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Nicaragua: September 2021 newsletter of the CDCA

cleaning harvested sesame in the field

COPROEXNIC, the organic agriculture cooperative, is hanging in year-after-year and adding farmers each year... this year they have added more women farmers as the result of a grant given by Shared Interest.

The rains have been pretty good this season - knock on wood! The first harvest of organic sesame is being stacked in the fields to dry while the second crop is going in the ground, as are organic peanuts.

2020's peanut crops suffered with the two back-to-back hurricanes. Added to the flooding, the processing was done poorly and slowly. As a result, the peanuts were high in aflatoxin causing the peanuts to require blanching which means less profit for the growers.

COPROEXNIC rents and runs a sesame processing plant, and is in negotiations to rent a processing plant for their organic peanuts. When they are in charge of

processing then they have control over the timing.inspecting peanut processing equipment Invested in the outcome, they can train and employ a team of people. This should give the co-op more return on peanuts which will mean that the buyers and farmers are happier … and Mike can sleep.

 We continue to search for more avenues in which to sell the organic coffeefrom 2020. The 2021 crops are growing. If you can help, please contact us at If you want to buy coffee, please contact

The coffee growers comprise a small cooperative of 51 families on a remote, rural mountain. Their life is hard and filled with pain. When we can, we take one of our three clinic physicians up the mountain with the medicines we think will be needed. Your subscription to Farmer Shares helps provide the life-saving medicines from our People's Pharmacy, one of the many services of our Nueva Vida Health Clinic.

Nueva Vida Clinic    

 In the health and dental clinics, we have had several staff members recovering from COVID-19 which has limited what we can provide. We are seeing more and more patients with suspected COVID cases. We continue to send them to the public health clinics. If the patients are presenting even one symptom, they are provided with prophylactic medications, and instructions for them and their family to quarantine for two weeks.outdoor check-in at the Nueva Vida Clinic

 Nicaragua is reporting more cases...maybe it’s the delta variant or maybe not. The delta variant only needs one minute of exposure. It also delivers 1,000 times the viral load than other variants. We have a concern that it is going to go through Nicaragua like a hot knife through butter, no matter how hard the government works at prevention.

 We are asking all staff to be vaccinated. The government is making vaccinations voluntary, but to keep a job with us...the members of our staff need to be vaccinated. It is ethically unacceptable for our staff to infect patients at risk of dying from COVID, or infecting those who are not vaccinated - including children. So far, the Ministry of Health has had enough vaccines to vaccinate people 45 years old and older.socially distanced patient waiting line

 It was difficult for Kathleen to be in the States recently and see all the incentives being offered to entice people there to be vaccinated with little avail, while knowing there is a shortage of vaccines in Nicaragua.

 Josefa, our clinic administrator, was hospitalized with a ruptured appendix that caused peritonitis. She has healed and is back at work after two months…gracias a Dios! We survived without her.

 Starting in June we once again began seeing ORPHANetwork children in our dental clinic two days a week. Julio, our dentist, was one of the staff who had, but is now recovered from, COVID. Fabiola, our dental hygienist, is now home with her son’s suspected case. Pharmacy assistant, Danelia, is also on two-week clinic

 Of course we continue requiring masks, social distancing, hand washing, strict cleaning, and protective gear in the clinic. What staff members and family do at home, we have no control over.

 Dominga, our clinic therapist, stays busy seeing over 100 clients each month as people live with fear of the virus, poverty, violence, grief, and trauma. Every month she helps 30 or more children with learning disabilities and developmental delays. She is a treasure to the community and the staff.

 We continue all our programs and services as safely as possible. We are implementing the Hikma Health on-line record keeping (last year's Giving Tuesday's project). We contracted with a computer engineer, Eduardo, to maintain the system online, to work out all the bugs, and be available for problems. We are pleased with his work.Hikma Health inservice training

  Our boys' groups have learned barber skills and our girls' group has learned how to create piñatas. The boys loved seeing Rebecca Wheaton, one of their past volunteer leaders, who came to Nicaragua for a visit.

 Another contracted addition to our work is financial accountant Carlos. With all the government requirements and our lack of knowledge of those requirements, it was past time to hire a true professional. He has been busy helping us get our act together. This is also allowing Kathy, at age 72, to move closer to retiring.

Casa Ben Linder   
  Casa Ben Linder, our solidarity and hospitality house is housing more and more people and receiving better reviews. One new face at CBL is Xiomara, who sells breakfasts and lunches to guests and the neighborhood. She also oversees the house-keeping which helps tremendously.Las Lobas lunch at CBL

       We continue to host art events as well as special family events. Another added face is Omar who helps manage all of these guests and activities.


      We continue to work on paperwork for the Nicaraguan government. No worries, we still run all our programs, it just means we have pending reports to file. With the USA's sanctions and meddling in Nicaragua’s internal affairs, the government is making sure that each foreign non-governmental organization is doing what they say they are doing and NOT trying to overthrow the rightfully elected government. Makes sense to us, even though we do get anxious with this year’s paperwork lingering on pending approval.

      The first Sunday in November Nicaragua will have its general elections.If you keep up with international news you may be reading a great deal of misleading information.

     After the attempted coup in 2018, everyone who had been arrested - whether it was for vandalism, looting, demonstrating without a permit, blocking roads, torture, or even murder - was granted provisional amnesty. The provision was that if they broke the law again, they would be arrested and stand trial.

     That seems logical…and generous…and yet many of these people who committed crimes before and were released are now breaking the law again and as a result are being arrested, while the international press continues to scream “repression.”

      Of course we do not know all the people arrested. We do not know all the crimes they are charged with, but we do know that the United States State Department had a paper leaked in 2020 that outlines how the State Department plans to disrupt the elections here and if the Sandinistas are elected again how the U.S. plans to create violence and havoc attempting to accomplish another coup since the one in 2018 failed. Go here for an article which includes the link and read it yourself:

      We also expect that the Sandinistas will be re-elected for a fourth time. Why? Because of repression? No.

      Because of voter restriction? No.

      Because of new laws to limit who can get a ballot? No.

new overpass at Las Piedrecitas      
Then why? Because since 2007, they have improved this country for all, especially those living in poverty. The middle class has grown. The infrastructure is so, so much better. Roads are the best in Central America now. Electricity coverage is up from 53% to 99%, as is potable water. Health care has improved dramatically and there are new hospitals, new homes to care for pregnant women, new health clinics, specialty care clinics and hospitals, and on and on the list goes. The government has lowered infant and maternal mortality rates. New parks have been built and old ones refurbished for children to have a safe place to play. WiFi is free in all the parks. More and more children are going to school and receiving free lunches. Hunger is reduced. AND it is because of all of THESE things that they will win again.San Juan del Sur new hospital

      But outside forces together with the Nicaraguan historic oligarchy and other political parties continue to cry foul. They run to foreign governments seeking sanctions, aid to overthrow the rightfully elected government, and blockades; when they could choose to look at aspects where they might help create a better Nicaragua. They could go to the people and talk to them…but they instead choose not to develop an alternative platform. Ergo, odds are highly in favor of the Sandinistas winning again.