Alternative community development: The Phil Mitchell Memorial Revolving Loan Fund lends to people in Limay for starting or expanding a small business. Examples of these businesses are a bakery, a saddle-making shop, bicycle repair and sales, soapstone masonry, a butcher shop, and various small grocery stores. The fund also lends toward housing repairs.
This has been an important source of development in the town. Right now the fund stands at about $30,000. We’d like to increase it by half again over the next year.
Nutrition: Poultry for women: We have funded chickens and roosters for 70 poor women in two mutual support groups, for the purpose of increased consumption and sale of hen eggs.
More women have requested poultry after learning about this project. It costs so little to contribute so much to the nutrition and extra income of a family in this way: Six hens and a rooster cost about $30. With vaccinations and fencing, the cost is $100.
Preschool nutrition center: We contribute to |”CENIC|” which feeds and educates 65-80 of the poorest children in town. The children eat breakfast and lunch there, and their weight and general health are monitored regularly. A small amount goes such a long way in Limay: The CENIC budget per child is about $185 per year, a little over $15 per month.
Elderly and disabled persons with no families to support them receive regular food and other staples through our funding. This project costs about $400 monthly.
Medicines: Our Limay committee administers a fund for medicines for the poorest people who cannot afford to fill their prescriptions. The committee is spending about $100 a month now for this purpose, but they tell us at least $200 per month is needed.
Our scholarship fund presently sponsors 12 young people to attend college or technical school on weekends while living at home. We’d love to sponsor more. A scholarship costs $200 to $250 a year, or about $20 per month. The CENIC preschool nutrition center was previously mentioned .
Housing and latrines: When Hurricane Mitch damaged much of the housing stock, Casa Baltimore/ Limay started building new houses, one by one. This will remain a priority for some years. A new house, built simply of bricks with a tin roof, currently costs about $1,600. A latrine, so important for health and hygiene, costs about $225.
Each of these projects has transformed real lives of people we know personally. Each has employed people to perform services that were essential to the community. Each was selected by democratic consensus within and between Limay and Baltimore committees, working as equal partners. Every dollar spent is transparently tracked and recycled many times in Limay.
In the picture above, the delegation from July 2005 unpacks medical and school supplies, computers, books and toys that were brought from donors in the United States.