HJH Libraries for All

 

Our Spring Update!
One year later…


Nicaragua inches forward back to stability.

We are still here, still moving forward, and still seeking your participation and support.


Last Spring, the call went out to help us stay viable for the long haul. That is still a need but the future, while still very uncertain, has glimmers of renewal, of new movement, and some hope as groups and organizations venture out and take up the business of going forward. Here are some examples:
 
The inauguration of the first free standing school library at Zaragosa was allowed to occur. This library was funded by Keene, NH Rotary Interact clubs and completed last Spring but with the concerns for public property being destroyed and government restrictions, the library was not allowed to provide supplies books or open the facility until recently. The children enjoyed the inauguration and their new library!
Rotary District 4240, the local Nicaraguan sector of Rotary International, held its first major training event in a year in Managua for the Rotary presidents and secretaries on May 4th. Our Rotary Club President – Heidi Herrera and past President – Edwin Vasquez, attended. Heidi and Edwin also coordinate all of the activities of the SJDS library and Mobile project and have played a crucial role in keeping our doors open since the turmoil began. This Rotary meeting was very encouraging as Rotarians from many of the 14 Nicaraguan clubs attended, coming from many parts of Nicaragua. 
Missionary and Church groups have also begun to surface again and hold public events and activities.The SJDS library hosted the 2nd Young Life, called Vida Joven in Spanish, leaders group of 25 youth on April 17-18. Last April’s event was cancelled after the protests began and the Young Life group’s initial weekly classes at the library were also halted. These classes will begin again in May as well! Young Life is an Ecumenical International Christian organization working worldwide with local young adult leaders to provide leadership for teens at risk.
A favorite resort spot, Tree Casa, has begun holding monthly Yoga retreats and in April hosted a Cuban night to coincide with a Yoga Group weekend event. I was in San Juan del Sur in April for a week during this event and attended with my close friend Roxana Vasquez. We are photographed here with Juan Jose Membreno Carmona who is the Accountant Comptroller for Tree Casa and a former library staff member who was a recipient of one of the HJH Foundation sponsored University Scholarship Grants. 
A few favorite San Juan spots: Simpletons Fish and Chips, Salud!, and Art Warehouse have reopened. A new restaurant and coffee roaster site has opened in the lower part of Hotel Estrella. The coffee is excellent!  
 
What hasn’t happened is the return of Americans and Europeans in any great number. The Nicaraguans have begun to venture forward as seen with Rotary, Church groupings, and Semana Santa (Holy Week), which saw many more people than last year but still very few foreigners. These are all optimistic reports for the devastated tourism and hospitality-based economy countywide. One of the most optimistic moments of my April trip was to see how the community has banded together to get through this time and as one friend said, “None of us are doing very well yet, but we are all doing what we are doing, together.”
 
The Ministry of Education requested our library group and SJDS Club Rotario to resume work on the Global Grant projects halted last April and two schools will soon have water for the first time. 




Our US Grant partners are on board and sending the needed funds and encouragement.

The Parents and School Committee at Ojochal are excited to begin the project and They will soon have running water in classroom sinks, flush toilets and a functional water supply system with a new water tank and tower.

 
Most of these examples are not just library news but, in all cases, include our staff and volunteers. They all represent the encouraging examples of the direction Nicaragua is now inching towards.

The US State Department is still maintaining their level 3 warning for travel, but Canada, England and Australia have rescinded their warning levels in the past few months. I will embark on my 2nd trip of 2019 to Nicaragua on May 12th with three volunteers to bring nine suitcases of much needed new books for the mobile project and satellite standing library collections in ten of our rural schools. This is my third trip and I have traveled both times through Managua and the planes were full, mostly of Nicaraguans but in April there were surf boards and some mission group cases of supplies in the baggage carousels and it seemed that all was business as usual. I am encouraged by all that is beginning to move forward and I have no sense of danger or concern with traveling. 
 
With the support of so many of you, we have been able to stand steady and provide many needed services to San Juan’s community through the library and through the mobile project which continues to function in rural communities. We are encouraged but still need your support. Now, more than ever…

 
 
Matching Grant
 
So, I am happy to announce that with the success of last Spring’s Matching Grant we are announcing the 2nd Annual Spring Matching Grant that will begin May 15th and will continue with June 30th as the final date. Pledges, including monthly pledges can be accepted. Our situation is still critical so please help us stay viable for another season until we can begin to have returning Service Learning and Gap year groups that provide so much more for our communities. We do anticipate having our Annual BP Matching Grant in Oct-Nov this year as well and are optimistic that our Library Anniversary can be more robustly celebrated again this year.
 
 
We are registered as Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries for All.
Please donate today with the PayPal or JustGiving buttons above
OR by check made payable to:

HJH Programs
1716 Del Norte Ave.
Loveland, CO 80538
 
 
Thanks for being part of our support team! We ask for your financial support and your prayers. We know the tide is turning. 
 

Jane
Jane Mirandette
President HJH Program 
Director, San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Y Movil 
janem101@aol.com or hjhprogram@aol.com