Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Report 09 - El Fortin

Hey LASED and friends!

I wanted to drop one more line. I returned from a week in El Fortin 2 weeks ago. The experience was very eye opening. And as a returnee, I was overwhelmed with joy to be back in El Fortin, with a community I have grown to love with my friends.

UWEC Women’s Experiences in Nicaragua committed to a week project of painting La Casa de la Mujer- El Fortin and to presenting charlas (small presentations/discussions) to educate everyone about parasites. Five days and many songs later, our group completed our service learning project. Though we were only there a few days, bonds were created and as always tears were shared as we said goodbye.

In short these are the highlights of my reflections of my time in El Fortin (& what remains with me):
1) The change in perspective I noticed among the young ladies and teens of El Fortin (Nadir and two others have taken charge and show they plan to run the parasite program on their own)
2) The excitement for the students to learn and especially read (La Casa de la Mujer- El Fortin now has a library)
3) The possibilities for the people to start dreaming… (Nadir plans to start university, the women are starting a literacy program for all the mom’s with scholarship students---- this is all their own initiative)
4) The municipality gave the go ahead for the bridge project starting November 2009!

And for all LASED members,
We know that our organizations direction will change in time and we may start support in other areas of Latin America, but I just want you all to know there is always an open invitation to visit El Fortin (there is now room for a guest at La Casa de la Mujer with a bed and bathroom/shower). Also, we started our first project in los Malakos which is the other side of El Fortin; so Los Malakos is open to possibilities as well.

And finally, I know you will all hear something eventually from Marielos (I’m guessing in October) but she also suggested partnering in a project with Xochilt-Acalt. If you have any questions, just let me know.

Thank you all for the life experiences we have shared together. I will truly miss being in the frontlines of LASED. Good luck to you all in your futures.
You all will forever be my friends who will change the world someday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

News del puente

Buenos dias companeros!

The past two days have been marvelous. Maria Lillian, Marielos and I met with the mayor of Granada yester afternoon to discuss the bridge project in El Fortin. We left the mayor´s offie with 2 meetings set up-- one for this morning in El Fortin to survey the work site, and one for next Tuesday afternoon to continue to work out the logistics from my understanding.

So this morning at 6am I met Marielos to go out to El Fortin to meet the Mayor. After speaking with the mayor today at the intended worksite everything looks very promising.
The tentative plan, as I understand it, is to build the main structure in November, and then in February the city will reinforce the structure of the bridge (during their dry season).

The mayor has thus far been very optimistic about this development project, I think it has helped to have representation from all sides. Unfortunately I do not have any specifics, but I wanted to share the promising news with everyone -- it looks like El Fortin will finally get their bridge.

I will continue to keep you all posted on El Fortin. The summer program leaves in 2 weeks to do their service work for a week.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Community Project

Hola companeros.
I am Amandita - the summer liaison for LA SED (as I have dubbed myself).
I will be returning to El Fortin after nearly two years with the Women in Nicaragua summer program (July 13-August 22nd). It is super exciting to be able to return to continue the work LA SED was sprouted from.

Our community project is planned for August 10-15th, near the end of the program.
I hope to be able to send an update or two via this blog. So stay tuned.

Nos vemos amigos!

2nd Annual El Fortin 5k

The 2nd Annual El Fortin 5K was a huge success. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who has supported this cause, our sponsors (Planet Soccer, CASA, Noodles & Company, Cold Stone Creamery, Best Buy, Anytime Fitness, Acoustic Cafe, and Mancino's) -- we could not have done this without you all. An additional thank you goes out to Applebee's for allowing us to hold a pancake fundraiser back in March.

Combined with our bake sales throughout the year, we raised over $2,000 (US) for sustainable development in El Fortin.

Additionally, Marielos brought good news of the advancement and empowerment of the students in El Fortin.

Students that not to long ago did not have access to tools of the future, are now given the opportunity to e-mail. Marielos' stories are encouraging to hear.

Thanks again for all your support.

Friday, January 9, 2009


This is the first step of the eventual LA SED website. It is my hope as the webmaster, on behalf of this campus organization to grow a following of current events and topics of interest to our student ran organization, and those we have set out to help in this world.

So what does L.A. S.E.D stand for?

It is an acronym for Latin American Sustainability, Education, and Development.

Why does L.A. S.E.D. exist?

We are people passionate about people in Latin America.
Organized by a group of good-spirited, passionate university students who saw a need in a small community in Nicaragua during their time studying abroad.
This passion evolved from a service project the fall of 2006 in a small community called El Fortin; located just outside of Granada, Nicaragua. Before returning to the United States, the group was moved and immediately pulled together to start a scholarship program (or becas) to send El Fortin children to school.
In 2007, another group of university students returned to this small community to continue working on sustainable development projects. And they too were changed by the experience in this small community. They returned to campus the following semester with the idea to hold a 5k on their campus to fundraise for the scholarship fund and educational development.
It was during this effort to plan the 5k that we, the students from both program years and their friends, formed and created the campus organization Latin American Sustainability, Education, and Development (L.A. S.E.D).