Sunday, April 6, 2014

Opening Day

Over two hundred people attended the opening of the Gigante Community Health Centre; about a third of the population in the community! 
A few hours before the scheduled opening, two horse drawn trailers rolled in from Tola, a larger community that is 18 km away. Presumably the drivers left at dawn.
The tents offered great shade but the structures also trapped the hot air. I found a spot just at the edge of the tents and enjoyed some air flow as well as shade. 

Local children were the highlight of the opening. Various age groups staged great choreographed dance routines. 

Various community and government dignitaries thanked Project Woo, the community, local businesses, and other local benefactors. Afterwards the guests enjoyed juice and pastries.
The children took turns at a pinata until the candy burst forth and the ground was filled with the children who scrambled around for the treats. 
Great Day. Congratulations Project Woo!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Great Community - Great Community Spirit

Sweet Water Fund is a local charity organized by several women who are committed to wellness and preventative health for the families in Gigante. 
The Starter's Gun
Today they held the first annual Sweet Water Fund 5K Run. The event started at the "town square" which is where the only road into town intersects with the commercial road that runs parallel to the ocean. The run started at 8 AM to avoid the oppressive mid day heat.
Steve (yellow jersey) off to a quick lead.
Local businesses supported the event and the about fifty runners participated, about half were local townspeople and the other half were gringos.  
Half-way hydration
Louise and I set up a hydration station at about the half way point.
Several women at the finish 
The winner finished the run in just under 18 minutes. 
Bo Fox and Sally, his Mom, at the finish

Team Sweet Water Fund

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Charla means "chat."

Gigante plans a charla when there is a topic that affects the entire community. 

Nutrition is just the sort of topic that fits for a charla. 

Today Dr. Mariana will lead the charla at the Community Health Centre and the results of the nutrition survey will be part of the discussion.

Papaya - good source of Vitamin A

Fortified Foods - Great but Expensive

In Canada we take nutrition for granted because we are a wealthy country with diverse food options, but also because our diet includes a lot of processed foods, which are routinely fortified with essential nutrients. For instance, milk and orange juice are fortified with Vit D.

Nicaragua enacted legislation in 2006 to insure that all flour is enriched with iron and folic acid. Roberto, the owner of Party Wave, a popular breakfast and lunch WiFi restaurant in Gigante, showed me the label on a commercial bag of whole wheat flour. The label confirms the flour is enriched with iron, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, and folic acid.  
Similarly, the milk is fortified. The label on this small child size milk carton confirms the drink is fortified with iron, vitamin A, and folic acid. 
Enriched foods are a terrific source of essential nutrients, but processed foods are often too expensive for a family in Gigante.