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El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica HELPING PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY School Program, Microloans, Food Program.

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Presentation on theme: "El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica HELPING PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY School Program, Microloans, Food Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica HELPING PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY School Program, Microloans, Food Program … AND MORE Homework In The Jungle, Eric Bellamy

2 Nanci fits the kids for school At the start of the school year, Bridge Kids come through our place to get fitted for school uniforms and pick up supplies, including knapsacks, shoes, notebooks, pencils and so on. This year the startup costs for each child were $156 per child, with ongoing costs of approximately $2 per week. This year (2010), we are assisting 52 indigenous children in school. Donors from all over the continue to support us in this effort, for which we are grateful. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica SCHOOL PROGRAM Irene and her schoolbooks Irene is the first girl in her family ever allowed to have an education. Each Bridge Kid has around 7 schoolbooks, all workbook style so they are used only once. Each costs about $5. The book list isn’t known until after the start of the year. It’s quite a scramble. Again, this is supported by donations.

3 Bridge Kids get ready in our yard We built a service area out back, where the Bridge Kids can come, wash up, and change clothes after walking nearly an hour from the jungle through mud and rivers. Costs of construction of this service area were also provided by donations gratefully accepted. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica SCHOOL PROGRAM Bridge Kids ready for school Roy, Irene, and Sandara wait outside our place on Thursday morning – it’s too early to walk to school. The vegetable truck comes early on Thursday and delivers the week’s supply. Later that day, several Bribri women will gather on the porch and chop the veggies we use for one week of the Community Kitchen, vegetables and labor again paid for by donations.

4 Help with homework There’s usually no one at home who can help with homework – the Bridge Kids are often the first ones in their family to go to school. When the Kids have questions, Nanci - and many other volunteers - are there to answer them. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica SCHOOL PROGRAM Kids hang around a computer on the porch We have educational software in English and Spanish, as well as the usual computer software for office or homework as a place to learn..

5 Bridge Kids homework night in the jungle The Kids also go home and do homework. It gets dark here at around 5:30, so homework is a candlelight affair. We sent a photographer/journalist – Eric Bellamy – home with one family. He spent an overnight in the jungle, and came back with this magnificent photo. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica SCHOOL PROGRAM

6 Nanci cooks for 42 She works wonders from a small kitchen, making enough soup, juice, and fruit for between 20 and 80 people each of the three days soup is served at the Community Kitchen. On the day this shot was taken, we had 42 people for soup. Sorting food for families We provide a bag of food a week for families needing food. Each bag feeds a family of four for a week. Starting with a larger number of bags, the program has evolved to providing 6 bags each week to families on a work-for-food program.. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica FOOD PROGRAM

7 Food program Easter 2010 The Community Kitchen meets at our home, and on special days, we get a little fancier, sometimes serving a meal such as Carne Asada, with a good dessert. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica FOOD PROGRAM Carmelita Barbara Blenda Raymond Three countries and three cultures work together as Carmelita, Barbara, Blenda, and Raymond team up to serve food at the Community Kitchen.

8 Irene and Maria in the basket The Kids like to hang around in the basket swing. Irene and Maria are from different families and clans. Their friendship – as well as friendships among all the Bridge Kids – is doing it’s part to reduce the violence and suspicion that has been a normal part of jungle life.. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica COMMUNITY Volunteers from Norway meet Timoteo Maja and Mina are two young women who came from Norway and volunteered at The Bridge for four months. They performed a major project for us, locating 182 possible employers along the Caribbean coast which sometimes have jobs people from our families can fill. At one of our special days, they got to meet Timoteo Jackson, a local tribal leader.

9 One of our microloans built a grocery store We’ve done 29 microloans, with one of them for $400 used to start a small grocery store on one of the walking trails out of the Bribri reserve. Junta that will control the medical clinic project We were asked to help fund a medical clinic to be built in the interior. Timoteo took us to visit a similar clinic so I could take fotos, and to meet the junta that will be in control of the money, project, and clinic. Timoteo is second from the right. The President of the Junta, Orgeli Lazaro Rodriguez, is at the left. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica MICROLOANS – and MORE

10 A similar type 1 medical clinic This is a photo of a clinic in the interior, similar to the one to be built near Timoteo’s home. We visited and were granted complete photographic access to the interior. A retired official of the US AID Program, and a supporter of El Puente, believes he may have located funding for this project through a Christian funding organization. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica MICROLOANS – and MORE

11 El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND SERVICE Nanci counsels Jackie and Joseph before Jackie and Joseph, very much in love, very addicted to crack, came to The Bridge to volunteer, and to talk.They kept coming for two years. In this foto, Joseph has a copy of Conversations With God which he and Jackie were reading at night in the lean-to they called home. They went into rehab after what most consider a miracle that happened on our porch. Jackie and Joseph are back 14 months after they went into rehab, they came back – healthy, happy, and married with a crack-free baby named Steven. They’re high again – but this time on Life. And they want to do something about the drug problem in Puerto Viejo.Joseph is running a 12-step group for addicts, and is working to start a Scout Troop.

12 El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND SERVICE INA is teaching classes – right at The Bridge! One day a meeting was held at The Bridge, and it was decided that INA – the national trade school - would start teaching classes here. We were not part of that meeting! INA will teach anyone who can read, write, and do basic math any trade in the country – for free! Without any real action on my part, INA is teaching classes that will help people earn money. All we do is provide the space, the coffee, and the gallettas – crackers. The first class is in “artesanias” – or “how to make things that tourists will buy”. The next, “Plomeria” – plumbing – which will help the indigenous tie in to the huge water tank located on the Reserve, and then allow them to go out and make some money with their new skills. In the foto at the upper left, the Instructor, Mark Anthony, is lecturing to the students. Foto at the lower left – the class listening to the teacher on benches built by one of the students!

13 El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica WHOM DO WE SERVE Trail to Mayra’s bedroom from the kitchen Imagine walking down the hallway from the kitchen to your own bedroom. Here, it’s a steep, muddy trail. Then imagine taking this walk at night, without a flashlight. Mayra’s sleeping quarters The whole family – 9 people – sleeps in this one-room jungle hut, built from trees and leaves using a machete and an axe. Mayra’s kitchen Some of the people we serve live in what the UN calls Extreme Poverty. In Mayra’s home, we begin to see what that looks like.

14 The next Bridge building A volunteer architect created an initial concept drawing for the next Bridge building, and Nanci added the roofing and building details for local styling. A larger kitchen and tables for the Community Kitchen and a storage area downstairs, with an office, a workshop/clinic room, and an open-air classroom upstairs. The classroom will be used as a schoolhouse during the day, and will also serve as a meeting place for the Study Group on Wednesdays, and the Movie Night on Saturdays. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica THE FUTURE… is NOW

15 Bridge Book Partnership Opportunity A church or bookstore can carry the “Bridge Book”, based on Nanci’s art work. The Book presents the story of The Bridge, and offers greeting cards and prints for sale. The cards and prints are printed by a volunteer in the US, and shipped by mail to fulfill orders. Revenue created is split between the Partner and El Puente. El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica Explanation of Photos

16 El Puente – The Bridge Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica HELPING PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY School Program Microloans Food Program Our Approach: summarized at Breaking the Cycle of Povertywww.elpuente-thebridge.org/page35.html Some words that guide us from Ernest Holmes: In his essay “The World Has Suffered Enough” in The Essential Ernest Holmes, Holmes wrote: " We should not only pray, we should act, each contributing the best he has to the common purpose...we all desire self-preservation...there can be no individual self- preservation without the preservation of all...“ See us on the Internet Local Phone Number


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