Sept 2012 html
CDCA logo.jpg Harvest... Health... Hope...
Hitting the ground running in 2013!
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February 2013
It’s harvest time in Nicaragua.  Women sorting
                                              organic coffee at El
                                              PorvenirThe organic coffee has been harvested and is being processed. Up at El Porvenir a few weeks ago we watched women sorting the first grade beans from the second and third grade.
    Sesame is being processed as fast as it comes in from the growers.  We are estimating 40-50 containers of organic and conventional sesame.  COPROEXNIC, our organic crops cooperative, is the largest exporter of sesame in Nicaragua and has been nominated as Exporter of the Year by Exporters Association of Nicaragua.
Nuts to You Sam
                                                  Abrams with coffee
                                                  farmer River RuizOrganic peanuts are also coming in fast and furious… an estimated 4 million pounds.  Getting the peanuts processed and examined by a lab to confirm that they meet health standards for export has been a huge nightmare… or as we say, “just another day in paradise.”  We are researching the possibility of opening a processing plant for making peanut butter for regional sale which would greatly increase the value of the non export quality peanuts.  This will also give employment to people here.  In the past two months we have had five visits from organic peanut buyers.

COPROEXNIC is growing by leaps and bounds.  cotton in storage
                                              ready for ginThey are hiring three more staff members!  They have outgrown the office space they are using in our building and are looking for ways to expand.  They pay us rent on the spinning plant building for organic cotton storage, which is helping us to pay back the loan the JHC borrowed to buy the spinning plant machinery. The earnest money was given to a broker in SC, Jack Coker, who never honored his commitment.  We are suing him and so are the spinning plant cooperative and COPROEXNIC.  He has now countered sued the JHC…sigh.
    Organic cotton is being harvested; therefore, very soon the gin will be running and hiring 18 people.  The concrete building materials business is back at work currently making block instead of concrete paving stones.
volunteer dentist
                                                  with childrenThe health clinic services are expanding and changing as community health needs change.  The second week in January a volunteer dentist, assistant, and hygienist came to see 218 children from the feeding centers with our own dentist and hygienist. We are continuing to see the children but - of course - without volunteer help we cannot see as many.  We are looking for volunteer dentists and/or hygienists to come one week per month for the next two years.
    During that same week we had two visiting doctors…Dr Jason with patient
                                              familyone an ER doctor and the other a gynecologist who took 26 PAPs, which is important as the clinic is focusing on women’s health, including cancer prevention and detection.  Nicaragua hasDr
                                              Emmie the second highest rate of cervical cancer in Latin America, second only to Haiti.  During February, we will take 13 women for mammograms and PAPs.   We have located a different pathologist to read our PAPs faster and at a better price.  We are also working with a women’s cancer foundation in Managua for follow-ups on abnormal PAP results. 
    ALSO a nurse practitioner who lives in Managua is volunteering one morning a week.  She will be doing women’s health exams two mornings a month, a pregnancy and birthing class one morning a month, and Well Child visits in the last week of the month.
Dr Wilfredo
                                                  AvilaOur beloved Dr. Wilfredo Avila had to resign because the Ministry of Health moved him to a position that required more hours, leaving none available for our clinic.  We welcome Dr Elizabeth LopezDr. Elizabeth Lopez as his replacement.   Elizabeth, being a woman, is doing more women’s health care than Wilfredo did, as well as maintaining the care of our many patients with chronic conditions.
    We have patients with chronic hypertension and/or Type II diabetes.  Diabetes is expected to increase by 38% in the next 10 years in Latin America (more than Canada, USA, and Europe combined). 
Many patients have their chronic conditions under control with their current level of medicines, so instead of visiting the doctor monthly, we are requiring them to attend classes every other month to take better care of their own health as “payment” for their medicines.
    We also have patients with epilepsy, Parkinson’s, thyroid malfunctions, and cerebral palsy.  Some of these patients cannot really eat so we are buying powdered food supplement.  This is increasing our budget greatly and we need your help to offset the rising costs.

The CDCA is receiving a grant from Irish Quaker Faith in Action for women’s health including HIV educational trainings.  We also have two specialists from Boston College coming in March to help us fine tune our HIV program.  Because it is mandatory for pregnant women to be tested, to prevent passing HIV on to their babies, housewives are the fastest growing population of known HIV positive people in Nicaragua.  We will be working closely with an organization in Managua that focuses on HIV/AIDS as well.

Nora teaching
                                                  CPRBucknell students
                                                  and kids painting
                                                  benchesIn January we hosted the Bucknell Brigade of 25 members who brightened up the clinic by painting and assembling indoor and outside benches.  In addition to Bucknell, we also hosted 14 short-term volunteers! 

    Two medical volunteers, Nora and Becky, taught CPR classes to our clinic staff and to the health promoters.  Nora will be teaching more classes in women’s health and first aid.  One volunteer, Jim, is here to help us with our electrical, electronic, and computer disasters.  Bless his heart, we are a mess!  Neville Louden
                                              Volunteer CoordinatorJim Ludden wiring
                                              office electricityWith all the volunteer activity, we are thrilled to have Neville Loudon as our volunteer coordinator.
    Neville is from Lislagan, Northern Ireland.  He is kind and patient with us.  He has been a life-saver!  He even works hard to understand my (Kathleen’s) Southern accent from the Carolinas! :)

The CDCA hired two new staff members in addition to Dr. Elizabeth. 
    Josefa used to work at the Center organizing the hosting, cleaning, and cooking… this woman has a pharmacy degree as well as an industrial engineering degree!  She is now the administrator at the clinic – Hallelujah!  To replace her at the Center is Diana, who is so far surviving the crazy gringos with grace. We also hired Lucas who is working with Rogelio in maintenance and construction.
                                                      students unpacking
                                                      meds with Josefa Lucas
                                                      at work under
                                                      truck Diana
                                                      Francis and Carmen
                                                      cooking for

    The Community enjoyed family at Christmas.  Paul’s father and brother came from Ireland and Germany, respectively.  Tiff, Jessica and her family also came.  We’ve enjoyed a visit from Kathleen’s parents and many friends.  We have had joyful times.
    Now we are busy with all this year’s start ups, last year’s reporting, getting Sarah ready for her spring speaking tour [see tour schedule], and school preparations, as all the young ‘uns start their new year this month.  
    Over the holidays we took a JHCommunity photo and a staff photo. 
                                                      Left to Right,
                                                      Back Row: Daniel,
                                                      Tiff, Coury,
                                                      Joseph, Mike;
                                                      Middle Row:
                                                      Claudia , Pat,
                                                      Kathy, Waxor,
                                                      Charlotte, Sarah,
                                                      Becca, Paul; Front
                                                      Row: Elliot on
                                                      Jessica, Eibhlin,
                                                      Orla. CDCA
                                                      Center Staff:
                                                      Cesar, Rogelio,
                                                      Pedro, Lucas,
                                                      Diana, Carmen,
                                                      Francis, Saul.,
                                                      Mike, Kathy,
                                                      Becca, Sarah.
                                                      Clinic Staff:
                                                      Kathleen, Pat,
                                                      Josefa, Marta,
                                                      Jessenia, Danelia,
                                                      Henry, Petronila,
                                                      Conchita, Inya,
                                                      Ligia, Mario.
                                                      COPROEXNIC Staff:
                                                      Raul, Mauricio,
                                                      Rito. Other
                                                      Family: Paul,
                                                      Coury, Daniel,
                                                      Joseph, Eibhlin,
                                                      Orla, Elliot,

    I go through phases… I suspect most people do.  One example is reading news.Victoriano in bed  I get a great bit of U.S. news from Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert so at least I can laugh, but I read international news on the internet.  I go through phases of reading every ‘cause’ that comes in on email, reading about wars, atrocities, hates, and meanness in the world on internet news…and then I get so overwhelmed I have to grab a pillow…literally…and cover my heart.
    The world is full of pain.  The people we work with have great sorrow and suffering as an everyday part of their existence.  Much of the time, I move through the day and do what I can where I can…most of the time, I feel guilty that there is so much more I could do and don’t.  And then sometimes, really, I just go in the bedroom, find a corner, grab my pillow and protect my heart.
   Ronna Krozy with
                                              Victoriano and family But sometimes there comes those moments of clarity that my heart, my life, my being, my guilt is not all there is.  All those “I”s and “my”s are silly and not that on which the world revolves or even on which  I, Kathleen, revolve.  In the First Letter from John he said, “Love conquers fear” (4:18). I would add “Love also conquers selfishness, pettiness and cruelty.  Love allows us to bear the pain of others and not collapse or even feel the need to protect ourselves… but instead love allows us do what we can to alleviate that pain.”
    In those rare moments that I can love, my pillow stays on the bed, I stay out of the corner and I face the day with hope that maybe my gifts, my token efforts, my being can be used for Others.  And more importantly Others are the subjects, not me.
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As before, we have enclosed below a list of what was accomplished last year.  We hope you will take the time to just read it and see what YOU helped accomplished in 2012 with your gifts, prayers, visits, and support.  We think you will be impressed.
2012 CDCA Year End Highlights
> We met our 3-year goal of having $1 million in the Vida Fund by the end of 2012!
> With loans going out and being repaid throughout 2012 we loaned $1,494,699.62 to COPROEXNIC, mostly for credits to farmers!  Wow!  We also loaned $8,453.09 to small businesses.
> We gave the members of the Genesis spinning cooperative $2,000 each when they left the cooperative in acknowledgement and appreciation for their work.
> COPROEXNIC now has 3 full-time staff, a part-time accountant, and seasonal workers in the cotton gin and cattle feed (more on that later).  They bought 2 work trucks and a cargo truck.
> We helped COPROEXNIC export 4 containers of organic cotton… 124,000 pounds from the 2011 crop.  This year’s organic cotton, coming in right now, is from over 500 acres.
> The gin employed 18 full-time workers for 5 months ginning 6 containers of organic and conventional cotton.
> COPROEXNIC, with our help, exported 27 containers of sesame, most of them organic… 1.1 million pounds!
> Together with COPROEXNIC, we have 1,200 acres of organic peanuts planted, soon to be harvested.
> Together, we exported 29,400 pounds of organic coffee to two buyers.
> We hosted 6 different groups of buyers from Once Again Nut Butter, Nuts to You, Their-Bucks Coffee, and a Japanese buyer.  Many buyers came to negotiate face-to-face with the growers.
> César, then later in the year Mike, attended in the U.S. meetings of the Domestic Fair Trade Association, a recently formed organization looking at the issue of fair trade.

> In the Nueva Vida Health Clinic, we treated 7,398 patients…28% were 5 years and under. These patients were seen by two part-time physicians and volunteer physicians.
> 1,690 were seen by a volunteer orthopedist who sees patients 2 mornings a week. Through grant funding, our orthopedist was able to inject 2 or 3 treatments of hyaluronic acid into 7 patients’ knees and they are now walking and bicycling!
> We gave out treatment and medicines for 9,484 conditions and diseases.  36% involved pain with adults, both chronic and acute pain; 10% asthma (of that 80% were children); and 30% were treated for chronic conditions like type II diabetes and hypertension, as well as others. 
> Our nurse made bi-weekly home visits to the homes of 23 elderly or home-bound patients.
> Our laboratory completed 2,563 tests for the clinic and we did approximately 1,000 tests outside the lab.  We sent out close to 200 PAP tests to be read in a different laboratory and began the process of developing a working relationship with the Ortiz Gurdián Foundation, which works with women’s cancers here.
> In November, we began our program with ORPHANetwork to see 1,200 children twice a year in our dental clinic.
> Our half-time dentist, a full-time (for the past 3 months) hygienist, and volunteer dentists saw 966 patients (23% were under the age of 12 years) and performed 1,620 procedures. Our dentist also gave classes on good oral hygiene to 747 students.
> Our one-morning-a-week eye correction clinic saw 508 patients and gave out 610 pairs of glasses.
> Our health promoter was out sick a third of this year, but we still did the following:
    + Started a new mother’s group that, at the end of the year, included 32 mothers and 17 babies who are accompanied by the nurse and lay health promoters
    + Continued 4 asthma support groups for parents of children with asthma
    + Gave 7 different health classes in the schools reaching over 800 students
    + Started an HIV program with the help of volunteer health professionals
    + Maintained the nebulizers and first aid kits in the homes of lay health promoters
    + Held 16 health trainings on topics of diabetes, sexual health, family planning, etc.

> We worked with other organizations in Nueva Vida to build a police station in Nueva Vida so that police would patrol the barrio and hopefully reduce the violence there.
> We continued the cattle feed project that hired 6 part-time people and bought an oil press for getting the most out of the cotton and sesame wastes.
> We started a new concrete paving stone and block-making business that has employed 3 people for 2 months.
> We hosted 10 delegations that stayed from 5 – 15 days, even with 4 cancellations of groups due to economic hardships on their side.
> We hosted 31 volunteer medical and dental professionals in the clinic.

> Three speaking tours encompassed 18 states in the U.S. for 107 speaking engagements as well as an additional 9 speaking events in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
> We hosted 26 groups from other organizations based here in Nicaragua, speaking about and showing them our work.
> We hosted 12 individual volunteers from a week to over a year.
> We increased our Nicaraguan staff salaries.  Including the clinic professional staff salaries and benefits, the total overall of Nicaraguan salaries for 22 people is now $140,000 annually; we hope to increase their wages again.
> Once each quarter we sent out approximately 14,000 newsletters with more than 38% going by email.
> Our on-line giving increased by 23% even though there was an overall decrease of 27% in cash contributions to the general budget.  Almost half of our on-line gifts are monthly or quarterly pledges.  Your gifts are extremely important!
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