From the Chair – Thankyous, Corona, and the new Board 2021

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We regularly receive donations for our project in Juigalpa. Some of the donors are ‘regulars’ whom we have known for some time. But sometimes we receive gifts from people who we do not know.

Unfortunately the banks stopped some time ago with giving address details of the donors, which stops us from sending a personal thank you note. Maybe they will read this message: many thanks for your beautiful gift! On our websites are regular updates about the progress of the project.

By the way, quite recently we received a very generous donation from Book4Life in Groningen. (See elsewhere in this Newsletter). Fortunately we did have book4Life’s contact details for a ‘Thank you’.

Corona in Nicaragua

On 2nd August I read in the digital version of El Pais (a Spanish newsletter) quite a special article about Nicaragua, or more to the point, about the President, Daniel Ortega. It’s common knowledge that Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin-America, which means that many Nicaraguans seek greener ‘economic’ pastures abroad. In 2018 Nicaragua’s population was about 6.5 million, of which about 1 million were staying in either the US or in neighbouring Costa Rica. However, due to the corona crisis many jobs in Costa Rica disappeared, and consequently, many Nicaraguans want to get back to their home country. The article in El Pais mentioned that returning Nicaraguans need to be tested, for a Government-imposed fee of $150. As only a few people can afford this amount, many are caught in the no- man’s land between the two border posts in Peñas Blancas. (see picture above).
Unfortunately El Pais does not tell us how these stranded people are coping; the article does not present the attitude of the Nicaraguan Government in these times of corona in a favourable light. You can read the article in Spanish here.

New Board for Vivir Juntos in 2021

When our Board started the Juigalpa project in 2015 we thought our fund-raising task would be a temporary job. How wrong we were! Add to this the current corona crisis, and it’s clear we cannot stop our support for the Ruach Foundation now, although the current Board, (Niko Tetteroo and Jeroen Boggia), indicated long before the corona crisis that they wanted to stop their work in 2020.

Astrid has been able to find candidates for a new Vivir Juntos Board, including a treasurer. From the look of things the new Board will take over from Niko and myself by mid-2021. The new Board members will introduce themselves to you in due course.

Jeroen Boggia
Chair, Vivir Juntos Board