November 24, 2017

Late Summer 2014 Newsletter

During this “slow” time, will you please make a special gift to Casa Baltimore/Limay? Your donation will be matched, one-for-one, by another generous supporter. In this newsletter, you will discover the reasons why your gift makes a valuable difference:  ** Our Activities ** Feature Article on New Progress in Limay ** Greetings & Reports from Limay Committee.

From the menu at the top of this web page, click on “Donate to CB/L” to donate to our projects.

As you know, Casa Baltimore/Limay does a lot with a budget of under $35,000 a year, with the help of numerous volunteers in Baltimore, Limay, and elsewhere. In our friendship city of Limay, we fund post-secondary scholarships, medicines and medical transport, pre-school education and nutrition, food for the elderly and handicapped, poultry and other livestock, and the Phil Mitchell revolving loan fund.

In this newsletter, you will see a feature article, with photos, by Kathy Albrecht, who visited San Juan de Limay in February. She reports on the positive difference our projects are making for people in Limay, and we are grateful to her for the lush detail she has brought us. Inside you will also find greetings and recent reports from our Limay committee. We are blessed to work with such fine compañer@s.

While many people are enjoying their summer vacations, our Baltimore and Limay committees are hard at work and play, raising money and carrying out the vital projects in Baltimore’s friendship city in Nicaragua. Maybe you have seen us in our LatinoFest booth, or you’ve recently helped us move into the new office which we share with Nicaraguan Cultural Alliance.

Our work and play continue as we prepare for our annual fundraising party on Saturday, September 6, 5:00– 10:30 p.m., in the relaxing, life-renewing countryside near Baltimore. Please join us – bring a potluck dish, a musical instrument if you play one, your best singing voice – and your checkbook! No gift is too large, and no one is turned away. It’s always fun.

We’re also planning for a small delegation from Limay, whom we hope to host in Baltimore in November. We expect to hear more from our Limay committee very shortly, and we will keep you posted.

We expect to take a delegation to Limay in January 2015. Maybe this is the time for you to go with us! If you are interested in this delegation, or possibly one in the future, please contact us at info@CasaBaltimoreLimay.org or 410-662-6292.

In the meantime, we still have Nica items for sale – beautiful beautiful paintings, pottery, carved soapstone, clothing. Near-future buying opportunities are by appointment; call 410-662-6292.

Thank you for your generous support – past, present, and future.

 

FIRSTHAND REPORT: NEW PROGRESS IN LIMAY

By Kathryn Albrecht

[Don’t miss the photos that accompany this article!  From menu at top of web page, click on “Summer 2014 newsletter photos”.]

This February, I had the privilege of returning to San Juan de Limay, municipal seat of numerous small villages dotting a mountainous cordillera in northern Nicaragua. For the second time in three years, I was fortunate to help document some of the projects of Casa Baltimore/Limay, and to gather feedback from our compañeros there who benefit from those programs. This is my report back to the North American half of this long-standing solidarity organization.

The coordinating committee of the southern half, Doña Angélica, Doña Olidia, Don Leonidas and Don Tranquilino, welcomed me back to the spacious old Nicaraguan casa tradicional housing our sister-organization in Limay. All of you who’ve visited there will agree: it’s a cool, restful, nurturing place, with its pila (agua y baño) and huge mango tree in the courtyard. I’ve been so grateful staying there!

I told the comité I’d been asked to visit some rural villages and photograph the CB/L-financed poultry production, and to interview ancianos and the handicapped who receive modest monthly food packets (supplementing the canasta básica the government provides them).

We also discussed the comité’s medical assistance fund (generated from donors like you!).  These veteran committee members are wisely frugal with this account, but I conveyed my understanding that norteños in Baltimore are hoping to see the medical assistance line-item increase somewhat in the comite’s annual budget. There were years when the number of Nicaraguans being helped increased about 8% annually.  I mentioned that now, Americans might be able to dig a bit deeper once again. [Editor note: Thanks to Kathy’s effort, we recently agreed to double this budget item.]

Bright Ideas Abound: The next morning, Don Tranquilino accompanied me (in an ancient, dusty, jerry-rigged school bus) to revisit the village of El Palmar, with an agricultural cooperative formed after the triumph of the Revolution. During “los diez y seis años” (a devastating 16 years of neo-liberal administrations which followed the devastating Contra War), the cooperative felt forced to sell its rich, arable fields, piece by piece, in order to keep their children in clothing, food, medicine, and school.

So the folks of El Palmar now live on a steep, dry and rocky slope above those fertile fields. And Casa Baltimore/Limay has played a key role in their survival as a sustainable community. Many of the families have gotten chickens for egg production, plus the funding to protect their flocks in well-fenced gallineros (henhouses). Modern latrines have also been constructed at many homesteads.

CB/L helped build the first cisterns to store fresh rain water on the mountainside and encouraged intensive, raised-bed gardening, often under the dappled shade of hand-watered banana trees. This year I sensed I was observing El Palmar’s regeneration — an increase in construction as folks add on to tiny homes or build more ample ones within a family compound. There even seems the energy to add a few colorful touches of artistic design. And the Sandinista government has installed a community well, plus! has just brought electricity to El Palmar!

Because of CB/L’s poultry program, after several years of raising and selling their own meat and eggs, los Palmeros are creating a revolving loan fund from their profits, and can now offer others a hand up and out of destitution. Hey, this loan fund just might benefit a widow who we found needs a cooler and sturdier roof over her rickety outdoor kitchen!

Of Water and Wealth: The following morning, my able and dedicated guide, Don Tranquilino — a gentleman who lost three non-combatant sons to Contra attacks in the ‘80s — led us on a brisk walk to an outlying village, El Morcillo. Following the rim of a deep, wide arroyo gouged into the landscape by super-storm Mitch in 1998, we rounded a bend and came upon the most handsome herd of cows I’ve seen in this land of beautiful cattle. Well fed, they rested in the shade of broad tropical trees.

Soon, we passed El Morcillo’s communal milking station, replete with 3-legged stools and a chubby toddler or two awaiting his mother’s patient emptying of the cows’ full udders. The creek, by this point, seemed restored to melodious health in a lushly wooded valley, with families farming gentle terraces up and down its length.  Variety fruit orchards, herb gardens, and numerous vegetable plantings were thriving, despite its being the dry season.

Chief factors in the success of El Morcillo are the vital watercourse and villagers’ use of a vertical-lift, double-pulley system to raise well water up 25 feet into elevated, gravity-fed pipes for irrigation.

El Morcillo has also enjoyed Casa Baltimore’s support, evidenced by their gallineros full of chickens, plus tidy latrines for every home. Families receive grants from the comité for their children’s school supplies each year because, although the village is relatively land-rich, it’s clear that hardworking campesinos in this part of the world are cash-poor.

Back to the Barrio: My last day in Limay was spent with Angélica, who’s been a leader with Casa Báltimor since its beginning — a most gracious compañera. We focused on Barrio Guadalupe Carney, visiting recipients of CB/L aid for the elderly and handicapped. These meetings were warm with appreciation for the monthly food and medical assistance available, plus with the knowledge that grandchildren can attend the CB/L-supported CENIC pre-school and are fed a good lunch, to boot.

Then, a dramatic and surprising interview occurred. Angélica took me to Julia’s house! We knocked at her door, quite patiently, for a very long time. At long last, it was opened by a lovely young woman with a broad smile. We entered and sat down inside. Julia moved haltingly. My friend asked Julia if she’d like to tell her story to this visitor from “Casa Báltimor.” Julia’s eyes welled up with tears.

“When I was just 14, I was walking with my brother to the store. He was in the army and home for the weekend. I was so happy just to be walking with him. We went along the edge of a field and, dios mío, I stepped on a landmine! I woke up in the hospital in Managua. I had lost one foot and lower leg, but they were trying to save the other one. It was badly burned. I was there for months, and they saved it. There is always so much pain. Why did this have to happen? I was only 14! Can you imagine? My life has been so difficult ever since!!”

Her grieving subsided. This survivor of ordnance from one of the dirty little US wars eventually married and raised two children. Julia shared that a Canadian group recently fitted her with a much-improved prosthesis.  Now she hopes to start making piñatas at home to sell, providing merriment to children and their families celebrating life’s milestones, all over town.

Casa Baltimore/Limay stood with Julia, and the many others you’ve read about here, through years and years of struggle and recovery. And many of us feel blessed to have been part of this long, resilient friendship. Won’t you spread the word that the people of San Juan de Limay need our generosity still?

At the End of the Day: As Angélica and I made our way back to the plaza, we passed yet another Casa Baltimore/Limay beneficiary. Waiting at a bus stop was a young fellow with his duffel bag, heading back to college for the new semester. Angélica hugged him and introduced us, explaining that Lorenzo attends university thanks to a beca (scholarship) from Casa Baltimore/Limay!

Soon, with shouts, whistles, chatter and cheers, an old gold school bus rattled up, took on the student, and pulled away in a roil of dust, bearing yet another of San Juan de Limay’s offspring up and over the mountains to reach for higher education. Our grinning Lorenzo declared his intention to return and recharge the cycle once again.

 

GREETINGS AND REPORTS FROM OUR LIMAY COMMITTEE

April 8, 2014:

Greetings, brothers and sisters of the committee.  From this tropical location we send you a fraternal hug….

With respect to the activities which the committee is carrying out, it can be said that the Phil Mitchell Fund gave out 19 loans requested for housing repair and business.  In the current quarter, 5 persons have come to make payments and cancel their old accounts.

Medical Fund:  Thirty (30) persons were supported.  Of these, 11 received help for transport to medical appointments at different hospitals.  Help [was given] with [various named] medicines, and help to carry out a pelvic ultrasound.  We consider that there is considerable demand for transport to get to medical appointments.

Meetings with community boards:  We held a meeting on February 11, 2014, with representatives of the boards in the rural zone, which all attended.  They presented about the progress of the projects, with a lot of optimism and appreciation.  In these meetings there is an exchange of experiences.  The next meeting is scheduled for April 8, 2014.

With respect to the cow project:  In El Palmar there are two cows who have given birth, for 2 beneficiaries.  San Lorenzo has 9 cows and 6 beneficiaries.  El Morcillo has one person benefiting from one cow giving birth.  Quebrada de Agua has 4 cows and 3 offspring.  In Las Cañas, …two (2) more families have been benefited, for a total of 4.  Here there are 2 cows who have given birth and 2 [cubiertas] heifers.  In La Naranja, there are 4 beneficiaries of cows.

The bees are always maintained, and likewise the poultry, etc.

Food [for the elderly]:  We maintain the same number of beneficiaries [200].  Always, when one person is [subtracted], we substitute another and so we maintain the number.

Scholarships:  …We budgeted for 34 students; but one did not show up, and we have remained at 33.

July 9, 2014:

Fraternal greetings, brothers and sisters of the Baltimore committee. It gives us much pleasure to turn to you now that we have finished another quarter of the year and we should let you know the results of the activities carried out.

With regard to scholarships: Currently there are 39 young people who are receiving financial help to continue their studies. This semester two students will graduate, one in agriculture and one in clinical psychology. We will substitute two others for them, to whom we could not respond [earlier] and who are studying.

Food [for elderly and disabled]: The monthly distribution of food is continuing. For the moment we have substituted coffee for beans because they [beans] are very expensive and scarce. There are no fresh beans.  [Editor note: After a more recent phone discussion, the Limay committee has decided to substitute the less popular, and less expensive, black beans for the red beans to which Nicaraguans are accustomed.]

Bimonthly meeting with [community] boards: We held meetings on April 8 and June 10. They represent their communities where they have sister-city projects. They present their progress and difficulties. From the first cows they received, they have now given [offspring] to other families; they do it consulting among themselves, these same board representatives, and they make it known to the Limay (“urban”) committee. They are focused on the bill of sale and are proceeding to the transfer. We have noted the names of the new beneficiaries.

There are beneficiaries of cows in:

  • – San Lorenzo with 6
  • – El Morcillo with 2
  • – La Naranja with 4
  • – El Palmar with 2
  • – Quebrada de Agua with 4

Some families are maintaining the projects of poultry. They have gone from the communities: El Palmar and Quebrada de Agua benefited other families of nearby communities (Chapetones and Palmira) respectively.

Those with beehives received training in order to improve their attention, care and thus production. This was in May in the community of El Guaylo; they were advised to make a savings in order to respond to later needs related to the beehives.

Revolving loan fund: Eleven loans were made for small businesses and home repair. The work is going well with users, who have kept their credit up-to-date….

Medical fund: Thirty-one persons were attended to. They were supported with travel to keep medical appointments in the department [of Esteli], Managua, and La Trinidad. Others received help to have exams carried out. They were helped with purchase of [various named] medicines.

Having nothing more to mention, we repeat our greetings.

Sincerely,

Tranquilino Garmendia, Coordinator, Limay Committee

 

Want to Go to Nicaragua ?

 

Casa Baltimore/Limay announces a guided trip to Nicaragua from late December through early January.  This delegation of friendship to the people of Nicaragua will last 12 to 14 days.  The exact dates of the trip will be jointly determined by those who commit by the end of September.  The group will spend at least 5 days in Baltimore’s friendship community, San Juan de Limay, and will also visit other points of interest in Nicaragua.  The leader is Marilyn Carlisle, who is fluent in Spanish and has led similar trips in the past.

Come hear more about this opportunity for a life-changing experience!

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 30

7:30 PM

OUR NEW SPACE – 2654 MARYLAND AVENUE

(corner of Maryland & 27th Street; basement entrance on 27th)

BALTIMORE, MD 21218

 

If you can’t attend this session but you are interested in the trip:

Contact Barbara Larcom, at Barbara.Larcom@gmail.com or 410-662-6292

 

While in San Juan de Limay, delegation members will stay in the homes of local people in order to experience their daily lives and to form friendships that are likely to last after the trip.  The group will visit people and projects funded by Casa Baltimore/Limay, like college scholarship students, a childcare center, businesses benefiting from microcredit, and animal projects in rural villages.

 

While in other parts of Nicaragua, we’ll work to include your interests within our travel itinerary.  These might include visits to major cities such as Managua, Granada, Leon or Estelí; and/or time in the countryside or the beach.  And they might include visits to special projects in your area of interest.

 

The cost of the trip is only $1600; that includes international airfare, three meals a day, lodging, in-country transport, interpreter, and a donation toward projects in Limay.  We will do some group activities in advance of the trip, to raise part of the funds needed.  Nicaragua is a safe country, you should take the same precautions as you would in the US.  Our delegations have successfully been going there for over 26 years.

Floods in Limay – Chronology of Events & Responses Oct. 14-20, 2011

OCTOBER 14:

10:40 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.:

CommunityInformation Provided
Encuentros – River overflowed, evacuation of Luis Cruz
La Naranja – River overflowed, 8 meters from the radio house, evacuation is proceeding
El Limon – Lorenzo Quintero evacuated
La Danta – Incommunicado because of overflowing stream
Chacaras – Rio negro overflowing, 5 families evacuated
Limon – 2 mudslides en el Cerro Las Mesas, fallen trees on the road
1 family evacuated from the home of Pedro MArtinez
3 families evacuated from a home in Altagracia
1 family incommunicado by mudslides on the property of Carlos Blandon
La Danta – 1 family at risk, declines to be evacuated (Maria del Carmen Mendoza)
Barrio Jose Esteban Moncada – Evacuation of family because of overflowing stream, Juana Sanchez 4 children, 7 adults
Chacaras – 6 families evacuated, 2 families in the school and the rest in homes of relatives
La Naranja – River overflowing, 2 families evacuated in champas (rafts?), Modesto Vasquez and Tono Castellon
Encuentros – River overflowing, evacuation of Luis Cruz
Agua Fria – Risk of mudslide on the El Guaylo mountain
Possible Evacuatión of the part below the school
Colocondo – House destroyed by the river, Elva Jarquin
Ojochal – House of Mercedes Centeno destroyed
Los Corredores – 5 houses semi-destroyed
Barrio Jose Esteban Moncada – Semi-destroyed house (kitchen), Justo Castillo

6:00 p.m. to Midnight:

ReportEvacuatedPlace
Rafael Mendoza – 3 children, 2 adults – Children’s feeding center (Comedor Infantil)
5 families – 7 children, 9 adults – Calvario shelter
1 – 1 – Casa de Cultura (cultural center shelter)
Cuadrilla (work crew) from Union Fenosa electric company

OCTOBER 15:

Midnight to 6:00 a.m.:

Chuvascos [downpour?] with greater intensity
Decrease in rain
Rain started again
The Los Quesos River on the Walilica bridge rose again in level
Water level on the Old Trail remains the same
Nothing new from the shelter
Water over top of El Mosquito wall
Decrease in rain
Lowering of the river level on the Walilica bridge, 5 meters measured between ramp and pavement
Shelters remain the same, except for an increase of 1 family/ 2 persons at El Calvario
Large stream is down in the El Calero [Rio Abajo] sector
Mosquito bridge is passable
El Morcillo community reports a fallen tree in the road near the community well, property of Leonel Chavarria
Barrio Jose Esteban Moncada, 1 house with partial damage to the walls: Jose Santos Arostegui.

6:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.:

CommunityInformation Provided
La Danta – 15 houses flooded by internal springs; families auto-evacuated to relatives
Guanacaston – 1 house collapsed (1 family: 2 adults, 1 child) Naun Alvarenga
Agua Fria – 14 families auto-evacuated into 3 houses
La Danta – Mudslide on El Cacao hill

OCTOBER 16:

One report:

With regard to basic services, there has been no electricity in the town center, nor in the communities that have electrical service, since Thursday, October 14. This has brought about large losses: We don’t have liquid gas service, or gasoline or diesel fuel. Basic food has risen in price by 100%.

The only accessible way in or out of the municipality of Limay currently is through San José de Achuapa [leading west, toward Leon], which is in bad shape, making communication difficult.

They are suspending classes. This is the preliminary report gleaned from some residents of communities in the municipality by means of radio, telephone and some places which it has been possible to corroborate on site.

Until this moment, we have a recorded rainfall from Tuesday, October 10, through Sunday, October 16, of 489.63 millimeters, according to a rainfall station located in the offices of MAGFOR [Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry] in the town center.

Another report:

At 4:30 pm, it was reported to us at the command post that 10 meters of retaining wall were destroyed on the north side of the Barrio Rigoberto Cabezas, in front of the house of doña Ramona Jarquin.

Photos and ages of the auto-evacuated persons are pending, owing to the inaccessibility from rivers and streams which are deep, and the roads which are inaccessible, and problems with electricity which made it difficult for us to send photos in a timely manner with their respective reports. Hoping, with faith in God, that it doesn’t rain, in order to gain access to these places.

OCTOBER 17:

Report: 12:30 am

The following were received from SINAPRED (Esteli Departmental committee). [Note: SINAPRED is the national agency which handles emergencies and disaster relief.]:

86 sleeping mats, 86 blankets, 100 hammocks, 100 ropes, 43 food packets, 14 sacks containing rations of peas, corn and rice, 9 gallons of cooking oil

Report: 9:50 am

We enclose the names of the isolated communities in the Municipality of San Juan de Limay, until Monday, October 17, 2011:

El Palmar (324 inhabitants), Quebrada de Agua (753 inhabitants), Chacaras (213 inhabitants), Tablones (191 inhabitants), Guanacaston (291 inhabitants), La Palma (237 inhabitants), Rodeito ( 82 inhabitants), Las Mesas (67 inhabitants), Chilamatillo (80 inhabitants), La Tigra (24 inhabitants), Ojochito (23 inhabitants). These are isolated by the overflowing river, and there is no pasaje by the La Naranja bridge and the Negro river. There is no passage to San Francisco del Norte. SubTotal: 2,285 inhabitants

Other isolated communities: Terrero No. 1 (90 inhabitants), Tranquera (447 inhabitants) , Las Canarias (220 inhabitants), Los Encuentros (123 inhabitants), Colocondo (115 inhabitants), El Naranjo (244 inhabitants), Las Brisas (124 inhabitants). SubTotal: 1,163 inhabitants

[Note: The following communities are on or near the road from Estelí to Limay.] These communities can be attended to by Estelí: Pedernal (217 inhabitants), Loma Atravesada (47 inhabitants), Comayagua (169 inhabitants), San Antonio del Comayagua (95 inhabitants), Fraternidad (230 inhabitants), El Zapote, Santa Pancha (102 inhabitants), San Luis (602 inhabitants). Subtotal: 1,462 inhabitants

At the moment, members of COMUPRED (Mayor’s office, MAGFOR [Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry], MINSA [Ministry of Health], ENACAL [Water and Sewage Administration], MINED [Ministry of Education]) are visiting some communities to see whether they can reach them. I continue below with these:
San Lorenzo, Las Canas, Guaylo, Agua Fría, Ojochal, Danta, Jicarito, Limón, La Flor, El Calero, EL Morcillo, La Naranja, Los Colorados, La Grecia, Redes de Esperanza.

At the moment, they inform us that they are bringing one person in a hammock from the community of El Palmar, in order to see if we can pass her to La Naranja.

Sincerely,
Gerardo Romero Hernandez
Sria, Municipal COMUPRED

Third report:

-MINSA [Ministry of Health] requested medicines in order to attend to the shelters and communities that are reporting cases of fevers. Medical prophylaxis is being continued for prevention of leptospirosis.
-An oxygen tank (220 lbs.), 200 liters of diesel, and 100 liters of gasoline were requested.
-There was coordination for the transport of a pregnant woman in labor from Tranqueras, and a boy with dysentery from the community of Ocotillo, to Esteli by MINSA of Esteli. The pregnant woman, Sandra Francisca, will leave today from the community of Deshecho, PG ADOL+EAT+STP. She will wait at the entrance to Colocondo for a vehicle to be sent.

Communities with new effects:

La Palma: 12 houses semi-destroyed. Of these, 8 have roof damage and 4 have damage to the walls (the heads of the families are Feliciana Hernández, Evangelista Hernández, Nicolasa Zamora, and Juan Zamora). 6 families auto-evacuated, comprising 20 persons; 6 children, 14 adults. 18 families (80 persons) at risk on the mountain slope of Los Caballos.
El Limon: Reports effects to the cattle. 5 dead bovines, 4 other animals dead, 10 poultry dead.
Los Tablones: 4 houses semi-destroyed.
Los Encuentros: The community of Los Encuentros reported via telephone at 5:30 p.m. that 10 families auto-evacuated.

Lifelines:

There is electricity since 4:30 pm on October 16.
We have telecommunication (conventional telephones, cellular, Internet).
They are working to re-establish a connection toward San Jose de Achuapa.

Report on activities of October 17:

Rainfall for the day was 50 millimeters.
Meeting at 7 am to evaluate the situation and make decisions for the course of the day
After a small evaluation of climatic conditions with which the day began, the decision was made to assign teams to visit some communities and evaluate their situation.

CommunityPersons Assigned

Las cañas – Melvin Corea (MAGFOR), Omar Espinoza (MINED)
El Guaylo – Harold Aguirre (MAGFOR), Luis Irías (INTA)
Agua Fría – Rufino Vindell (MAGFOR), Benito Martínez (Alcaldía)
Ojochal – Jonathan Maldonado (MAGFOR), Everth Talavera (Policía)
Danta – Armando Guerrero (Alcaldía), Alejandro Bravo (Alcaldía)
Jicarito – Everth Blandón (MAGFOR), Carlos Lazo (Alcaldía)
El Limón – Nancy Calderón (MAGFOR) Gustavo (FAO)
La Flor – Edwin Corea (Alcaldía) Rosibel Rodríguez (FAO)
El Calero – Daniel Santos Vindell (ENACAL) Glenda Castro y Julia González (MINED)
El Morcillo – Milton Hernández (MINED) Ángela Rosa Vásquez (MIFAMILIA)
Los Colorados – Jairo Osorio y María Nela Pichardo (Alcaldía)
La Naranja – Mauricio Betanco (MAGFOR) Pedro Betanco (MINED)
San Lorenzo – Julián Valdivia y Reynaldo Reyes (MINED) Mario Guzmán (MAGFOR)
La Grecia – Juan José Cruz (MARENA) Armando Zeledón (MINED)
Redes de Esperanza – Ubence Castillo y Pablo Mairena (Alcaldía/PIMCHAS)

They returned by the afternoon with the information that it was possible to compile until this moment.

It is worth mentioning that the formatted tables were used, but it wasn’t possible to collect all the information that they ask for. In the formatted tables which are being sent, the information is generalized across the municipality.

Other activities carried out:
A patient from the community of El Palmar was transported to the health center in the town of Limay.
The produce from ENABAS [Nicaraguan Basic Foods Agency] was distributed in the communities of Mateares, Tranqueras, Pedernal and Parcila.
Tomorrow the communities of Las Canarias, San Luis, Platanares will be supplied [with food] if the situation improves, since the food trucks are getting stuck in the community of Mateares.
Work continues on the repair of the road to the municipality of Achuapa.
Of the communities visited, only the communities of El Guaylo, Agua Fria and Ojochal could not be reached because the streams were full.

OCTOBER 18:

Report from MINSA [Health department]

The transport was attended to of a patient from El Palmar to the hospital in San Juan de Limay. We have admitted him with a diagnosis of a right inguinal hernia (reducible). He was transported from one side of the river to the other by pneumatic means, with the collaboration of swimmers native to the zone. At the same time the sector of El Palmar – Guanacaston was supplied with enough medicines for one month.

Medication of the town center was carried out with health brigade workers, personnel from the health department and GPC (1,356 inhabitants). All received their first dose.
Medical attention was given to the sector of San Lorenzo and La Naranja. Two pregnant patients were transported (one from Mateares and the other from El Desecho/Colocondo).
A request was attended to for chlorine, oral serum, acetaminophen, and chemical prophylaxis for the prevention of leptospirosis.

Report on activities of October 18:

Meeting at 8:30 am to evaluate the situation and make decisions for the course of the day
After a small evaluation of climatic conditions with which the day began, the decision was made to assign teams to visit some communities which it was not possible to reach yesterday, and evaluate their situation.

CommunityPersons Assigned

Guaylo – Harold y Argentina
Agua Fría – Rufino y Mario Guzmán
Ojochal – Melvin Corea

Personnel from the mayor’s office, MINSA [health department] and MAGFOR [department of agriculture and forestry] were divided up, to go door-to-door in all the barrios [neighborhoods] of the central town of Limay, to hand out doxycycline against leptospirosis. They were assigned as follows:

BarrioPersons Assigned

Roberto López – Rosario Aguilar, Mauricio Betanco
Adrian Morales – Ramona Soriano, Ernesto Rodríguez, Lesbia Mondragon
Rodolfo Herrera – Hamel Lazo, Carlos Lazo, Brenda y Yorling
Silvio Bravo – Alex Talavera, Nancy, Karla y Ligia
Mario Rodríguez – Benito, Gerardo y Osman Rosales
José Esteban Moncada

When they finish the barrios to which they’re assigned, they will go to the barrios of Jose Esteban Moncada and Rigoberto Cabeza, because they are larger.

Starting at 10:00 am, at the Walilica bridge, persons who were on the other side of the river were passed [to this side] by cable. We enclose photos.

OCTOBER 19:

The weather situation remains similar to previous days. Precipitation measured up until 8:00 am today is 77 millimeters. The rain has been constant but not strong, a little more intense than yesterday.

The two shelters which have remained active are continuing without change, with 14 families in the Casa de Cultura and 4 families in Lirios del Valle.

No more auto-evacuees have been reported in the outlying communities, nor in the central town of Limay.

The distribution of food packets was organized for families affected in the communities. The distribution was done in accordance with the needs reported by their leaders:

• La Grecia – 8 food packets
• Las Brisas – 7 food packets
• La Danta – 7 food packets
• El Limón – 7 food packets
• Los Colorados – 3 food packets
• La naranja – 2 food packets (to the rescue crew who are helping to pass the sick over the La Naranja river)
• El Palmar – 1 food packet given to a sick person in the hospital, originating from this community
The communities of San Luis, Santa Pancha, La Fraternidad, La Laguna, Loma Atravesada, Pedernal, Tranqueras, Mateares, Parcila, Colocondo, Los Encuentros, El Naranjo, Platanares, Comayagua, and Las Canarias are being evaluated by a team consisting of Gilma Rosales [former mayor], Digna Betanco, Pedro Llanes, Pablo Mairena, Ubence Castillo and a support team from Esteli, since access is impossible from the central town of Limay.

We continue without access to the communities of Guanacaston, La Palma, El Palmar, Ojochito, Los Tablones, Las Chacaras and Quebrada de Agua, since the level and the force of the river at the La Naranja bridge have not diminished. For that reason, the only form of contact has been by radio with the communities of Las Chacaras and El Guanacaston. A system of cable over the river was established in the Walilica sector on October 18, with the objective of transporting food from ENABAS [department of basic foods] and persons who became trapped on the other side of the river for the past week.

The transport which we succeeded in carrying out was the following:
October 18, 80 persons and 150 oil drums
October 19, 50 persons and 24 hundred-pound sacks of sugar and 17 hundred-pound sacks of rice
At 6:40 pm a telephone report came in of a mudslide in the community of El Zapote which affected two houses. It is not known where the refugees are. Also four pregnant women are reported to be in labor, and the community also asks to be provided with food.

Reports on Flood Damage in Limay Oct. 14-20, 2011

The following report is based on information sent to us by the mayor of Limay, covering the period October 14-20, 2011.

PEOPLE SEEKING SHELTER

In the central town of Limay, three emergency shelters are operating.

The Casa de Cultura (Cultural Center) is serving fourteen families, with a total of 56 people. Their primary needs are clothes for children and adults, disposable diapers, and shoes.

Capilla Lirio del Valle (Lily of the Valley Chapel) is serving five families, with a total of 21 people. All these families are reported to be extremely vulnerable. Two of these have nowhere to live; and given that they are staying elsewhere, they don’t have beds, kitchen utensils, etc. The rest of the families are living in overcrowded conditions, and their immediate needs are clothes, shoes, and disposable diapers.

The Capilla Calvario (Calvary Chapel) is serving fifteen families, with 46 persons total.

The shelters are equipped with an electric system, but there had been no electricity for a week prior to October 20, the day of this report.

In the rural communities of the Limay municipality, these people are in shelters or are staying with family, friends or neighbors:

Agua Fria: 14 families, 47 persons
Colocondo: 2 families, 12 persons. 1 house destroyed
Colorados: None mentioned. 3 houses partially damaged
El Guaylo: 3 families, 16 persons. 15 houses partially damaged
El Jicarito: 1 family, 3 persons. 2 houses destroyed, 3 partially damaged
El Limon: 9 families, 37 persons. 9 houses partially destroyed
El Morcillo: None mentioned. 1 house totally destroyed, 5 partially damaged.
Guanacaston: 3 families, 8 persons. 1 house destroyed
La Danta: 3 families, 15 persons. 13 houses partially damaged
La Flor: None mentioned
La Grecia: 2 families, 6 persons total
La Naranja: 8 families, 34 persons. 8 houses partially damaged
Las Chacaras: 6 families, 26 persons
Los Encuentros: 1 family, 6 persons
Los Laureles: 30 families, 123 persons. 2 houses partially damaged
Ojochal: None mentioned. 3 houses partially damaged.
Redes de Esperanza: None mentioned
San Lorenzo: 4 families, 18 persons total. 6 houses partially damaged

REPORT FROM THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT

On October 15 and 16, the health department provided emergency consults and administered prophylactic doses of medication against leptospirosis to the people in the three shelters in the central town of Limay.

On October 16, prophylactic doses of medication were administered by community health workers in the following communities: Agua fria, El Calero [also known as Rio Abajo], El Orejón, El Rincon, La Laguna, Las Canarias, Loma atravezada, Los Chapetones, Ocotillo, Palmira, Polvalera, San Antonio, Tranquera

Except for El Calero, it was impossible for the central health department to access these communities directly because of bad roads; but they had left medication in health outposts in these locations in anticipation of such an emergency, to be administered by community health workers.

DAMAGE TO INFRASTRUCTURE

In the Municipality of San Juan de Limay, there is a total of 150 kilometers of destroyed roads because of mudslides, floods, erosion, and saturation of the soil. There is total or partial destruction of 7 bridges. One foot bridge is damaged. There are 37 kilometers of highway in bad shape; the rest of the 150 kilometers are rural roads. Electricity is gone.

Colorados: Road is bad. Individual and community wells are not damaged, but chlorine is needed.
El Guaylo: Road is bad. No other info was provided.
El Jicarito: Road is bad. Water system is not damaged, but needs cleaning and chlorine.
El Limon: Latrines waterlogged
El Morcillo: Road is bad. Wells not damaged, but chlorine, cleaning, and 3 rope pumps are needed.
La Danta: Road completely out. Latrines are waterlogged.
La Flor: Road is bad.
La Grecia: Community aqueduct destroyed. Chlorine needed.
La Naranja: Vehicular bridge destroyed. Foot bridge damaged.
Ojochal: Road is bad. Chlorine needed for community well.
Redes de Esperanza: latrines waterlogged, wells are undamaged. Electric system is damaged.
San Lorenzo: Road is bad. Water system partly damaged, chlorine needed.

REPORT FROM ENACAL
[NICARAGUAN ENTERPRISE OF WATER AND SEWAGE SYSTEMS]

Report of the results obtained during the first three days of the state of emergency declared in a yellow alert by National SINAPRED [government agency for emergencies and disasters]:

On Friday [October 14] ENACAL was called to a meeting by the Municipal Commission for Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Natural Disasters (COMUPRED). A yellow alert had been declared because of the JOVA tropical depression.

Five ENACAL personnel participated in crossing the overflowing Los Quesos river that was affecting the water pumps at water plant No. 4. They activated a generator for 5 hours on October 14, 12 hours on the 15th and 19 hours on the 16th.

Another ENACAL colleague joined the municipal brigade doing search-and-rescue work for 10 hours on October 14. Two colleagues evaluated damage to various water systems in the central town and in nearby communities.

With regard to the provision of potable water, approximately 1.40 cubic meters of water per domicile was provided, which is considered good for basic needs, i.e., consumption and food preparation. It is worth mentioning that on the 14th, the first water which was pumped came out dirty, 20 cubic meters of water. The level of chlorination during this testing period was 1.5 times the [usual] dose of chlorine. It was overseen by a doctor from the health center.

In search and rescue, the evacuation of 55 families was supported [by ENACAL], for a total of 161 persons including children and adults, in the barrios of Adrian Morales, Silvio Bravo, and Roberto Lopez.

AGRICULTURAL DAMAGE

[Note: A manzana is about 1.7 acres.] The following summary is still incomplete, because many communities are inaccessible or people have been unable to reach their fields; but here is what is known to this point:

We have a total of 1,353 manzanas of beans planted for the second growing season which are in the stage of first flowering; these are affected, because of excess humidity and rain, by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani leading to “brown patch disease” and the falling of leaves and flowers.

With respect to corn, there are 1,482 manzanas planted for the second growing season which are in the stage of flowering and beginning to develop ears. In this crop there are areas affected by flooding from rivers and streams. There is stunting of corn and excess water.

In sorgo [another grain, perhaps sorghum or millet], there are 438 manzanas affected by floods, since this is grown in the flat part of the municipality.

With regard to livestock, masses of cattle in the municipality are being affected by hypothermia, with 20 cattle dead from hypothermia; and 15 horses and 3 sheep dead from drowning from overflowing rivers and streams.

In the town center, 25 manzanas with agricultural potential are totally destroyed by overflowing rivers and streams.

Latest News from Limay on Flooding – October 17, 2008

Today the municipal authorities of San Juan de Limay declared a municipal red alert, because the damage caused by rains overcame their ability to manage. This municipality reports various flooded neighborhoods, besides finding itself incommunicado from the rise of two rivers which prevent passage on the main highway connecting it with Esteli, the departmental capital.

In spite of the fact that the number of displaced persons decreased from 222 to 63, the mayor’s office of San Juan de Limay lost economic and logistical control of the situation, and therefore felt obliged to declare the red alert.

Colonel Mario Perezcasser, head of Civil Defense, announced that the mayor’s offices of Somotillo and Chinandega are also studying the possibility of raising their state of alert from green to red, because of the many damages reported from precipitation.

In Somotillo there are 330 persons in two temporary shelters. In El Realejo there are 225 displaced persons, and in Managua 150 persons needed to be evacuated from the Manchester neighborhood.

ROADS CUT OFF

Perezcassar said that up until 11 a.m. there were 785 displaced persons taking refuge in eight temporary shelters.

Besides this, damaged roads were also reported. In Leon [department] there are eight incommunicado population areas. The highway that links Leon with Poneloya is impassable. Other cut-off roads are La Dalia-Waslala, Waslala-Siuna, Siuna-Rosita and Rosita-Bilwi.

The Civil Defense head believes that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will need twice the 100 million cordobas that it had requested, in order to repair the damage caused by the rains of September and October.

The green alert is being maintained across the country. Tropical Depression 16 was lowered to a low pressure center, but in the west [of Nicaragua] it has allowed an entire week’s worth of rain to fall in one day.

Note from Leonardo de Silva on Rains in Limay – Oct. 2008

Translaton by Barbara Larcom

Hello, Barbara!

Well, what can I tell you? The rains have been constant, until today when no rain fell. But according to information on TV, a storm is approaching from the Pacific with hurricane predictions, which will affect the countries of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, according to experts.

In our case, if this phenomenon occurs, it would affect a large part of the western part of the country, specifically Chinandega and Leon, and if so, we would find ourselves involved as that zone is a neighbor to us and it always falls on us when it affects that zone.

In truth, we are almost incommunicado. The river is passing across the Gualilica bridge, that is, the entrance to the municipality. The Los Quesos River that passes through La Naranja can’t be crossed, and the bus from San Francisco [Norte] isn’t coming. More than that, the Mosquito stream, that is at the exit from Limay in the same direction, damaged the bridge, and it’s not known when it will be repaired.

There’s a lot of concern, according to what they told me this morning, that the Health Department is holding meetings with different sectors that work in the locality, in order to take measures, now that cases of leptospirosis are suspected in some communities, and they want to prepare against a situation of epidemic which could occur.

For the moment the harvests of basic grains have not been lost, but if the rains persist, it is probable that they will be. Anyway, we’ll keep in touch.

April 2007 News From Limay

PHONE CALL TO LIMAY 4/22/07

Present on the call: Marilyn Carlisle, Barbara Larcom, Tranquilino Garmendia, Olidia Corea, Leonidas Silva

Next phone call May 20th at 7:00 pm EDT

PERCEPTIONS OF EFFECTS OF NATIONAL CONDITIONS ON LIMAY

Education: Teachers’ strike described as limited in spite of reports from Nicaragua Network Hotline; doesn’t seem to have affected Limay. Also there is now free Saturday high school in Limay, because of support for education from the national government. (The private school still functions as an
alternative.)

Health: More medications are available in the hospital.

Agriculture: Help for cattle ranchers and farmers of basic grains expected (acc. to TV) soon — probably May. For example, co-ops may be able to buy tractors at good rates.

Energy: No more electricity cut-offs; it’s normal now. Main reason given for this was the agreement with Venezuela to provide oil for energy generation.
Also agreed, when asked, that Daniel Ortega’s threat didn’t hurt either, to cut off the contract with Union Fenosa (the Spanish company distributing electricity), if it didn’t shape up.

CONDITIONS IN LIMAY

Weather very hot, a little rain, people preparing ground for planting when real rain begins. This is the hottest time of year, right before the rains start in May.

The Asociacion Padre Cesar Jerez (located in the same office as our Limay
committee) now has Internet access. Leonardo Silva has already used it to send us some email.

WORK OF THE LIMAY COMMITTEE

Homes: They’ve built 3 new homes and repaired 7 others. Leonidas made a tour yesterday and saw the new and repaired homes. The doors are purchased but waiting to be hung on the new houses; he will take pictures as soon as doors are on…hopefully by Thursday, April 26. Will use Berta’s digital camera.
Leonidas’s question: Should they spend on more repairs? Our response: “Yes!”
Tree nurseries: Scholarship students are still working on these.

Solidarity Conference in Managua: We urged them to get involved with the planning within Nicaragua toward this conference to take place in July 2007.
We gave them the contact information for the group coordinating the planning (Kairos)—urged them to call or e-mail. They asked if people not involved in CB/L could help in planning, we said absolutely yes! We also read off the 5 categories of topics for workshops, plenaries, and forums at the conference.
They will choose 5 or 6 people to go to conference—Tranquilino cannot go because of the health of his mother, who’s staying with him.

Delegation: Told them our delegation would probably arrive in Limay around July 6. Said right now we have three people definitely coming, with others considering. After visiting Limay, we can all travel together from Limay to the conference in Managua.

We also told them about our upcoming May 4 event, to try to raise more funds for their projects.

Letter from Jose Alberto Corea about the repairs in the church.

This is a translation of a portion of a letter sent from Jose Alberto Corea, a member of the congregation of the San Juan de Bautista church in San Jaun de Limay.

…we want to tell you about our church. It is looking very good. The roof and ceiling have been changed and repaired, it has been painted inside and outside. Later, I will send you photos of the church. We give thanks to Casa Baltimore and to St Vincents church for the money to enable us to do this.

October 20th Call to Limay

Barbara Larcom called Leonidas, because she hadn’t received the email we were expecting from Leonardo.

The river has risen significantly, over the bridge, and the buses aren’t running to Esteli. That’s why Leonardo didn’t send the email on Tuesday. There has been a good bit of rain in Limay, although it has stopped now. It is much better there than in places like Guatemala, El Salvador, and parts of Honduras, they said. As a result of too much rain, some of the harvest has been lost, but some remains. Everyone is safe and well. But Leonidas did go to the bank in Esteli on Monday and paid for the US visa applications. All of their interview appointments (except Maria Gilma) are on November 3 at 8 am. Leonidas reports that Maria Gilma, the mayor, would very much like to come to Baltimore. Her travel plans to Spain changed somewhat. She leaves for Spain on November 5 and returns on November 15. She’s willing to travel immediately to the United States as part of the delegation. Her interview for the US visa is scheduled for October 28. Leonidas and l discussed the possibility of changing the delegation dates to Wednesday, Nov. 16, through Wednesday, Nov. 30. She explained that we have a meeting this evening, and she would bring these dates to the group for their consideration. Marilyn has scheduled a phone call to the Limay committee for this Sunday, October 23, so she can share our decision at that time and make other arrangements. She promised to fax a revised letter of invitation, with the new dates and the modified list of delegation members.