Our latest trip to Jinotega in early September was very short but packed with familiarizing ourselves with all the new developments on the Albergue campus as well as meeting our newest students who enrolled since our last trip in March.
Traveling with us was our new projects manager in Nicaragua, Jade Gagnon, and Karin Jonsson,the former manager, who is now a student in International Development at George Washington University and continues to work with MMO in a consulting capacity. Jade is now living at the Albergue and quickly becoming immersed in the daily life of our students and the staff.
We brought many supplies to support the work in our new café and bakery, Café’ Flor de Mayo that opened this summer. Yassandra and Oto, who operate the bakery, have proven to be wonderful bakers, to which we can attest, as we sampled most of what they offer. Our older students will soon become involved in a work study program, where they will learn baking skills and experience working in the café.
Our students are making great use of the computer lab, through classes taught by Osmanny. In addition to being a technical classroom for our students, the computer lab is open to the public for online use and computer instruction.
The students receive routine audiology services through the Bob and Mary Lemon Clinic, staffed year round by Dr. Ernesto Moreno and Audiology Technician, William Sirias. MMO Director of Audiology, Debra Fried and Audiologist, Natalie Souza, used the opportunity of our trip in September to follow up on some of students.
Jardin De Sara has been a work in progress, providing a quiet spot for our students to sit outside. What once a “jungle” of over grown shrubs and a convenient area to toss construction scrap is now landscaped with stepping stones created by the students and hand crafted iron garden stakes by artists, Lynn Barnett and Shawn Meyers. Each flower or leaf is etched with the names of people who have donated to the Stepping Stones Scholarship Fund which funds interpreters for deaf high school students. Some of the stakes are in tribute to loved ones. The Garden is named in honor of Sara Werneke, long time volunteer.
The children and our programs grow at an astounding rate. This school year ends at the end of November and our students will return to their rural homes till February. It is not a vacation for them, as they will return to the hard work of helping their families survive in the one of the poorest regions in the world.
Here in the US, we will continue to support the educational and vocational programs, providing training and resources for our staff.
We will also continue to raise funds for staff salaries, day to day food and operational supplies and for the maintenance of the Albergue Mayflower campus buildings.
We hope you will spread the word about our fabulous students and encourage your family or a group in which you participate to support them.
There are a number of ways to contribute to the program operations of the Albergue Mayflower, which we have included in this newsletter.
Here are links to some of the things going on at MMO: