100% of donations will go directly to the feeding center and school of La Chureca, allowing for a more hopeful future for the children.
I hope that you are doing well! This past spring break I was given the opportunity to go to Nicaragua for a week on a service trip. While there, I stayed at Casa Bernabe, an orphanage outside of Managua that is home to over sixty children between the ages of 4 and 18. Over the course of our trip we played with the kids at the orphanage as well as the surrounding community, visited and helped feed lunch at a refugee camp, and threw a party for the families of prostitutes from around all of Nicaragua. However, the place that we visited that had the most impact on me was La Chureca, the Managua City Dump.
La Chureca encompasses a community of people who live amongst the garbage in decrepit shacks and earn a living around the dump collecting recyclables to sell. The dump is a horrible place, rampant with infection and disease. The mortality rate is high, lending to the fact that 75% of the individuals who live in the dump are under the age of 18. One of the efforts to help to give the children of the dump a future includes a small school at the heart of the community through on organization called Open Hearts. We were able to spend a morning at the school reading to and playing with some of the most precious pre-schoolers you have ever seen. Despite many of our group's broken Spanish we were able to communicate our love for them and our desire to help their situation. Also within the dump is a feeding center, which gives daily lunches to many kids. There too we got to spend time playing and talking with the children. The life of the families of La Chureca are so vastly different from our lives here, that even after seeing it, it is incomprehensible. Many of the children are running around without shoes or clothes and often go without many of the basic necessities we take for granted.
Upon our return many of us still felt the pull of La Chureca on our hearts and the need to do something about it. We have decided to have what we are calling a “Barefoot Week” for Nicaragua, and specifically La Chureca. The idea is that we will spend a week walking around Grounds without shoes, just as the children of La Chureca do every day. We hope to truly understand the meaning of compassion by suffering with these children. The goal is to raise awareness for this community and also money to help the school and feeding center by finding people to sponsor us to be barefoot. Barefoot Week will take place from Monday April 26 to Friday April 30. I would greatly appreciate your support in this endeavor. Although cliché, every little bit helps. Even small donations supporting me will benefit our goal. Your support will help bring love, compassion and hope to people of this often forgotten community.
If you are unable to give at this time please keep the community of La Chureca in your thoughts and prayers during our week of compassion and always. Thank you in advance for any help you can give to this wonderful cause!