There is a great, easy way to give back when traveling abroad. In this particular case, in Nicaragua.Right Place at the Right Time
I was sitting at the SeaSalt Restaurante, the beachfront restaurant at Gran Pacifica, when a customer mentioned that he had brought a box of school supplies down with him in his luggage and was wondering what to do with it. I certainly know how to answer that kind of question! I told him about our new partnership with “Pack for a Purpose,” an NGO who encourages packing along supplies when traveling to countries where items are needed. We made arrangements for us to drop off his supplies at Los Lopez School later that day. ~ Holly Wilson
|Los Lopez School||School Supplies|
ECI Development, the community developer of Gran Pacifica Beach & Golf Resort, has been helping local communities through a sustainable business model for 20 years in Nicaragua. That is one reason, that in these times of civil unrest, we can and will keep “our doors open”. Our residents have been very generous over the years bringing “extras” down in their suitcases, such as toothbrushes, school supplies, crayons, decorations, English language exercises, books, and educational DVDs. Some other items that have been donated include Easter dresses, bibles, backpacks, dry erase markers, toys, jump ropes, shoes, and baseball equipment.
One resident, Becky Niklas, along with the help from a group of women in the U.S. is bringing handmade clothes with her on the next trip to Nicaragua. These will be given to children from our surrounding communities.
|Becky Entertains Kids|
Another beneficial program at Gran Pacifica that has been supported by the generous vacationers and residents has been the Turtle Sanctuary. We now have space for 40 turtle nests. We gather nests from the beach, bury them for about 45 days, and wait for the eggs to hatch. Then we release the hatchings back into the ocean. It is always an exciting time for children, parents, and staff to gather at sunset and wish the baby turtles, “Buena Suerte.” Most of these giant sea turtles are endangered, so whatever help we can provide is critical. Many people have donated cash for the maintenance of our Turtle Sanctuary. They have also helped support the purchasing of turtle eggs (which benefits the local economy and saves the eggs from going to the market) and headlamps for “Turtle Watch Nights”.
|Holding a Baby Sea Turtle||Sea Turtles Make Their Way to the Ocean|
Another very important project that we hope “Pack for a Purpose” can assist with is the Roberto Clemente III Medical Clinic at Gran Pacifica. This clinic was built to serve people in our local communities with free medical and dental services and to provide care for our residents. In addition, we have provided special assessment services and training for parents of disabled children with help from the Carlow University Study Abroad Program from Pennsylvania.
The Hearts, Hands and Smiles Foundation has provided over $180,000 USD worth of free dental services to Nicaraguan people in the Villa el Carmen community. These groups as well as many others have brought down supplies, games, and toys. Guests and various groups have donated medical equipment, such as respirators, heart monitors, a heart defibrillator, trauma dressings, and medications. A group from Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania donated money for several of the hospital beds.
A great example of guests filling a need is the construction of a well for potable water. A family donated land for the communal well in a neighboring community, San Diego. Heartland Choir from Iowa sang to raise money to pay for the labor to dig the well, and other volunteers also assisted with labor costs. And since we live in Nicaragua, a party was held to celebrate our latest accomplishment.
|Dancers Celebrating the San Diego Well|
We hope visitors and residents will continue to support us and our local communities. Our community is much larger than just Gran Pacifica. Our neighbors are our families and friends in all of Nicaragua.
|Children of Nicaragua Appreciate Gran Pacifica|
ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central Ammerica, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.
Coupled with over 20 years of inherent corporate social responsibility in the communities where we work, ECI Development is building a sustainable business that is going to be around for the next 100+ years.