Central American work camp

Diriamba, Nicaragua

Ten students from Netherhall House in London joined volunteer groups from Italy, Spain, Germany and Costa Rica for a work camp in Nicaragua. The project was sponsored by a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that promotes the spread of farming technology and the advancement of women in rural areas. A generous benefactor from Los Guerreros, a village near the city of Diramba, some thirty miles south of Managua, donated land to the NGO. If the current fund-raising effort is successful, there are plans to construct on this land buildings for these activities in the future.

Under the direction of engineers and construction workers from the area, the university students helped build a school and dug a well and sanitary facilities.

When the project was first discussed at Netherhall House the residents were eager to take part. British collaboration included two aspects, medical assistance and manual work. Kevin, a dentist, with two medical students as his assistants, went each morning to a hospital in Diramba to offer free dental treatment. The hospital lacked the required equipment, but with material brought from England and dental apparatus borrowed from another hospital, it was possible to take care of about 150 patients in the two week program.

Other students undertook a project that involved repairing a roof and painting a community center in Los Guerreros. They also collected the funds needed to construct a slide for children in the area.

The participants in the work camp are eager to return next year.

Romana, n. 35, July-December 2002, p. 363.

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