Monday, August 25, 2008

From Guatemala to Nicaragua . . . oops Costa Rica

So we finished our year in San Miguel Chicaj.

Nothing certain was planned when we left on the 1st of August, apart from travelling to Nicaragua to see what was there. So far we have had a great time visiting the touristy and some very beautiful places in Nicaragua. Also as I had to renew my visa we headed to Costa Rica to visit some friends Jerald worked with right before we met. It just so happened that they were off to repair the roof of a church at Playa Manzanillo (a very beautiful beach) the next day so we took advantage of the free transport and board for a little bit of work and headed off with them.

You can find some photos of our trip here for Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Anyway as we have shared previously we are wanting to get involved with RescueNet. The YWAM bases here in Costa Rica have also been wanting to start a similar sort of ministry - being available to help following disasters. So we thought we would head back here to help out at least until December. The base we will work with is located in Bambu/BriBri . . .

Bambu, labeled on traditional maps as Bratsi, is reached by following the Suretka River, about 30 minutes into the reservation from the main indigenous community of Bribri. A good deal of the way as you're passing alongside the river, youll see Panama directly on the opposite side of the riverbank.

The Bribri were the original people of the Talamanca region, living in the mountains and Caribbean coastal areas of Costa Rica and northern Panama. They live very simply, the majority without electricity or running water. They subsist primarily on agriculture.

Most Bribri are extremely isolated and have their own language. This has allowed them to maintain a rich indigenous culture relatively untouched by western civilization. However their isolation has also caused them to have poor education and health care, not to mention the lowest income per capita in the country.

YWAM Talamanca has some photos of the community, the base is involved with NIKO wilderness camps, raising up local churches, construction, micro-enterprise, occasional medical outreaches and working in conjunction with the local Red Cross.

At the moment we are visiting Matagalpa, where Jerald grew up and we have caught up with some of his extended family and friends here. Tomorrow we head back to the capital and then on to Costa Rica.

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