The music was loud and good. Kids are playing lacrosse, and there are kites flying above the heaps of trash. Children are blowing bubbles, and faces are getting painted. We are throwing a concert in the trash dump, helping collect some recyclables that will be sold to support the families here. The prayers were felt for all the families living outside the trash dump of New Vida, New Life community, Managua. This is known as the “Day of Light” concert, put together each year by an organization working in Nicaragua: www.lovelightandmelody.org
These families were relocated from the larger trash dump of “La Chureca,” when the dump was closed down several years ago by the government. One family said that on some days, they can pick through the trash for hours and still not come home with enough to support themselves. The trash dump is hot, people often work in sandals, and with no gloves. Dogs and horses sniff through the trash, looking for something to eat.
A young boy tries out his kite at the dump
But today is a good day: through the generosity of many people, there are rice and beans, hygiene packets, school supplies, and toys. There are hugs, and the families know they are cared for.
Several groups, including The Beauty for Ashes Project are working with the families through a local youth center, “Club Hope,” which has a school in the mornings and teaches recreational activities in the afternoons: Lacrosse, music, English, crafts, and several classes for adults. I observed one being taught for women and their young children about the Cycle of Violence. Students are able to get tutoring and help that they might not get otherwise. The ministry there helps the 300 families with their educational, physical, and spiritual well-being. They also offer scholarships, and it was to these children that a trip to Gran Pacifica Resort was offered - to come to the beach and have a “Surf Camp.” You may think that everyone in Nicaragua has been to the beach...think again. There was one 12-year-old boy, who upon seeing the ocean for the first time, said, “Let’s go, I’m jumping in!” Imagine living for 12 years in beautiful Nicaragua, with miles of oceanfront, and never seeing it.
Love, Light and Melody group thanks Gran Pacifica Resort for their day at the Beach!
Miguel from Nicaragua, and Gabe from Enumclaw, WA, learn from each other
Several residents of Gran Pacifica joined in the fun. Gran Pacifica Resort has had partnerships with many of the NGOs working in Nicaragua, with special arrangements to bring their staff and families to the beach for some “R&R” (Rest and Relaxation). This particular day was arranged by founder of Love Light + Melody, Brad Corrigan, who has been working in Nicaragua for 10 years and is also a member of the band Dispatch, from the United States.
Several young people impressed me: One is 13, has studied guitar with Jordan Ham from Colorado for 6 months, and has such a great ear - he is picking up the music like a pro already. Another is 14, with special needs, and is tutoring with Jordan - playing guitar for 4 hours at a shot, if he can, and playing with the visitors as they come into Club Hope. He is very curious, asks many questions, and is such a character. Another young man, Norman, is 30 and is just finishing his degree in Psychology, speaks English well, and has been to the United States on a “Peace Conference.” He thinks he will continue to work with the kids at Club Hope, mentoring in lacrosse, English and Counseling.
Love, Light and Melody holds "Surf Camp" at Gran Pacifica Resort
Many visitors from other countries come to Club Cristiano La Esperanza (Club Hope) and to the dump, all giving something: a talent, a hug, prayers - building relationships and hoping to shed light on the families living there.
To learn more about Club Hope, go to: https://clubesperanza.org/ and to ask about Corporate Social Responsibility projects at Gran Pacifica Resort or you can contact Ms. Holly Wilson directly at: [email protected]