The Pueblo Project team has been in Nicaragua for our first week and though we can't count the number of chicken buses or dusty miles we can say that we've had three very exciting meetings in three pueblos in the north for upcoming workshops and home improvements. Each community we will be working with is rich and unique as they seek solutions that fit with their particular locale, knowledge, available materials, and desires for learning. Here's what we have in the works!
AMCC-Condega- Women's Carpentry School- collaborator with skill building workshops
The NPP team found itself back within the hospitable and fostering confines of AMCC, Asociación de Mujeres Constructoras de Condega, school of formation and craft, independence and activity, planted solidly down the road from the COTRAN bus station, across from the "new cemetery" (its address of record). Here we embraced the administration and caught up as best we could, eager to wander the grounds and discover new additions and solutions to structures NPP has had a hand in raising. Alumnus of the classes and workshops now serve as monitors and budding leaders, heading their own groups of national visitors in the art and process of earth building and finishes. We are delighted to find instances of great creativity and industry by way of sweet sculptural adornments and keen patching and obscuring of earthen floor damage. We discuss with leadership the strategies and temporal schematics for our upcoming February workshop, and look forward to the problem-solving and thinking on the fly demanded of us to make this layered, active, and ambitious course stay humming and solidly grounded. Condega is definitely a place that NPP calls home, and so it shall stay that way!
Gabe Woytek- NPP team member
THE SOLAR COMMUNITY of Totogalpa- collaborator of skill building workshops and Home Improvement Initiative
Joy, smiles, hugs and laughter start flowing as soon as we arrive to the community. There is nothing like returning to a place where you have made a genuine connection with people. - Welcome back Liz! It's great to see you! - lovely words that we kept hearing through out the day. This is a very special community there is no doubt about it. Wonderful men and women full of determination to learn and improve their skills. There is passion in their eyes and strength in their actions. True community leaders.
Hilario's home was our first stop. He proudly showed us his home explaining all the new home improvements he has been working on since NPP's last visit. A compost toilet, adobe wall repairs, new designs to improve the local cook stoves and a future earthen floor. His ingenious creativity and impressive skills are definitely inspiring.
Afterwards we gathered with Susan Kinne from The Solar Community for a very productive meeting to schedule NPP's up coming home improvements: wall plasters, adobe benches, improved cook stoves, wall sculptures and community training. This season could not be any more exciting!
The last visit of the day was Mayra's house where we will be working on some wall plasters and an adobe built in seating area. She is an admirable woman, that after attending to NPP's workshops has embarked on a mission to rebuild her house on her own. She has now become a community leader and loves sharing her knowledge with other community members. She is eager to start working and so are we.
Fabi Secaira- NPP Team Member
Community of Tierra Caliente with Colectivo Zompopo- new collaboration!
Our third meeting was to plan a weeklong workshop to share skills with a very rural community Tierra Caliente. Yes, the name is fitting and the recent years of drought don’t help. Many people have needed to leave the community for work in other regions and even in Costa Rica, which is far from family. It’s a hard life in many ways and yet the people are happy, easy going, and greeted us with open arms. They are accustomed to building enchido, which is your basic wood and mud house for people without the means for something more.
This particular community has discovered the beauty of their soils and make stunning natural paints of yellow, red, maroon, white and orange. We are excited to have them show us how the mix their mud and paints and we will teach them ways to improve upon their building techniques in very basic ways. They are excited about earthen floors but can’t afford linseed oil so we are experimenting with the materials they have to move them towards something better, as well as improved wall technique and dust free earthen plasters.
We are excited for this collaboration with Colectivo Zompopo, who has been helping this community to build improved wood-fired cookstoves and help bring much pride and enthusiasm for what they have in this special community.
Liz Johndrow - NPP founder
Thank you again for your support that has got us here doing this great and exciting work!