A6’s Fran Hodge and DoJo Donovan visited their community of El Portillo, Achuapa located in the north west of Nicaragua. In phase one the group will be living with local families whilst undertaking an eco-latrine project, which in the long run, will create compost suitable for fertilising their crops. During their visit, Fran and DoJo visited the Co-operative Juan Francisco Paz Silva, which works with local farmers in the farming of sesame seed and cattle, whilst providing members with health, veterinary and financial services. A jamming session with Don Brigedo and various culinary treats including a delicious crab soup, were samples of what will be a fantastic project.
Fiona Arakelian, Matthew Jewers and Amanda Payne-Danson of A7 visited their community of La Naranjita, Miraflor, where they will be undertaking an emergency housing project. A spate of bad weather at the tail end of 2011 inflicted major damage on homes in the area and Raleigh will be assisting the community in constructing new buildings from traditional adobe bricks. This project is in conjunction with El Foro, an NGO responsible for the co-management of the Miraflor Nature Reserve, with whom Raleigh have worked on numerous projects in the area.
Victoria Brennan, Danielle Percival and Clare Wright made the long trip to San Jose, Nicaragua where A8 will be building a community centre. After 4 days on various buses, the common consensus was that Danni would be an unnatural selection as a companion on future public transport trips, as she showed minimal resistance to fatigue and slept her way to Managua. Possibly the most surreal moment of the trip came on the ‘chicken bus’ to San Jose, as the bus driver stuck on the 80s/90s classics, with Europe’s Final Countdown being well received by locals and A8 alike. This is not Raleigh’s first project in San Jose as several years ago they built a school in the village and expedition 12B will be contributing in a similar vein, working with El Foro to construct an adult education centre/pre-school in the village.
And not forgetting......Alpha 2! (Wouldn’t want a small scale uprising on my hands)
A2’s Daniel Walsh and Lucinda Ryan enjoyed a sampler of Costa Rica’s Corcovado Trek as a warm up for phase one. Just like A1, they too tackled dense jungle but were thankfully in capable hands, Raleigh vet and MK Ultra’s, Oscar Saborio, elder brother of 12B’s very own Daniel, pulling on the boots for a hike in the hills. After a dip in some ‘aguas calientes’ (hot springs) they bedded down in a local bullring before driving with Raleigh stalwarts Dave and Tim to the Laguna Vueltas for another spot of swimming. Who says trekking can’t be fun. From here they teamed up with local guide, Elvin, to take on the Cerro Pelon, before descending to Venecia for the bus back to base.
Readers, I belong to you. Whilst I’m in the perhaps unenviable position of editing my own work, at times a guiding light can be a steadying influence, so enclose your undisclosed desires in the comments section below. Such cross-pollination between your ideas and mine could be quite the overture.