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Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

The Giving Program: Microloans & More

After a long wet season of preparation, creation, and growth, we have finally found some time to start blogging about our ongoing activities associated with our Giving Program. A key element of our vision here at Inanitah is to integrate with our surrounding community in a way that allows us to create together and seek sustainable systems of living that benefit the community as a whole.

Zach and Priscilla have arrived to take on the community outreach, managing the Coffee for Kids fund and helping to coordinate this years the Intercultural Massage Training and the annual Eco-Village Design Gathering. This years gathering will focus on themes of social integration, mutual celebration and support.

Over the holiday’s, Zack, Priscilla, Mayela and many more organized a beach clean up and play day for grown ups and kids alike, a kids day at the pool and a Christmas clothing give away.

In our pursuit of empowering and supporting our Nicaraguan friends and neighbors, we recently expanded our micro-loan program. Our microloan program is intended to support locals who demonstrate the vision and the skill to use their unique gifts and ideas to create their own economic opportunities. Thus far the program has served to support a free-range egg venture, small sustenance farming ventures and home building. We have been fortunate enough to support some of our friends from the community in their business venture of starting a chicken farm.

Our friends and co-workers, Felipe, Gonzalo, and Lorenzo came with the idea to start a local chicken farm. They explained to Paul and Gaia that although there is only one small chicken hatchery in their village and the primary source of chicken comes from corporately farmed chicken on the mainland. In an effort to localize the supply of poultry as well as encourage more sustainable and humane farming practices, we decided that offering a start-up microloan to our good friends was in the best interest of the whole community. Having worked with these men before with home-building loans and sustenance farming loans, we knew that they exhibited the skills and ethics to fulfill their vision, both in terms of economic responsibility as well as service to the community. So, we decided to support their well thought out business plan with an interest free loan of $1200. We are excited and confident in their ability to be successful in this new endeavor.

Since this decision, Felipe, Gonzalo, Lorenzo and their families have built a chicken barn and begun growing chickens at the farm called “La Buena Ala” (The Good Wing). We wish them well and in this new venture. We’re grateful to continue supporting locally grown and locally produced, particularly in a remote area where the environmental impact of importation is so significant.

 

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