In Memory of Pat Floerke
Here's the February
2019 newsletter of the CDCA in Nicaragua...
let us know what you think, please. You can also
access it as a PDF (printable) document here: http://jhc-cdca.org/files/newsletters/2019-02_nl.pdf
- Sarah, for us all
House Community is saddened to share with you the news of
Pat Floerke’s death. She was Kathy’s sister, a
Jubilee House Community member for 31 years, and the Nueva
Vida Clinic counselor since 2001.
On the 14th of December after our
end-of-the-year staff party, Pat fell… probably due to a
stroke. The plate she was carrying broke as she fell
and sliced her carotid artery and jugular vein. We
rushed her to the hospital with one of our clinic doctors,
Dr. Jorge Flores, applying pressure to staunch the flow of
blood. She was pronounced dead three days
later. It has come as a shock for all of us,
especially Kathy and all Pat’s clients at the clinic.
We were fortunate to
have Dr. Jorge still here after the party and were very
pleased with the care Pat received at the public hospital,
Lenin Fonseca. Many friends, clients, and staff
attended a Quaker memorial service for her. Pat was
one of the few Quakers in Managua. Those who
attended told stories of how Pat had helped them.
She will be sorely missed, and we dedicate this newsletter
to her memory. Gifts in memory of Pat can be sent to
the CDCA or to the Friends Committee on National
The Center for
Development in Central America is celebrating
25 years in Nicaragua!
1994, five adults, a teen, a 5-year old, and a toddler moved
to start a new life here and new work after starting and
running shelters for the homeless and battered women in
North Carolina. We have many memories and stories from
the early days, but what we felt the most was a huge
welcoming spirit among the people who interacted with us.
During this anniversary year we will
share a story or two with you on our blog
media about some of what has been accomplished. So, if
you are interested, please look for them.
our work here is the ongoing strife.
Although the political situation
has stayed predominately calm, the U.S. State Department has
not lowered its travel alert level. This means that
universities are not allowing delegations to travel to
Nicaragua. 2019 was heavily booked with volunteer
delegations coming to the CDCA and most (not all, thank you
Alaska folks!) have cancelled. Loss of delegations
means loss of $100,000 in revenue for the CDCA, and $50,000
worth of donated medications for the clinic.
The high alert level also means tourism
has taken a big hit. Nicaragua is looking at a 2% loss
in its economy that had been steadily growing for six
years. Also, the U.S. signed the NICA ACT into law,
blocking international loans coming to Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western
Hemisphere and cannot withstand more hardships.
Pope Francis has called for dialogue and
for a halt to the violence in Nicaragua. With some
Catholic bishops calling for a violent overthrow of the
government, we hope the Pope’s statement will bolster calls
for dialogue again.
With the NICA ACT sanctions coming from
the United States and the loss of tourism and business,
increase substantially…which is why
your gifts are so important to this work.
Briefly about the work:
Harvests are coming in
and they are lower than expected.
During our last rainy season, we had periods of no rain and
periods of too much rain. The farmers were expecting
2.2 – 2.5 million pounds of organic peanuts but are getting
about 1.8 million pounds. Also, the sesame seeds did
not develop well with the flux in rainfall.
Adding to that, a company here is buying
up conventional peanuts and sesame seeds and reselling them
out of Mexico as organic. This practice is flooding
the market with “organic” peanuts and sesame seeds.
With the NICA ACT, we are unsure how its implementation may
affect exports of any kind, especially agriculture.
with the government, which owns the sesame processing
plant and it said it will sign a three-year lease with
COPROEXNIC for use of the plant.
COPROEXNIC would love to buy the plant, but the government
is not interested in selling. COPROEXNIC would also
like to start its own peanut processing plant on the CDCA
The Nueva Vida Clinic opened
up on the 2nd of January
after a two-week
holiday break starting the 14th of December. Patients
were in line waiting to get inside to see the doctors, the
lab tech, the eye glass
We were happy to have
Margaret Ling, a nutritionist, come in December and do home
visits with our patients. She also gave us pointers
for diabetics and for people who have a hard time
Our boys’ group, The
Lions (Los Leones)
, went to the national zoo
for an outing with Becca Wheaton, a volunteer who ran the
group for two years. They had a great time and our
volunteer coordinator, Andrea
, got some
amazing photos. Andrea and our paid health promoter, Jessenia
both Los Leones
and Las Lobas
, She-wolves, a
group for pre-teen and teen girls.
went on a camping trip to Paul and Becca’s house, which is
in a rural area, for two days and one night. They had a
great time as well. Claudia
Please see the last part
of this newsletter for a more complete summary of the
accomplishments of 2018.
received the gift of a
Mario Montenegro painting from Pam and Owen Bell, Alaskan
Mario Montenegro is a well-known painter
here and is a pioneer of children’s music in Nicaragua. This
piece is part of a series “Sin Musica No Hay Ciudad”
(Without Music There is no City)
from New Jersey came and stayed in Casa Ben Linder.
Peaceworks is a non-profit organization that ships used
donations to us and other non-profits in Nicaragua.
Our clinic has received so many useful items because of
their good work.
We are busy getting all the end of 2018
. If you gave to the CDCA
in 2018 you should have received a year-end letter; if not
contact Sarah at Sarah@jhc-cdca.org
you would like to receive our year-end booklet, please email
We are organizing a
delegation to visit Nicaragua!
Come join our work and see Nicaragua with your own
eyes. May 11th – 19th . Write email@example.com
for more information.
Meanwhile, please help where you are:
40 years is a
long,long time for a collective of adults to stay together.
We started in 1979 in Statesville, NC, by moving into a home
in a poverty-stricken neighborhood and researching how we
could better serve the poor.
Sharing a common purse, meals, prayers,
worship, celebrations and “cursing the dark” together has
made us adaptable, yet stubborn; part of each other, yet
separate; organized, yet chaotic. Those of us who are
introverts learn to be with others and those of us who are
extroverts learn to leave others alone…but we are all made
better by the whole.
Another grandbaby is
born… Alexander Dean Murdock Iutzi to Coury and Cassie.
Mike and Kathleen went to meet their
grandbaby in January.
We enjoyed having family
here for Christmas; it brought us much joy especially after
Pat’s death. Also Becca’s parents came to visit the
last part of January.
Orla graduated top of her class from
primary school. She will go with Eibhlín to secondary
school close to the offices of the CDCA.
Many of you were so kind
to write about Pat’s death and to ask how Kathy is.
Kathy is – of course – extremely sad, but she is also doing
as well as can be expected. She said that when she was
1½ years old, her grandmother taught her how to hold her new
sister using a pillow so she could be ready when Pat came
home from the hospital. From that time on, they had
never been parted for very long. Please keep Kathy in
your thoughts and prayers, because grief can rise anytime.
After Pat died, Kathy
told the community that she wanted a Quaker service in
memory of Pat. Laughing softly Kathy said, “And Pat is
going to finally get us to shut up.”
Sitting quietly during the service, I
reflected on Pat’s life. It is hard to sum up one
person’s life… it’s impossible, so I will not try.
One of Pat’s greatest
loves was children. Pat took our boys on “field trips”
when they were kids and we were home-schooling. Off
they would go with hats on their heads to seek some new
adventure. She and Kathy taught Tiff and Jessica about
interesting board games…a love they continue to have.
And the current Community children, Eibhlín and Orla,
enjoyed going into her room to play for hours and make
crafts…it is sad to think that baby Samantha will not know
But in the clinic with
children, Pat really shone. Around 90% of her clients
were kids with behavioral issues, school and family problems,
developmental delays or learning disabilities, grief and
trauma, because all of these children were poor…some
desperately poor. They know death and violence
first-hand and often do not have enough to eat. Pat had
toys and would get on the floor with them as they
played. One of her specialties was play therapy.
Innocents…suffer the most under the weight of poverty.
They die faster and younger. They are not allowed the
possibility of dreaming of a future where they can be anything
they want. They often work to bring in money for the
family. They care for their siblings as parents struggle
to survive. Most don’t have the opportunity to
learn. They suffer violence often at home, but more
times with gangs and war. They are yanked away from
parents through death, violence, and immigration.
In Matt 19:14, Jesus said,
“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them: for to
such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Why? Jesus
was Jewish and the Jewish faith protects orphans and
widows. Children were cherished and taught.
And now, where are we? The United
Nations just released a report on climate change, and it is
terrifying to know what kind of world the children are now
We separate children from
their parents when they cross the U.S./Mexico border…children
with their parents, fleeing death and violence.
Scenes of children’s bodies being pulled
from bombed-out buildings; children starving in Yemen; and
running out of schools when a gun starts firing are becoming
“just the news of the day.”
The NICA ACT will increase
poverty and limit what the Nicaraguan government can do…like
giving free meals at schools, free higher education, access to
free health care, and on and on…the children suffer the
most. They always have throughout history…always paying
for the greed of the few.
It is long past time for all of us to love
children as Pat did. We need to listen to the
children. Ease the burdens that are too heavy for their
little backs to carry. We need to uplift children
worldwide…for they are the future of the human race.
► COPROEXNIC, the
organic agriculture cooperative, with our help, exported to
two buyers 704,920 pounds of organic sesame… worth
► Together, we exported to three buyers
1,148,596 pounds of organic peanuts... worth $1,302,191.
► Together with El Porvenir, we exported 20,100
of organic coffee…$37,880. All the
above-mentioned exported crops were mostly grown in 2017.
► The sesame plant
continues to undergo tremendous renovations to make it
a world class processing plant, employing 44 workers.
► Through the Vida Fund we lent
out $1,140,623 in 2018.
► Loan payments and interest received in
2018 were $906,554.
► We hosted one business person to discuss
the establishment of our own peanut processing plant, but
with the unrest he was hesitant to invest right now.
► Much of our efforts in agriculture have been
towards broadening the pool of financing for COPROEXNIC and
slowly, financing was getting more secure, but with the
current environment it is not as secure.
⇒ In the Nueva Vida Health Clinic,
we continue to serve people though we have lost two
specialists, one nurse, and now our counselor. While
the unrest was going on, several decided this was a good
time to retire or resign.
⇒ In the clinic, we treated
11,056 patients by our four part-time physicians
(general physician, pediatrician, an orthopedist who only
worked nine months, and ob/gyn who only worked 10 weeks), a
full-time radiologist, and 11 volunteer physicians who
worked from five days to five months.
⇒ 1,055 visits in
patients’ homes provided better medical treatment.
⇒ Our family planning program offers free,
consistent birth control for 300 women and 14 men…very
important with Zika. We are offering birth control implants
lasting 3-5 years. We put in 119 implants and 12 IUDs,
in addition to the above-mentioned 300 women, and we provide
birth control for about 50 women in a remote rural coffee
⇒ Our radiologist
performed 278 ultrasound exams on 225 patients,
because our old machine broke nine weeks into 2018 and is
unrepairable. We are hoping for a new used one in
2019. We also did 198 EKGs.
⇒ We gave out treatment and medicines for 21,511
and diseases. Our doctors performed 850
⇒ We treated 147 patients monthly through
our chronic care program. Besides their
check-ups, lab work, and medication, they also attend
monthly meetings to learn about diet, exercise, taking the
medications properly, and giving each other support.
Most have type 2 diabetes and /or hypertension.
⇒ A global health
doctor did well-child visits in the schools for four
months. She and her husband put WiFi in our
clinic that helped us collect data, spread information, and
helped the clinic staff stay in touch with the Nueva Vida
community. The clinic made a Facebook page.
Unfortunately, the WiFi has not been working for several
months now, because the person they hired to keep it up has
left the country.
⇒ We hosted a volunteer plastic surgeon
who did 39 minor surgeries in our clean room.
⇒ Our part-time counselor, Pat who
died, saw 376 clients working on an average of 2-1/2
different issues in each session… most were family
problems and behavioral issues. She did in-school
consultations and led two support groups on trauma after all
the violence occurred in April and May.
⇒ Our laboratory
completed 6,417 tests in the clinic for 1,697 patients.
also do weekly-to-monthly glucose checks as well as urine
tests when patients are checked in. We sent out 294
tests to be read by a pathologist.
⇒ We continued our dental program with
ORPHANetwork to see children in Nueva Vida from 17
community feeding centers across the western side of
⇒ Our full-time dentist, hygienist, dental
assistant, and volunteer dental professionals saw 5,828
patients (51% were under the age of 12 years).
They performed 10,416 procedures. Of those
procedures: almost 55% were preventive care
[cleanings, fluoride and sealants]; 31% were restorative
care [fillings, etc.] and a tad more than 8% were
extractions… this is amazing for Nicaragua! Our
dental clinic is serving more adults as the government
closed their dental clinic in Ciudad Sandino.
⇒ Our three-mornings-a-week
correction clinic saw 691 patients and provided 869
of glasses (18% were custom-made glasses).
⇒ We gave out wheelchairs, canes, handicapped
toilet seats, crutches, etc. to 208 patients.
⇒ Our community
outreach and health education
included the following:
♦ Continued the
new mothers’ group
and included classes on pregnancy, labor and birth as well
as family planning; a group of mothers of 0-1 year
babies; a group of mothers with toddlers; a group of
pre-teen and teen girls to build self-esteem and
give options for the future other than being a teen
mother; a boys’ group to build a sense of
responsibility and self-esteem as well; a support
group for parents of children with asthma; a support
group for the LBGT community; and a support
system for patients who are HIV positive. We
provided 101 classes and meetings through the year
with 3,293 attendees for learning, support and
♦ We received another
grant to give our 30 volunteer Nicaraguan lay health
promoters a small monetary gift of appreciation each
month for all that they do. We maintained the
nebulizers and first aid kits in the homes of these lay
health promoters, and these services helped 3,256
children and 3,279 adults. They and our
medical staff did 1,055 home visits.
► We hosted seven
Jan- March; then all delegations cancelled except the Alaska
one in November. Not anticipating the absence of
delegations, we hired a Nicaraguan volunteer coordinator in
► We hosted over 36 volunteer medical,
dental, and public health professionals in the clinic,
plus two classes of students in the medical profession,
and one veterinarian who went to the coffee cooperative.
► We hosted six
individual volunteers from
Belgium, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. We have also
hosted 10 Nicaraguan interns volunteering in the
» We went on six
speaking trips that
encompassed many states in the U.S. (new states:
Alaska, New Mexico and Colorado), and also England
Ireland. We made many new contacts as
well as renewing long-time supporters. We were
donated a van on the west coast and one for the east coast.
» Bucknell University
gave the CDCA their first Global Engagement Award.
» We developed four social media
fundraisers for the implant program, the boys’ group,
the clinic and our budget.
» We’ve made many improvements
the Casa Ben Linder in
Managua in order to house AirBnB guests and host
events to raise the money needed to restore the murals and
run a museum, remembering the fallen of the Nicaraguan wars
and the benefits of the Revolution. With the lack of
tourists because of the high security levels placed on
travel, this program is suffering like all other businesses
in Nicaragua; however, we hosted several events including a
fancy Bolivian Embassy gathering, had eight puppet shows
with a total audience of 200, and hosted nine art workshops
with 90 participants total.
» Once each quarter we sent out over 15,000
newsletters with a little more than half going by
email, with a 35% open rate.
» Our on-line recurring donations
increased by 74%! This is critical with
few to no delegations coming providing support.
have included giving to our work via transfers of stock,
employer's matching donations, IRA Required Minimum
Distributions to charities, as
well as by sponsoring fund-raising challenges
on their own, and including us in their wills.
» Our donor base increased by 25%. We received
more donations in €uros
and some in pounds broadening our base to the other side of
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Yes! I want
help support the work of the Center for Development in
can be given & designated on-line
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or mail your donation check to:
Jubilee House Community - CDCA
c/o Donita Miller
420 Longhorn Dr., Rock Hill SC 29732-8886
(If your preferred email has
changed, please include old and new information to