English-speaking people have not always had a positive impact in Nicaragua. In fact, until recently it has been all negative.
In the 1600’s, Sir Henry Morgan was given a Letter of Marque by the British Government. This meant that the British thought the Spanish were not good people and Morgan could steal anything he wanted from them. He chose to sack Granada and take all their gold.
Having done this he sailed to a nearby island and let them replenish their stocks of gold. Then he sacked them again. And again.
During the 1850’s Cornelius Vanderbilt built a transportation system across Nicaragua to move gold rushers from the east to the California goldfields. By bypassing the Nicaraguan system he was able to price his trip 10 ounces of gold less than a crossing in Panama where the canal had not been built.
Then a Tennessean named William Walker organized a force of men, sailed into Granada and announced he was president of all of Nicaragua. The other Central American countries banded together to throw him out but not before he burned Granada.
As if all of this were not enough, President Clinton chose another man named William Walker to be ambasador to Nicaragua. The State Department couldn’t figure out what the problem was.
Things are better now according to Rotary District Governor Nominee Bill Denby. The English-speaking influences there now include a lot of Rotarians. Denby recently took his wife to Nicaragua for an anniversary trip. While there they learned what local Rotarians are doing and what U.S. Rotarians are doing to help.
The local club, which had 10 members, had completed a number of clean water well projects in the area.
In addition they were improving school lunch kitchens and many other projects.
Seeing the school kitchen project, Denby returned to his local club in Red Oak and was able to fund two more kitchens.
They have organized a “Nicaragua – Heart of Service” project for the Spring Break of 2013. They are taking high school Interact students, community college Rotaract students, Rotarians and a few others to distribute 560 wheelchairs, work on school projects including English and computer tutoring, painting and light construction. They will also spend time at Tio Antonio’s, the largest vocational school in Central America for disabled children and youth.
For more information how you can help make this trip even more successful call Bill Denby at 817-797-8029 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information about the Rotary Club of Waxahachie, where we believe in Service above Self and doing things as a club we cannot do alone, visit the club website www.waxahachierotary.org.
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