Join Me in a Special Birthday Celebration
Dear Friend of the Clinic,
For my birthday, I’m putting together a special Earth Day celebration to honor our Clinic team and surrounding communities. My birthday happens to fall on Earth Day, April 22.
I can think of no better present than the opportunity to share with you what is happening in this special part of the world and to show how, together, we can help impoverished families learn, grow and get healthier.
With great impact for years now, our Healthy Eating Initiative battles the high incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay, weight gain and anemia in the rural southwest communities of Nicaragua. In 2018, we built 22 new organic gardens and followed up on 30 gardens built in 2017, for a total of 52 organic gardens. Since we started this great initiative, more than 4,000 people have been benefited.
But here’s where we get down and dirty – in a good way!
LESSONS FROM THE EARTHWORMS
We promote the production of vermicomposting (using earthworms) as a support and enhancement of the structure and nutrition of the soil – guaranteeing and maximizing the productive yields of the crops of the families who participate in our Healthy Eating Initiative.
Using this method, we will continue to improve and enrich our soil each productive cycle with the main goal of achieving self-sustainability.
We get multiple benefits when manipulating red Californian earthworms:
✓ Improve aeration, water retention and nutrients
✓ Improve the germination capacity of the seeds
✓ Reduce soil erosion
✓ Improve soil management
✓ Protect the root from fungi and bacteria
✓ Enrich the soil with organic substances and essential minerals
✓ Promote the assimilation of nutrients
✓ Preserve and elevate the organic content of the soil
✓ Reduce post-transplant shock
✓ Increase the beneficial microbial flora
✓ Increase the resistance of plants to pests and diseases.
Despite the dry season, our organic gardens continue thriving, inspired by the positive results obtained in previous productive cycles. It is important to highlight the microbial activity in the soils; however, soil needs moisture to continue proliferating. If we stop watering our soil, it will become inactive. Most of the microorganisms, which live in symbiosis with our crops, would be lost, thus paralyzing the progressive improvement of our soil. Poorly maintained soil is unprotected soil, vulnerable to water and wind erosion.
Although we always promote reusing seeds, some lettuces, like kale and Swiss chard, cannot flower and produce fertile seeds due to the warm environment.
We appreciate the support of our Padrino Program parents who help us cultivate gardens full of healthy plants and vegetables. This is so important, especially now when the economy is getting worse by the day and food, especially healthy food, is very scarce.
The majority of the people who come help us out at our Clinic garden are invited to take fruits and vegetables home.
In March, we delivered seeds to 11 eleven families. During our meeting, many important subjects were addressed, such as composting, establishing nurseries and the importance of using the vermicomposting method.
We also made a smoothie with sweet mustard, basil, mint and oranges. This year, we’ll create a book of recipes using the fruits and vegetables we grow at our gardens. Stay tuned!
We’re happy to hear what our participants are making and how creative they are getting with the new dishes they are trying out.
We’re thrilled by how much the Healthy Eating Initiative has grown over time, thanks to the support of people like you and the enthusiasm of our communities.
LESSONS FROM THE WATER CONTAINERS
Another “green initiative” the Clinic started in late 2014 was our Clean Water Initiative.
Many impoverished families drink unclean water from rivers and wells that are polluted with disease-causing pathogens. Drinking and bathing in contaminated water can cause severe problems, like diarrhea, birth defects, cancer, typhoid fever, cholera and sometimes even death.
Our clean water filtration and distribution system makes a critical impact – especially now, in times of crisis. Our goal is to help the nearby communities, health centers and schools.
Despite the constricted economic resources this past year, we expanded the program by purchasing 30 additional water containers. This will allow us to provide two or three extra bottles of water to schools and health centers. With this minor expansion, approximately 800 additional people will benefit – including Limón 1 School, which houses approximately 130 children.
We were also able to make some slight improvements to the water plant. Some parts were replaced, and the plant is working in optimal conditions.
As a way of optimizing resources, all local health centers, schools and the community in general agree to reuse the caps and containers.
Here are some other ways our Clinic is “going green”:
- We email our annual appeal campaigns
- Many of our Clinic employees carpool
- Our Clinic has a wind turbine, which creates wind power and reduces energy consumption
- We provide bins for recycling paper, bottles, cans and cardboard
- We promote maintaining a healthy environment in the communities, at home and at school
- We keep green areas around our building beautiful and clean
- We make good use of our water at all times
- We provide educational talks to members of the community on water conservation practices and preservation and maintenance of our natural resources
- We always encourage our team to come up with new ways to optimize our resources in an eco-conscious manner!
But to continue all our health initiatives, we need your help…
YES! To celebrate Earth Day,
The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic is supported by individual donations. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in Maryland, so all your donations are tax-deductible. We accept funds through PayPal, where you can also donate with your credit card. You can also mail a check, and we accept stock donations as well. To donate, click here.
And as my birthday pledge to you, I will personally contribute $25 for every person or organization who makes a donation to the Clinic on Earth Day, April 22. I can’t think of a better present than for our wonderfully hard-working and dedicated team in Nicaragua – struggling right now with fewer economic resources – to get your support.
Moreover, The Oxford Club is providing matching funds of up to $50,000 for 2019. Your contribution can go even further if you donate today.
Any amount you provide makes a huge, measurable impact.
Happy Earth Day 2019!
Thank you sincerely,
Chair of the Board
The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic
P.S. Our organization earned a 2019 Gold Seal of Transparency. By adding information about our goals, strategies, capabilities and vision, we are highlighting the difference we help to make in the world. Check out our updated GuideStar Nonprofit Profile.
P.P.S. We are planning a very exciting event for next year – Wellness Weekend 2020! Over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, January 16-21, 2020, we invite you to join us for a fun and memorable long weekend. We will have a guest speaker on wellness, our annual Community Health Fair at the Clinic, recreational activities (including a spa, fitness classes, yoga and much more), community outreach and activities with our Clinic team. All this while staying at one of the most beautiful resorts on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, Rancho Santana. If you are interested in learning more about this special event, please email Lorena Cernadas at [email protected].