For Good program and he has begun working with our field staff to improve the design of the homes to maximize home accessibility for disabled residents. In 2023, he will also help launch our pilot project focusing on ecological toilets in rural communities.

Noel Alvarez is 61 years old and lives in the town of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. For over a decade, Noel has worked as a referee in Comunidad Connect futsala leagues. Every year over 500 kids play sports across all our leagues, but futsala is definitely the most popular. Futsala is like soccer but it’s played on a hard court, smaller than a normal-sized pitch. We recently asked Noel to reflect on his time as a referee and he gave the following response:
“It gives me much satisfaction to know that there is an organization interested in the youth of this town. These leagues provide great social development where young people of all ages can compete and recreate in a healthy environment. In addition, being a referee has generated income for my family, and the leagues as a whole help the local economy.
The sports leagues mean a lot to San Juan as they provide opportunities for young people to relate to others, make friends, compete, and have comprehensive training. It takes them away from vices and helps them improve on a personal level. The leagues also create a family environment among the fans.
Thank you for your past support of the Comunidad Connect sports leagues and do not hesitate to continue supporting. Your support creates many opportunities for the young people in our community.
Meyling Gutierrez is a talented baker with an entrepreneurial spirit in rural Nicaragua. At the beginning of 2022, we provided her with a small loan so she could start a business to sell ​​bread, tortillas, nacatamales and meals to her neighbors. As the year has progressed, Meyling has gained more confidence, clients, and now bakes about 25 pounds of flour every day. She fills orders for several local community shops as well for convenience stores in the nearby city of Jinotega. Her baking is delicious and it is no surprise her business has grown as it has. Adelante Meyling!
Our work in the Dominican Republic is made possible by the incredible support of local Dominicans. Eurel Gonzales and Eliesel Hernandez are two such people that have played essential roles along the way. More than just a transportation expert, Eurel is a tour guide, translator, fixer, and friend who keeps us safe as we move around the country. Meanwhile, Eliesel has become a seasoned group leader, guiding foreign visitors with his sense of humor, impressive interpretation skills, and uncanny charisma. It is because of folks like Eurel and Eliesel that we are able to reach remote communities, make new connections and continue impacting the lives of those who need our help the most.

omunidad Connect’s Youth sports leagues in San Juan del Sur provide opportunities for over 500 kids each year to have fun and pursue their passions. Josué Cascante and Dominic Selva are two great examples. Josue’s aunt, Anika, and Dominc’s mother, Vielka, gave us their perspectives on the program earlier this year. 

 “The sports program is very important since sports are a resource for the physical and mental development of human beings, both for adults and children. At the same time, sports are instrumental in the prevention of drug abuse among young people. The initiative of this program is a great idea since sports are a powerful tool that breaks down barriers and unites people (children, youth, adults) from all over the world. – Anika

 “Baseball is a fundamental sport and it gives me pride as a mother to see my son play. I believe playing sports in general helps youth develop physically in contrast to the high use of video games these days.  It helps to get rid of bad options as well as helps children learn cooperation with their peers. I am grateful to Comunidad Connect for this.“ –Vielka

Give Hope

Paula Vargas says she almost died from the stress of sleepless nights in her old home. Now she rests easily thanks to the support from donors like you. 

Virginia Chavarria has spent all of 2022 happy because of your support. In her new house, she loves to lay in bed and listen to the sound of rain on the roof.

Rosario Granados’s family of 5 lived in one room together for over 20 years. Her daughter, Belki Lili, reflects on how much she values having her own space now.

Earlier this year, our Director of Community Development informed Jose Isidoro Gutierrez that we would be building him a new home. “It was like medicine to heal my heart,” he said in response. 

Until a month ago, Jose had never lived in a house with a solid foundation, strong walls, and a roof that could withstand the rain. His entire life has been spent in makeshift dwellings, rebuilt over and over again after each rainy season. Starting this holiday season, however, his family lives in a warm and safe home made possible by donors like you. 

After his home was built, we connected Jose with the donors who made it possible through a Zoom call. Despite our distance, we can actually be closer than ever before!

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