31 may. 2011

Cashews, cashews and more cashews

Apart from the crops we harvest (beans, corn, yucca, peppers, jamaica, etc.), we are slowly developing our 25-acre farm into a local vivero (nursery) so that we can do our part to address the deforestation problem in Nicaragua. As one of the largest cattle production areas in the country, Camoapa continues to graze and develop its luscious land for beef and milk export, resulting in significant deforestation of this mid-highland region. Over to the last 6 years, we have planted over 1000 trees, including mango, avocado, coffee, cashew, lime, orange, papaya, oak and mahogany. Our current project is seeding over 100 new cashew trees for future harvest.

The cashew nut (seed) hangs off the bottom of the fruit which is shaped like a pear. The picture below shows the nut and fruit from one of our mature trees. From time of planting, trees take about 3 years to harvest.

12 may. 2011

A Bittersweet Goodbye

Here at the Hogar, lots of excellent and generous volunteers come through our doors, stay for a few weeks or sometimes months; they give a little back and are then on their way to other exciting adventures. But every once in a while we get volunteers that give a LOT back and are truly missed once they are gone. Drew, our theater teacher and Jordan, our play-group specialist (both from Colorado) were the best of the best. They brought a new form of energy and creativity to our program (and even to other adult groups in town). Our staff miss them, the kids keep talking about them and everyone hopes that one day they will come back to visit.

Here Drew and Jordan are seen playing creative theater games and supporting the kids in their first-ever theater performances.