Thursday, January 28, 2010

"I can do all things..."

"I can do all things..."

ell, I don't know about ALL things but one can do many things when we are strengthened and supported by others.

We, here at the CDCA, move along day-t
o-day struggling...often unaware that many "out there" support this work with prayers, meditations, and sending good energy; until the time, when we receive notes telling us in so many words "to be aware."

We definitely forget to tap that source of support when we need it. So we were reminded that there are many loving people out there willing to help.
And now we are tapping that source. We are asking people to pray, to meditate, to think, to image, to send good energy...all of that...for the CDCA to receive $200,000 soon. La
st year we were pleasantly surprised to receive $100,000 when Mike won the Opus Prize, we need a miracle like that.

We have
co-ops waiting for investments to expand, we have people needing glasses and other services, and we have the Genesis spinning co-op desperately wanting to get started. We - of course - also have mundane things like vehicles needing to be fixed so we can move equipment, and people, around; electricity bills; and wages of the Nicaraguans who work so hard for the CDCA's projects.

We know that the needs are great your home, in your community (we used to run shelters), in Haiti ( poor, poor Haiti), in Africa, and here. We are not asking for you to forget all the pain, but to ask - in addition - for the CDCA.

Will you pray with us? Could you? Would you? -- Kathleen

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

El Porvenir’s Coffee named “Best Feel-Good Coffee”

The Pittsburgh City Paper’s Staff Picks named El Porvenir’s coffee, imported by Pittsburgh-based non-profit Building New Hope and roasted in the city by La Prima Espresso, as the Best Feel-Good Coffee, saying “The beans are organic and shade-grown, which is better for the environment; meanwhile, Building New Hope pays above fair-trade rates, and funds projects including alternative schools and alternative energy.”

The coffee harvest up at El Porvenir was completed in December, and the co-op is currently processing the coffee on their farm. The harvest this year was better than past years, thanks in part to the renovation of their coffee plants – replacing old plants with new plants that are more productive. The co-op expects to finish the processing with around 30,000 lbs. of processed green beans.

The El Porvenir co-op’s coffee is also sold through Their Bucks Coffee, a company set up by a group who had traveled with the CDCA to El Porvenir and learned how the co-op was being ignored and mistreated by the large coffee middlemen. Upon their return to South Carolina, some of the group from Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church formed Their-Bucks Coffee to buy coffee directly from El Porvenir and to pay them more than world “fair trade” price for it. Profits from the sale of Their Bucks Coffee are put back into the El Porvenir community through projects like the coffee renovation mentioned above. Their Bucks also sells El Porvenir’s coffee through it’s 43 Families Coffee label, available in the Piggly Wiggly chain stores in South Carolina.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Goals for 2010

As the first blog of the year, we want to share with you the CDCA’s goals for 2010:
1. To have at least one general informational meeting with every urban neighborhood and rural village in Ciudad Sandino during 2010. The objective of this is to find out from the folks in Ciudad Sandino what current issues are with an eye toward increasing participation in our existing projects (i.e. the clinic) and identifying needs not currently being met.
2. Eye clinic – this will give us the capability of matching patients to donated glasses. Currently we need about $14,000 or a donated machine to make this a reality…we already have the rest of the equipment.
3. Genesis spinning cooperative in production – we are expecting the machinery to arrive sometime in February, and installation will take an estimated 3 months. To be able to install machinery we are still lacking $2,500 for windows and $1,500 for emergency exit doors and $45,000 to install the electricity.
4. To produce enough cotton to supply the Genesis spinning plant through increasing the number of farmers growing organic cotton.
5. Increasing operating income by 25%: this will help us continue to do necessary but mundane things such as pay our Nicaraguan staff salaries, pay our light bill and keep our vehicles running.
6. To have $1 million in Vida Fund by 2012 – this will help us continue to loan start-up and expansion funds to worker-owned co-ops (see

Goals awaiting sponsors:
These are goals that we would love to work on, but currently do not have designated funds for and don’t feel that we can include in general budget at this time. We are looking for sponsors for these goals:
1. Energy independence at a) clinic b) industrial park and c) center
Getting off the grid will help us to avoid excessive repairs and low life-expectancy of machinery, particularly the sensitive dental and laboratory machinery at the clinic.
2. Finish 2nd Clinic building interior walls for security purposes
3. Hire a paid health promoter to increase health outreach work in Ciudad Sandino
Of course meeting these goals will require some creative fundraising. We can use your help!

This year we are looking for
volunteers willing to show our video in their homes
musicians willing to do a benefit concert for us
E-bay enthusiasts willing to help organize an online auction

Please let us know at if you can help. We welcome any new ideas you have and
Thank You for all that you do!
– Becca for everyone at JHC-CDCA