We flew into Managua over Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. The view was spectacular. Active volcanoes emitted smoke from their calderas. Hundreds of dormant cones were visible, some topped by cloud forests and crater lakes.
We saw real poverty among rural Nicaraguans: lack of electricity; dirt floors at home, lack of potable water; illnesses like Dengue fever; and other basic indicators of need. Poverty is really hard on people living in its hold, and it takes a big toll on individuals' self- esteem.
Jorge packed our itinerary with intensive exposure to Project Redwood grantees Compatible Techonolgy International (CTI) and Self Help International (SHI), and partner non-profit EOS International projects, staff and communities.
One of the things that impressed me about our trip to Nicaragua was that if our affiliated non-government-organizations are well-connected and knowledgeable, then our grant dollars and efforts can be highly leveraged and effective.
The New York Times has a good article on Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute School of Design. The article mentions the course Project Redwood helps to sponsor, Design for Extreme Affordability, where students tackle real world problems facing those who live in poverty.
The smiles of happy children warm anyone’s heart. Project Redwood’s holiday card was designed to bring cheer to all of our classmates…but it also brightened the day of Susy Whitcomb, the president of our grantee, Haitian Educational Initiatives (HEI).