Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Update from Nicaland

Good evening, fellow PHP Global supporters:

First off, I have to apologize on behalf of Isabel and myself for our lack of blogging skills. We have been working diligently to get everything done here before we leave in mid-December, and it has been quite the task. Every time we think we are nearing an end to our research, we get a ton of new leads. Let's be honest, though - this is a great problem for a new NGO to have.

So, let's see what has happened over the past month...
  1. We just got our website approved by our parent company, so it's officially open to the public. Check it out and let us know what you think of it. PLEASE let us know if you have any suggestions that could improve the site. It's www.peoplehelpingpeopleglobal.org.
  2. We're working on a potential project with another NGO called Women of the Cloud Forest. The group works with women in the rain forest regions of Costa Rica to create jewelry which is sold in many museum gift shops and fair trade stores in the United States (e.g., Ten Thousand Villages and the Museum of Latin American Art). Our task would be to help them develop a new branch with Nicaraguan women cooperatives. It's an exciting project. We'll have to see how it all works out.
  3. Right now, we're trying to put together a few kick-off parties in the States for when we get back around the holidays. Two of our big programs will be an event somewhere in Burlington on the weekend of the 19th (here's the short list: Skinny Pancake, Flatbread, Three Tomatoes, Bangkok Bistro) and a New Years Eve event (probably) at Baja Bean in Richmond.
  4. We're developing a relationship with Equal Exchange right now to be able to sell their fair-trade coffee as an ongoing fundraiser for our organization.
  5. We're scouting out some places that we would like to convert into the Granada Hostel. We're putting together some proposals for the owners to try to lower the cost or take a tax write-off to help out our organization. We'll keep you updated on the progress of this project.
  6. We're hosting a pub trivia tonight at a place called O'Shea's here in Granada. Teams of 6 pay 10 cords a piece (or $0.50 USD) to play a trivia game. The winners get a bottle of rum and 100% of the proceeds go to Esperanza Granada, a local NGO that focuses on education programs. It's a great way to network among the local expat and traveler communities.
  7. We're reaching the roll-out point for our first Business Development Project, Cena con las Madres. Isabel will be posting something in the next few days detailing what we have developed - for the moment, I'll just say that I'm really excited about it.
I'll stop the serious information overload for now. We'll stay more on top of this blog after Cena con las Madres gets going. Thanks for following us. Please spread the word about our organization, sign up for all of our different media (Facebook, Twitter, Causes, and Our Newsletter), and of course, if you can, donate.

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