Monday, April 30, 2012

Board Member Visits Projects in Granada

About a week ago, one of our board members, Michelle Piche, and her husband, Jeff, came down to see our projects in action. Michelle wanted to share her experience so that you all could get an idea of what you could expect to see if you came down to visit. We had such a great time with Michelle and Jeff, and we're thankful for their continued support of our projects.

Alex

Jeff and I went to Nicaragua this April to learn a bit about what exactly PHPG did for those in Granada. What an eye opener! For one thing, just being in the country was amazing. It was quite warm (a balmy 95+ each day), and the country was stunning. Isabel and Alex took us to see one of the communities that they work with, a barrio just outside of the city of Granada. The way of living was a bit of a culture shock. They have power that is inconsistent, and it’s incredible the crude way in which they have their power lines. Many of the connections had bare or exposed wires. Water was pumped from a local area and then sent to water faucets in different areas of the barrios. Then the people could collect the water in buckets and brought it to their homes.

Michelle, Jeff, & Isabel pose with Teadora, a PHPG
loan recipient, and her family
While visiting the recipients of PHPG loans, the Nicaraguans were very eager to show us what they were doing with these loans. Some had opened pulperias, bought wood to chop and sell as fire wood, bought used clothes to sell as a second hand store, or purchased produce that they can then sell at market. Each family we met was eager to greet us and show us their homes and businesses. There was definitely a sense of pride. One of the recipients shared in detail how his three children were in school (an opportunity that not all can take advantage of) and his wife was taking courses at University. His son was also learning how to use the computer that they were able to purchase.

We visited another community that also receives loans. This was on a stunningly beautiful inlet near the islands. There are many fishermen there and some loans were used to buy items for fishing, some had stores, and one recipient was growing pepper plants to then sell at market.

The most amazing part of our visit was, of course, Isabel and Alex. They are greeted by many people in the city of Granada as well as in the communities. They are greeted with smiles, handshakes and, at times, gifts to show their appreciation (when I say gifts, it is usually in the form of food).

Needless to say, we both would go back in a heartbeat! It was an amazing visit.

Michelle and Jeff Piche

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