15/09/2016 - When Nuevas Esperanzas first started the beekeeping project in three mountain communities on the slopes of the Telica Volcano, Juan Orozco from Agua Fría was part of the group. For eight months, from late 2010 to mid-2011, Juan learned the basic techniques of beekeeping leaving him able of managing his own hives.
19/10/2016 - Finding enough water every day is a huge challenge for the rural communities where Nuevas Esperanzas works, especially at this this time of year. In the second year of drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon, many families are finding that their usual sources of water are drying up or flowing more slowly than in the past.
29/04/2016 - Two years into the drought which has affected much of Central America, the water situation in the community of Agua Fría has become critical. The spring which flowed freely only a couple of years ago has dried up and nothing but a trickle is left lower downstream. As the dry season continued, the 500 families affected became increasingly concerned about where they would find water to drink, to wash, to cook until the rains came.
30/03/2016 - Nicaraguan law states that every community should have a water and sanitation committee, known as CAPS. CAPS are democratically elected by the community, and their purpose is to ensure there is a good water supply and improved sanitation in the local area. They are regulated by the national water authority but do not receive funds from the government, instead relying on fees from community members.
20/10/2015 - The tourism project in the community of Agua Fría on the Telica Volcano is in full swing. The market for tourism on the volcano is currently dominated by external tourism organisations. The central aim of this project is to see a share of profits stay within the communities who live in this beautiful area. Members of the tourism cooperative have established solid foundations for the construction of a hostel, a visitors’ centre and café. This is one of the reasons why Nuevas Esperanzas recruited a giant new member to the team: the UNIMOG.
02/11/2015 - At the end of last month, Nuevas Esperanzas warmly welcomed Swiss visitors Alain and Sylvie Schwaar, from the organisation Dire et Agir. The Schwaars have an extensive background in working with community members to overcome conflicts throughout the world, particularly in Haiti and Angola. We invited them to visit the communities of Agua Fría and El Ojochal de Listón to facilitate workshops that dealt with cooperation and domestic violence. They were well received by community members, and it is our hope that those living on the Telica volcano will continue to grapple with and educate others on the concepts they learned.
1/11/2015 - Sunday 1st November marked 10 years since Nuevas Esperanzas came into existence. To mark the occasion we decided to do something a bit different and, possibly, a little mad: run 10km through León, the city where we are based in Nicaragua. For many in the team this was their first 10k run and at first glance it seemed near impossible. But, after months of training in the 30 degree heat, all 12 who decided to run made it around the course in great time (some surprising even themselves). The team truly gave their all. The dedication shown in this event is a tribute to the attitude that all our team members have when it comes to our work. For 10 years we have been working to improve the lives of the rural poor in Nicaragua. We hope this demonstration of determination shows our commitment to the next decade.
10/09/2015 - As their test, the guides took the evaluator on the Telica Volcano crater tour. Each guide took a turn presenting during one section of the tour. The guides explained how to identify local plants and talked about their traditional uses. They presented different rocks and pointed out the geological features which tell the history of the volcano’s formation. They also gave accounts of their own personal stories of living on the side of an active volcano, including their close encounters with the violent eruptions this May.
17/08/2015 - Every two weeks a tertulia is held in the central square in León. This citywide event, rather like a local craft and farmers’ market, is put on by the Mayor’s Office to promote small local businesses showcase traditional music, dance, and food. On 15 August, members of the cooperatives from the communities of El Ojochal, El Caracol, and Agua Fría joined the Nuevas Esperanzas team to participate in the Tertulia as part of an initiative to bring their products to market. It was the first time the cooperatives had participated in such an event, and it certainly will not be the last.
10/07/2015 - Brian Toone first visited Nicaragua in 2001 and has been a keen supporter of Nuevas Esperanzas since the very start 9 years ago. When Nuevas Esperanzas registered as a non-profit organisation in the US he became one of the founding board members. He has enjoyed cycling for even longer and since he was given a book about the Race Across America (RAAM) when he was 16, he has wanted to tackle this huge challenge. Studying and work took priority but a couple of years ago, Brian heard about a 500 mile race that was a qualifier and started and ended just a few miles from his home in Alabama. This rekindled the old dream of competing in RAAM. In 2014 he qualified for RAAM 2015.
1/10/2015 - Fresh from the success of the His/Her half marathon in February, Nuevas Esperanzas Director, Andrew Longley, floated the idea with the Nicaraguan team that a 10k run might be an appropriate way to celebrate our 10th birthday on 1st November. This may sound a simple thing, but in order to understand the enormity of what Andrew was suggesting, it is important to consider the cultural context.
30/06/2015 - Mid-summer weekend is surely the perfect time to undertake a challenge and enjoy beautiful mountain scenery with friends while getting fit and raising lots of money along the way. Well, that is how Nuevas Esperanzas Director, Andrew Longley, convinced four willing friends to join him on the Three Peaks Challenge. The target: climb the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in 24 hours. That means a total distance of 42 kilometres and a total climb of 3,000 vertical metres in 14 hours, not including driving time. Surely the summer weather and the longest evening of the year will help?
07/05/2015 - Nuevas Esperanzas is no stranger to taking on projects that require logistical miracles. Past efforts brought clean water to communities using rainfall collection tanks and an extensive pipeline across canyons. Now the team is focusing their same determination on a different aspect of development: sustainable tourism.
05/03/2015 - In February 2015, Nuevas Esperanzas embarked on a collaborative project with Project Gettysburg-León (PGL), a non-profit organisation from Pennsylvania which runs various projects in communities around León. One such community is Talolinga, a few hours’ drive into the mountains. Five years ago, PGL began implementing projects such as an art club for children and improving agricultural knowledge. Despite ongoing efforts, progress was uncertain, and PGL decided to evaluate the state of their projects. The organisation then approached Nuevas Esperanzas for assistance as the team has extensive experience in project assessment.
20/02/2015 - Every teacher knows that the start of a new school year inevitably brings some teething troubles with the timetable. It can’t be helped. Plans carefully worked out in the office sometimes look very different when put into practice by real people. This is a challenge the Nuevas Esperanzas team is facing as the sustainable tourism project for the Telica Volcano reserve enters its second year.
29/01/2015 - In the past decade, Nuevas Esperanzas has undertaken and completed an impressive range of projects. The team has worked with many communities to install rainwater harvesting systems, develop model farms, and set in motion a sustainable tourism initiative. While the benefits of these projects are unmistakable, the work of Nuevas Esperanzas is far from over.