We will be in Nicaragua again on October 26, 2012, for the Turning on the Lights celebration. We are really looking forward to it as this was a difficult project to complete. Here's an update from Kim Hornsby of Seattle, describing the final preparations of the electricity installation:
We drove to Ojochal and handed out three light bulbs per house in anticipation of the advent of electricity next month. There was a sense of excitement in the air and bulbs were handled like newborn babies. Smiles were abundant. 400 people will come to the Fiesta at the baseball field in a few weeks to celebrate the beginning of electricity. Many government officials will arrive, as well as the Nicaragua Children’s Foundation and there’ll be cause for a huge celebration for the town of Ojochal. Electricians were working in houses up and down the road, installing electrical plugs.
We first went to Ojochal with our agent, Veronica, in 2009. We found a small subsistence farming community and slowly got to know the people there. We worked hard to help develop the school and preschool and in doing this, we came to understand a little better just how hard life can be in rural Nicaragua.In 2011, the NCF asked the people of Ojochal what they needed most. Their answer was immediate-they needed electricity. We tried to imagine life without electricity and found that we couldn't. We came up with various ideas about how we could raise enough money to make this a possibility. Eventually, we concluded that the only real way was our tried-and-true method of basic fundraising. This was definitely one of our most challenging projects, but was also the most rewarding. Along the way, we managed to convince the Mayor of San Juan del Sur to help us. He ended up agreeing to pay half of the $47,000 price tag. We are happy to report that thanks to our most recent gala fundraiser, we now have the necessary funds and the project has begun!
Rosa, Ojochal's community leader, delivers NCF money for the electricity project to the Mayor's office.