At last we found time to visit the Danish solidarity brigade in their village Las Delicias in Pantasma, up north in the Jinotega mountains. Delicia means delight, and the people who named this place were not far from the truth. It really is a delightful valley, Las Delicias.
In Las Delicias most farmers grow beans and corn, a few have cattle. Most of the men are retired soldiers from the Contras. A few years ago, when they decided to form a co-op, they turned to the Sandinista farm workers’ organisation, ATC, to seek advice and support – to me another sign of the relatively succesfull healing process that Nicaragua went through after its civil war. Also a sign of the importance of our ENDEFTI-project, which helped build ATC´s capacity as a leader in the co-op movement in Jinotega.
Through their co-op, the farmers hope to open a pharmacy, to market their beans, and maybe to obtain agricultural loans.
When we arrived, the brigade was holding their Saturday meeting with their families. The work schedule for the last two weeks of work was arranged, and a “women’s day”, hosted by the brigade, was planned.
Also, the board of the co-op proposed that the brigade participate in the construction of a community house for the village and the co-op: The house would give the community a lift, the pharmacy and the bean-store could be situated here, meetings could be held here, and, maybe they could even organize a baby-sitting facility here. Some of the families that still hadn´t had the help of the brigadistas in their fields, offered to donate their days of harvest-labor to building the community house, since the house would benefit everybody. And (of course), the brigade agreed to use the money they collect by sending letters home, and their last week of work, on the community house.
A good meeting, good atmosphere, good village, good brigade.
As can be seen, this year’s brigade is being followed by a documentary- film-crew.
After several weeks in front of the computer it was wonderful again to be out in the country, eating the the dust from the country busses and cattle trucks.
And Jinotega is beautiful. Even a Matagalpa patriot like myself has to admit that….
- Click on the pictures to see them in large format, and to place them on a map.
- More pictures from brigade 2008 on my Flickr site.
- Previous post about brigade 2008