A BIKE, A STORY AND A GAMUSINA: THE OPPORTUNITY

I admit that one of the projects this post is based on got to my heart last Tuesday the 26th of September when I was listening to the radio while I was having breakfast. Not only that, but speaking with one of the people who is behind it just made me even more excited. Maybe it’s professional deformation or just “personal deformation”. I only wish (and that’s where I make an effort) that my college students and my own children learn, also, from people like the one I am presenting you today.

I invite you to know this E.P. and some of his projects.

19 years ago, our today’s protagonist, David García, an electrician living in Calahorra, started his journey, then as a volunteer, that took him to Nicaragua. His destiny was La Chureca of Maragua, a garbage dump where “ragged children, many of them malnourished and emaciated, competed with scavenger birds, dogs, pigs and cows for the food crumbs that were daily thrown to the dump, a symbol of poverty in Nicaragua” (*). The hurricane Mitch made David change not only his place of volunteering but his destiny. That’s how his first trip to Nicaragua ended in a rural village, a path with little houses and a nursery and a primary school, called Los Cocos. That’s where started the adventure that made him visit this village almost every year, which, from my point of view, it made him become a person with entrepreneurial attitude.

In 11 occasions has David used his work holidays to invest his time and money to carry out projects that made possible changing many people’s lives who, unfortunately, don’t have the resources that we do to make their dreams come true. And it’s that, as David says, Los Cocos and the people who live there have something that “catches you”.

In these 11 encounters –life experiences–, David has participated, always in an altruistic and generous way, in different projects, among them, the “Escuela Nicaragua” (“Nicaragua School”) project, the microcredits management, the creation of sanitary facilities for the school in Los Cocos – there are only 4 latrines for the more than 300 students – or the “Casitas para Nicaragua” project, which consists in the construction of houses of 36mthat, once they’ve been built between everyone, they are signed over to the mothers, who are the ones who protect the children. Because in Nicaragua too many of the women’s rights are also violated.

You can imagine how are these projects financed. Through people like me and you who want to contribute to improving people’s quality of life. Many of these projects have been possible thanks to people like David and efforts from the association “EDUCO”, with whom our protagonist contacted 19 years ago.

Three years ago, David realized that many of the more than 300 children who ended primary school in the only school there is in Los Cocos didn’t continue studying. That only made worse the failure and school drop-out. After talking to the children, he saw that the reason for it was simple: the 14km that separate them from the closest school that offers high school and the lack of means of transport that makes it even harder for children to keep educating. That’s where the project “Bicis para Nicaragua” (“Bicycles for Nicaragua”) came up and where David is working, who is going back very eager, with illusion and with all they raised to Nicaragua the next 6th of October so he can buy the bicycles many children are waiting for.

The goal of the project is very simple: to gift bikes to children so they can keep on studying. In the first 2 years of the project, David has been able to gift 78 bikes thanks to donations and contributions from friends, family and people who believe that change through education is possible.

Mind you that, for the children to be able to get a bike, they have to meet two requirements: to want to keep studying and to keep doing it for 5 years. If they do it, when they complete their studies the bike is theirs. Oh, and during those 5 years they are asked to collaborate 1 or 2 hours with the youngest children, a wonderful way of feeling like an active part of the education of others and of the project itself.

Apart from this project, David collaborates with the “Casitas para Nicaragua” (“Little Houses for Nicaragua”) and the project of creating latrines for the school. With the goal of getting finances for this last project, David has written, together with another volunteer, the story “Martina la gamusina”(“Martina the gamusina”). Do you want to know how this one came up and what’s its goal? I invite you to watch the following video.

If you want to collaborate with these projects you just have to get in touch with David (davidpaso@hotmail.com) or to donate money to the following account number: ES09 0049 1699 04 2790019966.

I remind you that David goes to Nicaragua on Friday and that he still has room in his backpackI already have my story and my gamusina, what about you?

To you, David, I just have to thank you again for having that entrepreneurial attitude that in this case clearly  helps educationsolidarity and sustainability.

Be happy.

Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.

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