Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Random Reading 3

Here's another collection of random interesting stories about Nicaragua:
  • Lately the big news story in Nicaragua has been the government's decision to approve a trans-oceanic canal to rival the Panama Canal. The proposed routes will make use of Lago Cocibolca (although not the Río San Juan). The announcement has sparked a lot of discussion both pro and con. In a long article in Envio, the head of Nicaragua's largest environmental group, el Centro Humboldt, argues that the canal will "irreversibly damage" the lake and its ecosystems.
  • La Prensa published videos showing Managua in 1972, both before and after the earthquake that destroyed the city.
  • In the town of Rancho Grande, the people have been organizing large protests against the Canadian mining company, B2Gold and their plans to open a large gold mine. Much of the unrest has been stirred by the local Catholic parish and some of the local protestant churches in protest of the likely environmental mess that will result. We were just driving in that area this week and we saw several signs strung across the road arguing both against and in favor of B2Gold. We also saw a couple of new community projects that were quite visibly sponsored by B2Gold, probably as a PR response to the protests.
  • An article about a seed bank project run by our friends at CIEETS.
  • A bunch of Nicaraguan high-school kids discovered, and will get to name, a new asteroid.
  • This article in Global Voices highlights several video projects addressing the problem of child labor in Nicaragua. Some of the videos are written and performed by the children themselves, reflecting on their situations.
  • One big recent topic of conversation in the gringo community was this NY Times article about NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio's activism in solidarity with Nicaragua during the 1980s. It seemed to me both an interesting glimpse of the young activist, while at the same time, kind of a sleazy oppo research hit job.
And some music: Un Millon de Amigos, by Roberto Carlos

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Welcome Mayito!

We are very excited to welcome Magyolene Rodriguez to Nicaragua, where she will be serving as a long-term volunteer with la Misión Cristiana. Mayito comes to us from the Pentecostal Church of Chile and her work here in Nicaragua marks the first time that church has entered into an international mission partnership. You can read about her sending off from her home church here on Elena Huegels' blog. Happily Mayito is also blogging about her experiences, which you can read about here (in Spanish): Mayim en Managua. That should help make up for our lack of posting recently!

Estamos muy contentos de dar la bienvenida a Magyolene Rodriguez a Nicaragua, donde ella va a servir como voluntaria de largo plazo con la Misión Cristiana. Mayito nos viene de la Iglesia Pentecostal de Chile y su trabajo aquí en Nicaragua marca la primera vez que esa iglesia ha entrado en una asociación internacional de misión. Se puede leer sobre la despedida en su iglesia aquí en el blog de Elena Huegels. Felizmente, Mayito también escribe un blog sobre sus experiencias, que se puede leer aquí (en español): Mayim en Managua. Este ayuda en compensar para nuestra falta de escribir recientemente!
Mayito has already jumped into the life of the church here, leading a series of workshops in preparation for a tree-planting trip planned for later this month. We can already see that her background in agronomy and environmental science, along with the experience working with youth, will be a wonderful fit with the environmental and food security projects that the church already has in progress. We have also loved having her stay with us and she has quickly become Quinn and Maya's new favorite person. We hope here time here in Nicaragua will be filled with many blessings, adventures, challenges and happiness, both for her and for la Misión Cristiana.

Mayito ya ha comenzado su trabajo con la iglesia, llevando a cabo una serie de talleres en preparación para un viaje de plantación de árboles prevista para finales de este mes. Ya podemos ver que su formación en agronomía y ciencias del medio ambiente, junto con la experiencia de trabajo con los jóvenes, será una bendición para los proyectos ambientales y de seguridad alimentaria que la iglesia ya tiene en marcha. También ha sido maravillosa tenerla con nosotros en la casa y se ha convertido rápidamente en la nueva persona favorita de Maya y Quinn. Esperamos que su estancia aquí en Nicaragua estará lleno de muchas bendiciones, aventuras, desafíos y felicidad, tanto para ella como para la Misión Cristiana.