This fall, you can be a part of Crooked Trails’ first trip to Ometepe Island in Nicaragua with members of Seattle Works and others who want to experience the unique rural environment of Nicaragua. Part of the trip will be spent working with the organization Sí a la Vida, which rescues homeless kids in Nicaragua and helps them move from the world of the streets to a world of respect — respect for themselves, for others, and for the environment.
Sí a la Vida was founded by a Nicaraguan activist and a Seattle Quaker in the 1990s when they began to offer first-aid and friendship to the homeless street boys they found in the markets of Managua. Many of these boys were addicted to sniffing glue, which they began as a way to avoid their hunger pangs. These two volunteers eventually won the confidence of the children and with much support, were able to purchase a house where they could work with the kids on finding an alternative to street life.
After stabilizing in Managua, they go to Casa José María, the Sí a la Vida center on Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua. At this center, the focus is on education, counseling, and developing and reinforcing a healthy lifestyle. Sixteen boys live in the dormitory, located on a 17-acre waterfront plantain farm purchased in 1998. The boys attend public schools, do homework, get tutoring, and perform chores such as washing their own clothes, making their beds, and helping maintain the facilities. On weekends there are scheduled work and sports activities as well as outings to local beaches and volcanoes. A second dormitory on the Ometepe farmland is being constructed and will house an additional 16 boys.
Participants in this trip will have the chance to tour Sí a la Vida and interact with the youth in Managua as well as see the facility on Ometepe Island. This is an incredible chance to work with some of the poorest & most in-need youth in a truly stunning and breath-taking setting. Stay tuned for more blog posts about the Seattle Works Nicaragua trip!
Photos from the Si a la Vida site
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