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Issue 31, July 2008
Registered Charity No. 1028085



Anniversary Party
Saturday 13th September 2008
Please find your invitation to the party enclosed.

SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.1

20th Anniversary Party
Twenty years ago, the first steps were taken to establish a link between the Santa Rosa School
in Nicaragua and Southway School in Plymouth, UK. Many things have happened to the link
since then, but it has endured. This September the Santa Rosa Fund will celebrate its 20 th
anniversary. We invite all supporters of the link to join us in the celebration on the evening of
13th September.
Details are given on your enclosed invitation, and we ask those of you who can join us to
return the reply slip with a cheque to cover the cost of your ticket(s).
We look forward to seeing you there.

New headteacher at the Santa Rosa School
Members and trustees of the Santa Rosa Fund send their best wishes to María Elizabet Aragón Roa who was
appointed this January as headteacher/directora of the Santa Rosa School. This follows the retirement in
May 2007 of Virginia Gómez de Guillén who had served the school since
1987 and who is an extremely hard act to follow.

María Elizabet (left) with two of her
colleagues at the Santa Rosa School

María Elizabet has taught at the school for several years and is taking
over at a time when school rolls have rapidly increased as a result of
parents no longer having to pay monthly school fees for the purchase of
educational materials. The pressure
on Nicaraguan schools as a result of
the changes in policy are felt as hard
at the Santa Rosa School as they are
anywhere else in the country, and
MINED (the Nicaraguan Ministry of
Education) is constantly asking the
Santa Rosa School to take more

In 2004, María Elizabet led the Santa Rosa School’s delegation of
teachers in the national teachers’ strike over pay. [This is an issue that
the Santa Rosa Fund has covered on several occasions in its previous
The hard work and effort of Marcia Ordeñana Rivera who served as
acting headteacher from mid-2007 should also be recognised. We
María Elizabet making a speech at the
would like to thank Marcia for her significant contribution to the
national teachers’ strike in 2004
running of the school and in particular for her cooperation with the
trustees and volunteers who gave computer training to several members of staff at the school last summer.
(Marcia was featured on page 6 of SRF Newsletter No. 29 in June 2007.)

SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.2

La Chureca: “the nearest thing to hell”
The Santa Rosa Fund has recently begun to support an educational project on Managua’s waste
dump – La Chureca. The Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign (Wales NSC) has launched an
appeal to support the Los Quinchos Centre which is based inside the dump. The following brief
extracts from Wales NSC Newsletter explain some of the background and needs of the project.
“With over 70 per cent of its people living in poverty in Nicaragua, it’s hard to imagine how
things could be worse. But life for the residents of Managua’s dump, La Chureca, is the
nearest thing to hell. They live and work on a rubbish dump which serves Managua’s one
million people. 3,000 people, including children as young as two years old, scrape a living
every day, scavenging through the rubbish,
The Los Quinchos Centre, inside the dump, provides a place of refuge for 30 or 40 children.
They get lessons, a hot lunch, and social support. For those with no family at all, the Centre
provides somewhere for them to sleep before they start work again the next morning.
In the long term the Municipal Authority has committed itself to tackling the horrendous
problems the residents and workers of La Chureca face. In the meantime, the Wales NSC has
launched an appeal to support the Centre for the next two years. They need to raise £300 a
month for the Centre, to pay for the salaries of the staff who work with the children – a
coordinator, a teacher, two vocational instructors, a cook, a nurse and a nightwatchman. In
total the appeal is for over £7,000 and reflects the level of need in such dire circumstances.”
Initially in 2007, the Santa Rosa Fund donated £200 to the Wales NSC Appeal, but has recently
sent another £200. Pending a visit of our trustees or representatives to the Los Quinchos Centre,
the Fund may decide to donate more to this needy cause in the future.
More details of the project can be found on the new Santa Rosa Fund website – see page 6 – and on the Wales NSC
website: or in Welsh at

Los pozitos: a change of funding
In 2003 the SRF’s link with the tiny rural school in the village of Los Pozitos was first established.
Since then we have ensured that small amounts of money have been sent to the school for the purchase
of educational materials that would not have been supplied by any other source. Early in 2007,
however, the teacher at the school was withdrawn due to the small number of pupils on roll at the
school. With no teacher for the rest of 2007, schooling disappeared and the children returned to the
fields to help their parents with their subsistence farming or were sent to spend time with their aunts,
uncles, grandparents or other relatives living in other Nicaraguan towns.
In August 2007 the Santa Rosa Fund received from Eloi Treminio (a leader in the community) a
request for financial support to enable families in the village to send nine children to a Saturday
school in the town of El Viejo throughout 2008. The trustees agreed, and in January the funding was
transferred to our partners in El Viejo (the nuns of the Mercedarias Misioneras de Berriz) who work
with the community of Los Pozitos. The total amount for the year’s schooling for the nine pupils was
$1,400 (US dollars) which covers transport, school fees, educational materials and food during the
day. A similar request may be made for 2009.

SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.3

other funding information
The Santa Rosa Fund now has a total of 212 individuals or households on its lists of supporters.
Additionally, we send out a further 33 newsletters to relevant and interested organisations in the UK and 17
to supporters, interested parties or relevant groups in Central America and elsewhere abroad.
Our regular supporters will already know that the Fund’s annual income relies heavily on their generous
annual contributions given as a renewal of support, for which we send a prompt each year with our
November newsletter.

Gift Aid
As you can see from the enclosed accounts for 2007, the Fund gained an income of almost £1,000 from the
tax claimed back as Gift Aid. This highlights the importance of ticking that box on the form we enclose with
the November newsletter.
Many thanks to our treasurer, Pat Mayston, and our in-house auditor, Rick Blower, for their efforts in
controlling the finances and financial information.

Other news of the fund
World of Children Award Nomination
On behalf of the Santa Rosa Fund, membership secretary Martin Mowforth has been nominated for the World of
Children 2008 Humanitarian Award. Details of the World of Children organisation and their awards are given more
fully at
The idea and suggestion came from SRF supporter Martin Quinn, along with some of his colleagues at the University
of Plymouth. The nomination must relate to a named individual who represents an organisation. The two references
required to support the nomination are Sister María-José López and Bruce Callow of the British Embassy in Costa
Rica, both of whom were very willing to lend their support to the nomination. The award is international and the
competition is great, but if anything did come of it, it could mean the award of prize money up to $100,000 for the SRF.
Prize money is only awarded to the organisation represented by the nominee and not to any individual. The Award is
made in November.

Our very own website
Over the last three years we have informed our readers of the web page we have for the Santa Rosa Fund on
the website of the Charity Commission. Now, much as we support the Charity Commission, we have our
very own website: The site is being developed for us by Brad Waters
( As Brad is giving us a special deal at a cheap rate and because we have to supply all
the information for the site, it will take us a few months to get the site fully functional. But it is already
active and you can visit it now. We hope to have a range of pages such as a news site and a supporters’ site
(on which supporters can post their own views, comments and suggestions) as well as an introduction,
background, history, photo gallery, current newsletter and archive newsletters and material.
Visit us now - but please be patient for the full experience.

SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.4

Fund raising – events past
Una Ventana en la América Central
Our last newsletter (Issue 30, November 2007)
reported back from last summer’s volunteer computer
training at the Santa Rosa School, and mentioned that
volunteer Doug Specht had given his report in the form
of a short film entitled ‘Una Ventana en la América
Central’. The film was premiered at The Barbican
Theatre in Plymouth’s In The Flesh festival in
November 2007 and more recently was shown as part
of Mutley and Greenbank week-long festival.
Now Doug has turned the film into a DVD and has
added four more short films about his experiences in
Central America in 2007. The DVDs are selling at £5
each and can be ordered from
Doug is donating all the proceeds to the two
organisations which enabled him to make his Central
American journey, the Santa Rosa Fund and ENCA
(the Environmental Network for Central America).

Recycle your mobile phones for the Santa Rosa Fund
Thanks to the efforts of SRF supporter Geoff Durant, a retired telephone
engineer from Burton-on-Trent, the SRF gained £95 from the sale of
recycled mobile phones during 2006 and 2007. Geoff collects old mobile
phones, refurbishes them and sells them mostly on E-Bay. For every
phone he receives from Santa Rosa Fund sources, he donates £3 from the
re-sale to the Fund.
So, instead of throwing away your old mobile, consider leaving it in
Tavistock Cycles shop (Paddon’s Row, Tavistock) or with any of the
trustees of the Fund.

Quiz Night
On Friday 2nd May this year, the Fund held its annual Quiz Night, prepared as usual by Malcolm
Medhurst and his team of helpers, Judith, Elaine and Ray. We say it each time, and everyone who
comes to the quiz nights knows it, but it is worth repeating here again – the amount of preparation
and work on the night that Malcolm and his team put in for these quizzes is phenomenal; and as a
result of it, there is no doubt that we have by far and away the best quizzes for hundreds of miles
around. Many, many thanks to them. The Fund made a total of £204 on the night.
The coveted Wooden Spoon was, as usual, the major target for most teams and was eventually won
by the 4X team. The Three Stooges team won First Prize with twelve teams taking part. Just to give
SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.5

a taster to those who did not attend the Night, we have included here just one of the rounds of
questions – the international round – answers in bold.
1 What was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion (traditionally in 301 AD)? Ans. Armenia
2 Which animal was first domesticated for food in 5000BC in South America and was brought to Europe by Spanish traders.
Elizabeth I had one as a pet? Ans. Guinea Pig
3 What in Florida in 2000 could be hanging, dimpled or pregnant? Ans. Chads
4 What member of the Galliformes order has a wattle and a snood? Ans. Turkey
5 What was the surname of the author Nevil Shute? Ans. Norway
6 What’s the Cockney rhyming slang for friend? Ans. China (China plate – mate)
7 What cocktail contains gin, brandy, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine and a dash of bitters? Ans.
Singapore sling
8 Who was a candidate for Stretford and Urmston in the 2001 General Election on a manifesto of free breast implants, increases of
nudist beaches and a ban on parking tickets? Ans. Jordan
9 Which country was pop singer Mika born in? Was it Israel, Jordan, Lebanon or Syria? Ans. Lebanon
10 What links a triangle with shorts? Ans. Bermuda
11 Which country’s major product is sold by a company which has a single letter and single number which represents the country’s
name? Ans. Kuwait (Q8)
12. Which of these countries’ flags does not have a gun pictured on it? Bolivia, Guatemala, Mozambique or Nicaragua? Ans.

Developments in Nicaraguan education
This time last year (in SRF Newsletter 29) we reported on the likely effects of the then new Nicaraguan
government and its education policies. From mainstream sources of information since that time, most
readers will probably be aware that there are some widespread misgivings about the actions of Daniel
Ortega’s government, in particular its tendency to autocracy and its continued exclusive power-sharing pact
with the discredited thief and embezzler Arnoldo Alemán’s Constitutional Liberal Party.
Despite these concerns and problems - emphasised disproportionately in our media - it is worth noting that
the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education (MINED) has introduced a school meals programme for over one
million pre-school and primary school pupils. In April this year MINED began distributing 6,000 tons of
rice, beans, corn, oil and cereal to 9,000 schools as part of its Integral School Nutrition Programme which
aims to increase concentration levels and decrease dropout rates.


Pete Mayston, Rose Cottage, Tuckermarsh, Bere Alston, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7HB
Tel. 01822 840297
Lorna & Martin Legg, Rock Cottage, Morwell Cross, Gulworthy, Tavistock, Devon PL19
8JH, Tel. 01822 833934
Pat Mayston – as for Pete (above)
Twinning links representative: Rick Blower, Cloberry Cottage, Brentor, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0NG
Tel. 01822 810600
Membership secretary: Martin Mowforth, 51 West St., Tavistock, Devon PL19 8JZ
Tel. 01822 617504


SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.6

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