Chinandega, Nicaragua:
Chinandega, Nicaragua is a very poor country. Many of the children and their families live in the dump. I visited the dump and I can't describe the state that I saw these children in. Many were barely clothed, covered in filth and eating everything they could get their hands on. I remember standing there watching the dump truck drive in with the kids running behind it. Each one wanted to have first pickings through the trash. One goal is to get these children out of the dump. Slowly this is happening as the children are getting placed in schools. How can we help them? What is the long term solution? One solution is education and a learned skill so they can sustain themselves.

In December of 2005 we took 100 used bicycles along with extra parts and tools to a trade school in Chinandega. Our goal was to help them set up a little business where they could fix and repair bikes in the future. In this environment bikes out number cars 25 to 1. Ward worked side-by-side with several teenage boys and teachers teaching them how to assemble and maintain the bicycles. They didn't let the difference in languages stand in their way. After four days of working with the boys it was time for us to leave. They had such a zest to learn that we hoped this would continue after we were gone. You're never quite sure how the projects end...or do they?

Just a couple of months ago, March 2008, we learned through Rotary International that the Trade School did set up a little bicycle business which has enabled people to have a mode of transportation and a sense of freedom. Something we frequently take for granted. We will go back some day and see how the business is running.