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Posts Tagged ‘granada’

You Can Read, You Can Help

In Giving Back=Paying It Forward, News on May 21, 2016 at 08:00

I live between Nicaragua and the United States since 2012. When I moved to Nicaragua, one of my goals was to volunteer for locals. That didn’t happen officially, as I got involved with personal causes. Now that I know that in the near future, I will not be in Nicaragua permanently, I feel the urge to volunteer again. This country has given me so much time, space and growth and I want to pay it forward before I leave. I started contacting organizations and that is how I met Ivania.


Ivania Mena García, 38, is the single mom of two girls. Years ago, she didn’t have a job. Around the same time, her neighbor Darrell Bushnell and other concerned community members met to discuss the possibility of opening the first lending library open to the public in Granada, Nicaragua with the prime objective of bringing the pleasure of reading to the people of Granada. They started a Reading Corner at Hotel con Corazón and they trained Ivania to be in charge of it, from cleaning the space, to helping the children with their homework and reading, to being a librarian, and hosting members, volunteers and visitors.

From the Reading Corner they moved and became Café Chavalos for a couple years, until they started Puedo Leer (I Can Read), with a main focus on promoting reading and a love of reading among children, so that they can become lifelong learners, succeed academically and economically, and ultimately be instrumental in raising standards of education and literacy in Nicaragua.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 8.16.49 PM

Puedo Leer took to the road, delivering books bi-weekly to elementary classrooms. As books made their debut in the public schools, enthusiasm passed from teacher to teacher and from teacher to student. For many of the teachers, holding a children’s book was a new experience. Children began to look forward to stories being read to them, then asked to hold the books themselves. As splashes of color and bold graphics jumped from each page and the ability to read became a reality, a new world began to unfold.

Puedo Leer has mushroomed into a major project with a profound impact on the children of Granada. They are now looking into the possibility of adding more libraries and reading centers in other locations in Granada since it is a neighborhood activity center. They are also adding other activities such as art classes and crafts which provides great experiences for the children here since they do not have much opportunity for hands-on activities. The schools do not have the time or resources and there are few community centers offering activities.


The verb “to read” is averse to being put in the imperative, an intolerance it shares with certain other verbs, such as “to love” and “to dream”. -Daniel Pennac (French Writer)  (Photo taken at Puedo Leer Library)


Even though I have only visited the library a few times, I have witnessed the dedication of the team and the gratitude of the kids. It is beautiful and inspiring to hear Annaelizabeth Blandon and Carol Rea, Executive Director and Operations Manager respectively, share their vision for the library, supported by Ivania, the Board of Directors, and Volunteers.

We can help Puedo Leer Library:

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for helping!

With love and gratitude,


Note: Fragments of text from Puedo Leer’s website appear in this post.


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Do you ever wonder where does your time go?

In Career, En Español, Family, Lifestyle, Relationships on February 11, 2015 at 09:50

I find it always productive to look back and analyze how we spend our days and nights to decide the best way to invest them. Have you tried that? I promise you that efficient planning and productivity are only a few of the multiple benefits of this exercise.

Just like it happened in 2014, MY year started, in February. I even started drafting this post weeks ago, in the form of a list of one-word journal entries, however I just finished it and published it today.

After weeks of indulging in the 3Fs (family, friends, and food!), we welcomed 2015 moonbathing on New Year’s Eve in the waters of the Caribbean Sea. Only days later, we attended our first event of the year: The Jungle-Themed Wedding of a dear couple of friends. Nothing like a wedding to make me smile and cry!


Us at Johna & Cam’s Jungle-Themed Wedding. Saint-Lucia’s Pitons at the back!

Went home for one last health check up, one last holiday gathering and attend fun-filled events hosted by my brand new clients The Boss Chick Dance Workout and PerForm Studio. Back on a plane again, working up in the air, on materials for another lovely client: Tribal Hotel.

Meanwhile, before I had the chance to write an original post, I reblogged “The 10 most important life lessons to master in your 30s”, a post by Mark Manson that I consider a new classic of this digital era. How did you like it?

On a high note, one of the biggest online companies approached us looking for American couples, in their early to mid-30s, who recently had kids to be featured on an online news story about the pros of delaying marriage/kids. It felt amazing to be considered as a way to connect to our demographic!

When I finally got a few hours for ME, I used them to write. Inspired in Spanish, my first language, my mother tongue, the one that I miss and appreciate more lately. “2015: Año de la Fertilidad” is the post that summarizes my intentions for this year, everything that I will focus on: Physical, Creative, Spiritual, Emotional, and Financial Fertility.

Mid-January I disappeared. Only one reblog in Spanish with smart tips on “Things to do if you are single after 30” and that was it. The 8th Annual Mombacho Cigars Anniversary Month had started. As I have named it before: It’s the most special corporate extravaganza! What does that mean? Husband working non-stop, me on full hostess-tour guide-translator-PR mode, cigar tastings, blending sessions, sightseeing tours, private dinners, and parties among tobacco industry personalities, cigar connoisseurs, family, friends, colleagues and clients in town in honor of their continuous support to Mombacho Cigars.


Mombacho Cigars at Casa Favilli, Granada, Nicaragua

This year it included the ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of the company’s recent move to their new and expanded location Casa Favilli, one of the most prestigious historic buildings of Granada, Nicaragua and a party for over two-hundred sixty guests at the Old Railway Station of Granada, where they were welcomed with Mombacho cigars, refreshing cocktails, and tasty appetizers that served to transition to the surprise of the night: A live Samba band with dancers and drummers that invited to dance the night away and celebrate with the Mombacho Cigars family for many years to come in the global tobacco industry.


Dancing with the stars…!

The BEST part: My younger sister was here! It was comforting to have her by our side, showing her the beauty of this country and having her help and support during this busy time!


With my younger sister…love her!

A week at the beach gave me the opportunity to know more about our visitors. A meteorologist, a school Vice-Principal, a pilot, lawyers, a realtor taking a year off of her career to try the things she always wanted to try such as ballet, sewing classes and yoga, all feeling grateful and inspired to be surrounded by special old and new friends.  One of them is Tammy Faulds, who is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. Check out her website, we will be hearing more from her soon.

Super Bowl Sunday was the last event to enjoy as a group. Expat gathering at our place with Canadians, Americans, one Venezuelan, one Italian, and one Saint-Lucien cheering for the New England Patriots, and one Dominican cheering for the Seattle Seahawks (yes, that was me!).

Last guest left two days later and everything was over. The moment to start working on my goals and work and personal pendings immediately, including getting in touch with you! Here I am!

Now you know where my time went since I’ve been gone. Where did yours go? Tell me below in the comments 😉

Stay tuned for our upcoming post about what we are looking forward to in the following months! First hint? The Oscars!

P.S.: No matter what’s going on, our social networks stay active sharing the best articles we find online. Check them out as we will always thrive to feed you interesting content that will inform you, make you think about the topics that matter most, and put a smile on your face and most importantly, on your heart.


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