July 15, 2020

Casa Baltimore/Limay News

In November 2015, Casa Baltimore/Limay turned 30 years old! At least, it was November when Nan McCurdy and Phil Mitchell headed for Nicaragua, after we had a commissioning service for them and blessed their upcoming work. The Baltimore committee actually began its planning earlier in 1985.

We would like all those associated with CB/L to share their memories of Nicaragua and/or Limay from any time in the last 30 years. Please post your comments and reflections is the area below. If your post is long, you might want to create it in a word processing program and then copy and paste it into the box below. The box to enter your text will be at the end of the comments.

If you are not registered on this site, you must first register in order to leave comments.  Click on “Register” on the upper right of our home page to get started.  After registering, click on the link under “30th anniversary” on the left side of our home page.



  1. carolberman says:

    Returning in 2005 after a 17 year hiatus ( first trip in 1988) continued to be a step-back in time, although more “new” standing out against the ” old” : cell phone towers, many cell phones, more TVs, more indoor plumbing, no pigs running in the street, fewer potholes in the center of town ( more paved streets). But what remained were the warm people wishing us from the US well…and the swimming ” hole” hadn’t change, although all I got to do was hang a leg over in it ( I had injured my foot before we left Baltimore). Big change also in the airport in Managua….in l988 it was rather a large shed, rather than an airport that looked modern. Managua itself was more modern, too.

  2. Barbara Larcom says:

    “Danos un corazon granda para amar, Danos un corazon fuerte para luchar. Pueblos nuevos, creadores de la historia, Constructores de nueva humanidad….”
    Translation: “Give us a large heart in order to love, Give us a strong heart in order to struggle. New people, creators of history, Builders of a new humanity….”

    These are the first words of a song which was well known in Nicaragua in 1989, during my first trip there. A Nicaraguan minister, hosting our Casa Baltimore/Limay delegation for lunch one day, shared this song with us. The words have stayed with me ever since, because they expressed so well the spirit of Nicaragua at that time.

    In July 1989, I joined the eight-person delegation which we laughingly called the “singing delegation” because so many of us loved music. We taught each other songs which we sang together (often with harmony) as we rode along bumpy roads and when we shared evening reflections. Charles Curtiss, our delegation leader, played guitar and taught us “Nicaragua, Nicaraguita,” a love song to Nicaragua by the famous composer Carlos Mejia Godoy.

    Nicaragua was filled with the spirit of hope in those days, 10 years after the Triumph which expelled the dictator Somoza from the country. Citizens, a large percentage of them young, were forming worker cooperatives, and Christian base communities founded on the theology of liberation, and new local governments and task forces. We were excited to see what they were doing – and we were all aware that Nicaragua was an inspiration to other countries.

    El Salvador, for example, was in the midst of a horrible civil war at that time. Kathy Schaafsma taught us a snappy three-part round related to this theme, translated as follows: “If Nicaragua won, El Salvador will win, it will be free.” South Africa was also in strife then, and I believe it was Carol [Armstrong] Moore who taught us another three-part-harmony song with very cool rhythms from that country: “We shall not give up the fight, we have only started.”

    I was very touched by the hospitality I received in Limay on that first trip (and ever since). I stayed with a very poor family who had recently moved there from another town, Tranqueras, in order to escape the fierce fighting of the Contra war. Leonel and Vicenta, a husband and wife with two small sons, had arrived in Limay with very little. Their two-room house was built with sticks and some boards, with some adobe over it in places. Vicenta’s mother was also visiting for one night, so in order to accommodate a second guest (me), Leonel slept atop a dresser that night. I was also surprised at first at the openness of the house (including my bed!) to animals like hens and roosters.

    I loved the evening visits with my host family in Limay. Many kids from the neighborhood would come visiting, and we would all sit together and enjoy them. I was moved by the affection I saw from parents toward their children.

    By the way, my former host family is doing much better these days. They have a brick house, cows, and poultry, a result of their own hard work as well as help from projects like Casa Baltimore/Limay.

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