We have been working on another art project in our preK classroom here in la Laguna de Apoyo. Working with watercolors and wheat paste we created a no-waste hand tree mural on our wall. Yesterday we traced and painted our hands and cut them out, the scrap paper from our hands turned into the trunk of the tree.
Last night while making dinner I cooked up a batch of wheat paste to use as an adhesive that would hold up on the concrete walls of the room. Wheat paste is widely used by street artists around the world to leave their piece of inspiration in public spaces. It is relatively easy to make and keeps for a long period of time in stored in a sealed container, which is a cheap alternative to glue.
For the past year Future Roots Project has been working with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education and have secured a monthly training with 1st Grade teachers from the State of Granada. Last Friday we had our first training since our return from the United States.
Focusing on dynamic activities such as organizational tools, literacy, recycled art activities, music & more lets us share things we have seen work in our classrooms with teachers who need help the most. We believe that it doesn’t take an iPad in every child’s lap to create a positive change in current classrooms, it takes teachers equipped with a set of useful tools that they have access to.
There is a true push for reform in the education system here in Nicaragua which means a time for growth & inspiration in classrooms. The reality is that these teachers have very little in their tool box right now, but we are working on changing that.
We want to send a shout out to our friend Kevan Sano O’Brien for stopping by school today with bubbles and outfits for all of the kids. We always love seeing Kevan when she is in town and look forward to her visit again next year!
We want to thank Darrell Ward and the Muskogee Rotary Club for being such amazing hosts these past few days. It was wonderful to present to your club about the collaborative work we are doing in Nicaragua. This water filter project is one of the most amazing projects we have witnessed in our time in Central America. These small, affordable, and easy to clean devices have changed the lives of hundreds of people already.
We were thrilled to finally meet the club behind this project and did we ever have a wonderful time. The Rotary Club of Muskogee offered the coolest venue we have presented at yet, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Thank you again for having us and we look forward to seeing you again next year, but now…it’s time to get back to Nicaragua!
We are so excited to get back to our project and friends in the Land of Volcanoes. Thank you to everyone who makes our work possible and be sure to keep an eye on our website as we update you on this next adventure.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to our annual fundraiser. We will be back from Nicaragua to visit all of you & share about the work we have been doing for the past year. This benefit will help to raise money for us to continue working with the children in both urban and rural communities in Nicaragua.
We are excited to boogie with some of the greatest bands in the Twin Cities, seriously guys, THANK YOU!
The Rich Lewis Band plays a soulful mix of R&B, New Orleans and Motown. This blend of musical styles creates an infectious sound that makes you want to stomp your feet or shed a tear.
Take a sneak peak at what you are in for listening to this awesome group! In the words of Earl King,
“Society has no priority, were all one part of a whole.
When people scream and shout, you hafta hear em out. Everybody is a beautiful soul.
You gotta pull together, go hand in hand. You really got to do your best.
Wouldn’t it be a perfect sight to see: the whole world filled with happiness.”
Back for their second year, we are more than excited to welcome this four piece, bluesabilly band, The Abiders!
The band members are equally entertaining as they are talented. They have great chemistry both on and off stage and play lively originals and covers. Julie Weisenhorn writes the original songs full of relatable lyrics and adds a driving rhythm acoustic and vocals that can be sweet-as-pie one minute, and soulfully bluesy the next. From Liverpool, England, Doug Molland plays the perfect gritty vintage bluesman, pulling off licks and lyrics that harken back to Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf. In the true blues harp tradition, Karl Weisenhorn presents his own style making you think of such heros as Junior Wells, Norton Buffalo and Paul Butterfield. Rick Anderson keeps the groove going on stand up bass, and his vocals have that great rockabilly twang that makes the crowd go wild.
Last year was a blast, we had a full day of dancing and fun with our family, friends, and community! We want to thank you all for of the wonderful memories. Here are a few photos…
This past month Darrel Ward, the President of the Muskogee, OK Rotary Club, visited Nicaragua to continue working on a clean water project in the area. We had the opportunity to work with Darrel in Pantanal last year where he gifted a Sawyer water filter to a local community center.
These filters use the same technology that is used for kidney dialysis. The tiny micro tubes in the filters are so small that 99.999% of bacteria cannot pass through them. This means that the bacteria that cause cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and e. coli-related disease cannot be transmitted in the clean, filtered water to those who drink it or cook with it.
The filters can produce one gallon of safe water in 10 minutes and can be backwashed to continue to provide virtually bacteria-free, drinkable water for decades or up to 1,000,000 gallons. Because the water flows through the filter by gravity, no electricity is needed.
Through its annual wine tasting event, the Rotary Club of Muskogee has been involved in providing clean water to developing countries, first in Tanzania and now in Masaya, Nicaragua.We are doing this for two primary reasons:
1. Lack of safe drinking water is the primary cause of disease in the world today. Two million people (many of them children) die each year due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene and more than 50 countries still report cholera. Almost 5% of the world’s disease could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
2. There are now better tools and procedures to improve drinking-water quality and there are simple and inexpensive ways to treat and safely store water in homes. Muskogee Rotary is concentrating its effort in Masaya, Nicaragua.
•Less than 60% of people in rural Nicaraguan communities have access to clean, safe drinking water.
•Though an international community, Masaya is close by and accessible.
•Masaya Rotary Club members, including the minister of health and a physician, are working with us to bring clean water to Masaya. (http://www.muskogeerotary.org/)
When you eliminate waterborne disease from a village you empower that village in more ways than you can imagine.
•Recent studies have shown Sawyer filters eliminate up to 85% of all diarrhea disease within the community just weeks after implementation.
•The filter pays for itself within a year with money that would have been spent on medical bills or fuel/wood to boil water.
•Income that was spent on medical bills for preventable diseases is now spent on food and other essential items.
•Men and women are healthy enough to work and earn a living.
•Parents don’t have to stay home from work and tend to their sick children.
•Children can attend school and get an education
Darrell and his club are currently working on disturbuting 300 plus bucket filters to rural communities that remove bacteria and viruses from existing water.
Pre-studies on this project showed that on average households were using one third of the family income on clean water, these filters now provide clean water at no cost to residents. In a country where the majority of people live on $2 a day, a third of your income can be life changing, allowing for a recognizable increase in quality of life.
These are the types of projects we are grateful to be a part of, they provide a necessity that we as teachers cannot provide, however, we are able to help facilitate the implementation of project in communities who need them the most.
Clean water projects here in Nicaragua provide an essential basic need to people whom live in extreme conditions. One huge issue we hear about all the time is lack of water and we look forward to continue working with Darrell upon his return in September.
We are in the process of revamping a preschool classroom in the Laguna de Apoyo and it is looking really great! Painting 30 year old boards really spruced up the place, however we are running low on paint, so here is where you come in. We are looking for a donation between $8-$12 to buy the paint to finish these boards which are being transformed into learning spaces in the classroom and also a location to showcase class art! To make a donation visit www.gofundme.com/futureroots Thank you!
In Nicaragua, the combination of strong traditions and a celebrative character make the Holy Week celebrations one of the most commemorative events of the year for many Nicaraguans. It is a moment of interesting, massive processions, as well as a period of summer vacations during which diversion and relaxation form the main priorities. There are furthermore even culinary expressions related to this particular period of the year.
During Holy Week, or Semana Santa in Spanish, Christian cultures like the one in Nicaragua commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus. These celebrations take place at the end of March or at the beginning of April. The exact date is set by the Catholic Church and it depends on the phases on the moon.
It is surely true that Holy Week is a passionate religious week for Nicaraguans. However, not the whole population partakes in the prayers and traditional processions. In fact, for the major part of the Nicaraguan population this period has a more mundane, less spiritual meaning: it is a time of summer vacation, during which resting, relaxing, having fun, and partying on a large scale (in Nicaragua referred to as ‘bacanalear’) are the most important aspects.
In general, visiting the beach or other bathing sites during Holy Week is a traditional custom. Inhabitants of both rural and urban areas often spend one or more days at the beach, at Lake Nicaragua, around lagoons, or at one of the many different rivers. This is not an illogical place, given the extreme temperatures of the tropical summers during this time of the year. (https://vianica.com/go/specials/12-holy-week-nicaragua.html)
We had a wonderful time running on the beach, swimming watching futbol, and eating local food with our students. We also had a super fun day on the water in Topochiva, the only boat found in La Laguna de Apoyo, dancing, eating hot dogs, and just enjoying a nice cruise with our neighbors! Thanks for everyone who make our week special!
It’s been a busy 2015 for Future Roots Project, we are collaborating with Proyecto CocoMango, located in La Laguna de Apoyo, a rural community outside of Masaya, Nicaragua.
We focus on youth and adult literacy and nutricion education, similar to the work we are doing in Pantanal as well. After school tutoring and art activities are also a large part of our work in both communities.
We want to again thank all of the amazing people who continue to support our work to improve the realities of illiteracy and malnutricion in Nicaragua.