Our MMO Nicaraguan Medical Director, Dr. Karin Mojica, sent us the center photo below of the street view of the Albergue Mayflower. For those who have been to the Albergue, please note the dramatic difference now that the street vendor stalls have moved from in front of our buildings to their new market place location. We are no longer “hidden” and the traffic is free to flow down the street. Now we are much more visible, and the beautiful murals painted by volunteers, Lynn Barnett and Shawn Meyers , and local artist, Juan Korea, can now be really appreciated by the community.
The bakery boasts of new customers who are just now finding us since the relocation of the market, and they are pleased to have discovered us! That is great news for our business. And, speaking of businesses, also note in the photo above a newly constructed door way in the center of the block. With the removal of the market stalls, we were able to construct this new street entrance for our computer lab. This allows public access to our computer lab without the need to enter our school campus, providing more security for our students.
Thanks to the very generous donation of Doug Manning and his group in Edmond, Oklahoma, new computers have been purchased of which the Albergue students have eagerly availed themselves with the tutoring of Osmanny Mercado and Fanny Herrera, our computer lab managers.
While students in the US are enjoying a summer break from school, the students in Nicaragua are just past the half way mark of their academic year which ends in the final days of November. An MMO brigade will be in Jinotega from September 1 till September 9, at which time we will beMgeirncatdo plan for the completion of this school year and what is on the agenda for work at the Albergue while the students are not in residence. Of great importance is the planning for the new transition program for our older teens which will begin at the start of the new school year, February 2013. On a recent trip in early July, Mark Falk, MMO’s executive director, began the negotiations for securing residential space and supervisory staff. This is an exciting evolution to our program and details will be forthcoming as they develop. In the meantime, our older students continue with vocational training.
We were greatly honored by a visit from Dr. Maria Coppola on Tuesday, July 17. Please visit her website manosunidasnica.org to learn further about her support of the deaf community in Nicaragua. However, her interest in our program is related to her research into the Development of Nicaraguan Sign Language. Dr. Coppola learned of the Albergue and arranged to visit with her research team. She said we are doing great work and that is indeed high praise. Pictured here is Jade Gagnon, Dr. Maria Coppola, and Georgina Lopez. You can find out more about Dr. Coppola’s studies at at the “manos unidas” website.
As you may recall, we were not able to set up our library during our March trip as the freight container did not arrive in time. The books are now there, stored in boxes and we are eager to get them on the shelves for reading! This will be a major goal for our volunteers during our September trip.
In order for all of these exciting and ambitious plans to take place at the Albergue and for us to continue our current operations, we are always mindful of our financial needs. One of our biggest fundraisers is our annual drawing which begins this month and will continue through October. We are fortunate again to be able to offer as a first prize the opportunity to win a 2012 Mini-Cooper as pictured below. We will be sending out more information shortly and you can also go to our website in a couple of weeks for details. We hope you will participate and support our students and programs.
Till our next newsletter, ADIOS!!!