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Registered Charity No.


Supporting educational initiatives and projects in Nicaragua

November 2018

A difficult year for Nicaragua

SRF Newsletter No.52, Nov. 2018, page 1

But the Santa Rosa Fund’s partners – many of them represented in the
photos above – survive and look to the future.

See updates inside.

SRF Newsletter No.52, Nov. 2018, page 2

SRF funded projects
carry on despite the

René Zamora and the delivery of materials to the Santa Rosa School

With his typical economy with words, in August René sent us a note to let
us know that he was a bit behind with the purchase and delivery of
educational materials to the Santa Rosa School in Managua, in part due to
the difficulties of moving around the capital because of the disturbances.
He described the situation as one of “living from day to day”, but also
said that “things are now more or less normal, or at least that’s what they
want us to believe.”

He made a delivery to the school on the same day as writing to the Santa
Rosa Fund, so we can be sure that the school is still receiving materials.

Just before this newsletter went to print, we heard from Mayra Calderón,
the secretary and former librarian at the Santa Rosa School in Managua, that the relatively new
headteacher at the school, Jairo Antonio Acevedo, had moved to a Spanish College in Managua. According
to Mayra’s recent communication, a new headteacher has been appointed, although at present we in the
Santa Rosa Fund know nothing about her. It is hoped that one of our trustees will be in Managua for a short
time next February (at his own cost) and that he may be able to meet with the new head.

Quincho Barrilete Association

At the end of August, the Quincho Barrilete Association (AQB by its Spanish
initials) also communicated with the Santa Rosa Fund. For the past few years, the
AQB has supported and treated abused children in Nicaragua, including street
children, but also those abused within the family. Their response to our question
about how the disturbances have affected their work was given by the organisation’s
Executive Director, María Consuelo Sánchez (shown left), who has been kind
enough to receive and talk with many SRF trustees, volunteers and supporters over
the years. Her reply follows.

“Regarding your concern about the operations of our centres, I can tell you that we
are working as usual. We were affected for a few weeks, given the paralysis of the
country and obviously the lack of security for those months.
SRF Newsletter No.52, Nov. 2018, page 3
Thank God things are daily getting better, although there have been very serious consequences, in the loss of
human life and in the damage to property and the economy. Doubtless this will bring greater poverty and
our children and adolescents will become more vulnerable.

We look forward to continuing to give the service that we have traditionally given for decades and that our
supporters [such as the SRF] will continue to be a part of our commitment.”

Amigos de Holanda, El Viejo

In the town of El Viejo, the Santa Rosa Fund’s link organisation is the Amigos de Holanda Foundation
which runs and directs the Teodoro Kint Library, the town’s Youth Centre (Centro Recreativo) and Casa
Esperanza (Hope House) that caters for and educates people with profound physical and learning difficulties.
The Foundation also supports the education of children in the remote village of Los Pozitos (using the funds
supplied each year by the Santa Rosa Fund specifically for that purpose) and occasionally assists local
schools in specific projects,

In El Viejo the Foundation is run by Cristina Pasos and María Lucila Cuadra –
shown here in the photo. In September, María Lucila wrote a long email to the
SRF describing the poor situation in the country, and giving us the following
details of the projects which are supported by the SRF’s annual funds.

“We continue living in uncertainty, although the government says that

everything is normal. In El Viejo, political differences have been accentuated.

We continue dedicating ourselves to our work despite having to reduce some

of the activities in the Youth Centre [Centro Recreativo] as some of the young
people avoid leaving home at night. Meiling Ibarra who we had hired for
training at the Centre resigned on 25th August – she is a Sandinista militant
and was offered a higher-paid job with the government. For the moment the
training courses continue and we are looking for another person for the last
quarter of the year in the hope that the situation will improve and that we can take the courses into the
schools next year.

The Teodoro Kint Library continues its normal work. Currently we have a course of work on quilling paper
taken by 15 women at the library. That’s something new for us and it might help some people develop their
creativity and start small businesses.

Our care and attention in Casa Esperanza

continues normally, although at times when there
are protests we prefer to close as they [the
protests] often take place outside the offices of the
Sandinista Front, which is opposite Casa
Esperanza. The photo to the right shows some of
the people who attend Casa Esperanza along with
their workers and volunteers there.

Our social sale of medicines and care for under-

nourished children continues.

As always, we thank you for your support and

hope to continue as best as possible with our work.

SRF Newsletter No.52, Nov. 2018, page 4

SRF Newsletter No.52, Nov. 2018, page 5
Making sense – or not – of the propaganda from and about Nicaragua

If there is one thing that everybody can agree on, it is that after several months of anti-government protests in
Nicaragua, opinions in the country and beyond are now sharply polarised.

For months now, we in the Santa Rosa Fund, along with others who have contacts, friends and interest in Nicaragua,
have been receiving a bewildering array of reports from a wide range of sources within and outside the country. Many
of these are extremely worrying and include disturbing reports of violence committed by both pro-government and
anti-government forces. Regardless of the source, many of them are supported by evidence from elsewhere, although
many others have later proven to be false – ‘fake news’ if you like, and false propaganda spread on social media sites,
later picked up by the international media and spread even further.

There are clearly multiple truths at play in the situation in Nicaragua. These are played out in the media battle and
some of these truths contradict each other; but another related truth is that most of those who take part in this battle
refuse to acknowledge the validity of other truths and other perspectives.

We shall continue to monitor the situation in Nicaragua and will give commentaries in future newsletters if
appropriate. In the meantime it is pleasing to know that our partner organisations are managing to continue their work.

Somos Diferentes

A Nicaraguan organisation called Somos Diferentes (We Are Different) has contacted the Santa Rosa Fund with a
view to gaining a small level of support for their activities and programmes. Somos Diferentes is based in the town of
El Viejo and refers to itself as a ‘Youth Collective’. It concerns itself in general with the rights of children,
adolescents, and young men and women, and has a particular project designed to help reduce and eliminate child
labour. Child labour is a feature of life for too many children in and around the town of El Viejo, where family groups
including very small children can be seen breaking rocks to produce gravel for sale to builders and building
companies. Others work with their parents in the banana plantations, and others roam the streets trying to sell bananas,
other fruits and any items they can get hold of. The organisation has produced a short video (12 minutes) about the
problem which can be viewed at:

SRF trustee Martin Mowforth is aiming to meet the group when he visits the area (at his own cost) in February 2019.

Annual renewal of support

Accompanying this copy of the SRF Newsletter is our standard renewal of support form, adapted this year
for the new GDPR regulations. If you already donate to the Santa Rosa Fund by standing order, please
ignore this form. If you make one-off donations to us, you can be sure that a renewal donation will be used
to good purpose and will not be lost in administrative costs.


Chair: Pete Mayston, Rose Cottage, Tuckermarsh, Bere Alston, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7HB
Tel. 01822 840297 Email:
Secretary: Pat Blower, 4 Glebelands, Exminster, Exeter EX6 8AR
Tel. 01392 823646 Email:
Treasurer: Pat Mayston – as for Pete (above), except email:
Twinning links representative: Rick Blower, 4 Glebelands, Exminster, Exeter EX6 8AR
Tel. 01392 823646 Email:
Membership secretary: Martin Mowforth, 51 West St., Tavistock, Devon PL19 8JZ
Tel. 01822 617504 Email:


SRF Newsletter No.52, Nov. 2018, page 6