Wednesday, April 15, 2009

an island that is growing.....

My best friend Juan Carlos (with whom I also work on this project) wrote on my birthday card a year ago... "Casa Xalteva es una isla de amor en el mundo y tu la has hecho crecer." (Casa Xalteva is a island of love in the world and you have helped it grow.)

This project, "Si Quieres, Pueden Reir" all started because of a beautiful NGO in Granada called Casa Xalteva. If you haven't checked out the website, I would highly suggest doing so. Casa Xalteva offers spanish classes to foreigners and lots of volunteer opportunities. But, the best thing about Casa Xalteva is the 15 smiling kids who attend it daily. These are kids from impoverished backgrounds that come to Casa Xalteva to get an education. They also feed, clothe, and take the kids on fun adventures. Nicaraguan kids are quite possibly the best in the world (but I guess, I am biased.) *Props to Ken Carpenter ( a prof from New Mexico) who made this vision a reality*

I originally came to Granada to learn some basic spanish and ended up falling in love with the city & the fabulous people. That is how our little project was born. On my second trip to Nicaragua, three friends by the names of Juan Carlos, Andres, and Kathryn started a project to help the kids in El Pantanal. This is why Juan Carlos wrote on my card, "that I had helped the island grow..."

We now like to think of our little project as a mini island that lives off the shores of Casa Xalteva..... and my dream is that "Si Quieres.." could become bigger and help more children in Nicaragua someday.

I would now like to put my thoughts on paper (or type my thoughts on a computer screen?) This next year- I would like to:
1) Make "Si Quieres, Pueden Reir" a registered charity or NGO
2) Build a real web site for the project
3) supply the kids both in August and in February with school supplies.
*If you can help me with any of these three goals, please write me... I love hearing from you!

And if you haven't already... Please watch the 4 minute movie that I made with my friend Kay from Seattle..It's a nice little introduction to our project and El Pantanal. It's a beauty. (You just need to scroll down to the MARCH 30th, entry)


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