Global Pledge & Fundacion Encore
We pledge allegiance to our earth and to
the universal spirit which gives us life.
One planet indivisible with peace and justice
for all inhabitants.
We pledge to do to our best to uphold the trust bestowed in the gift
of life; to care for our planet and atmosphere; to respect and honor
all inhabitants, all people, plants, animals and resources; to create
a legacy for our children and our children's children in a world of
harmony and love.
urge all to join us actively working for change and in investing in
an Earth Tax of 1% of each of our gross incomes. We all must pay, and
together we can make a difference.
Socially responsible travel means a constant struggle to defend the
earth and to protect and sustain traditional communities. Socially responsible
tourism is a cooperative relationship between the non-wealthy local
community and sincere open-minded travelers who want to enjoy themselves
in an undeveloped region, and at the same time, enrich their consciousness
by means of significant educational and cultural interchange.
The primary objectives of Fundacion Encore are to educate travelers
about local ecology and customs, and to raise funds and provide technical
support to local groups.
If you are interested in joining us, please contact our office for complete
details of Fundacion Encore.
Together we can.
of you have enjoyed Explore Nicaragua. We work closely with the local
cooperative, APFS which is headed by Ernesto Cardinal. The association
has a boat shuttle to the closest village of San Carlos. Unfortunately
it has not been working for the last 2 years due to a transmission problem.
On our last trip to Solentiname, we removed the transmission and carried
it with us on our drive back to Vermont to have it rebuilt. Alas it
cannot be rebuilt, but the boat shop has offered us wholesale on the
replacement so that the cost is just a bit more than the rebuilt price.
Thank you Hale Marine.
are attempting to raise $2000.00 in donations to cover the cost of the
new. We have all ready received $500.00 in donations, and are counting
on being able to raise the balance so that we
can take the new transmission back with us on our drive back south in
you in advance for you generous contributions, and if you have any questions,
please contact Jim Walker who
is coordinating the project.
your calendar and plan to join us for our 20th Annual Spring River Clean
Up on May 4. The river clean ups are just one way we can give back to
the river by providing free canoe rentals for folks who participate
in picking up trash along the river. Give us a call or drop us a note
if you would like to join us to help keep the Batten Kill the special
river that it is.
Vermont Somotillo Nicaragua
Sister City Project
We are associated with this project and have driven a
trailer loaded with medical supplies to Nicaraguafor the last two years.
Mission and Goals
of the Project:
Somotillo-Bennington Sister City Project, is a not-for-profit, grassroots
partnership, to promote social and economic justice through alternative
models of sustainable communty development and activism sponsored by
the Peace Resource Center.
affirm shared membership in one human family and commit ourselves to
work for justice and peace, honoring the dignity and strengths of each
person guided by the principle of consensual decision making.
model is different than the conventional charity model in that it works
with people and organizations toward their independence from continued
outside assistance and toward self- sufficiency. The vision of the project
is to work with the community toward sustainability, steering away from
dependence on external economies or support.
emphasize projects by and for the People of Somotillo, recognizing that
they need to be self-help projects initiated by Nicaraguans which hold
promise for grass-roots growth, arise from Nicaraguan needs and tradition,
and provide not only for survival but also empower local community organizations.
Special consideration should be given to projects that are directed
to the gifted, but disadvantaged people who need a helping hand since
these people will become the leaders of tomorrow.
Bennington Somotillo Sister Project was created 14 years ago. The Peace
Resource Center is the Bennington County partner, and the Comision Social
is the Nicaraguan partner. We were honored to have the first delegation
from Somotillo visit Bennington in 2001. Three members of the Comision
Social, Hector Carrasco, Mayor of Somotillo; Marling Lainez, Director
of San Ignacio, an educational and vocational facility for high risk
students, and Denis Escalente, Clincial Lab Technician and Coordinator
for the Comision Social in Somotillo visited Bennington County.
Most of these projects have been carried out through the efforts of
the people of Somotillo and the monetary support and donations of equipment
and supplies by the people of BenningtonCounty.
10 Wells -- $1250.00
Ten wells are needed to improve water supply in out lying barrios around
Somotillo. Each communal well will serve 10 to 15 households.
Build 10 Latrine s -- $2000.00
The need of latrines has been exacerbated by Hurricane Mitch, since
many of those who were displaced, do not have adequate latrines.
This would provide funds for materials. Each family will be required
to assist in the construction of their latrine .
Renovate the Casa Comunal $1400.00
The Community Center is located next to the Library and needs repair
on the walls and roof. The office is used for public meetings, meetings
of the SC, eye glass exams for the Rural Eyeglass Project and as a Thrift
Store to sell clothing donated through Material Aid.
Sister School Program $2000.00
Extension of the pen pal project between North Bennington and San Antonio
schools. This would provide a personal exchange between students and
teachers from two cultures. Goal is to develop solidarity through communication,
understanding, and sharing.
Barrio Sagrada Familia preschool & commadore $750.00
A community development project focusing on early childhood education
and nutrition. Through donated land a pre school and community kitchen
is a positive community project meeting the needs of the youth of the
Sala Materna -- $750.00
Located next to the health center, this high risk pregnancy center plays
a vital role in the community. In addition to caring for high risk pregnancies
the center also promotes proper nutrition and education for women.
People to People Connections
We view these shipments as central to our mission -- they directly
help the people of Somotillo by sharing needed materials, as well
as providing an infusion of capital when some of the materials are
resold at minimal prices. We will continue to collect summer clothing,
as well as more valuable materials such as medical and school supplies,
office equipment and sports equipment. Material aid is used to assist
Sala Materna, the Health Center, the Teen Center, Schools, and the
Thrift Shop. Recent shipments have included 2 Ultrasound machines,
a complete dental office with chair, x-ray and instruments, full body
X-Ray. Please ask for a detailed list for 2003.
Work delegations are important to extending the solidarity between
our communities. It is through this people to people effort that affirms
our shared membership in one human family.
The next delegation is going to Somotillo March 27 to April 5. Projectsthat
the delegation will be working on are: General renovation the Comission
Social Office for meetings and ultimately to setup a Cyber Cafe for
the community. In addition the delegation will work painting a school,
repairing 2 wells and teaching English to community members.
Somotillo Fund Revolving Loans
The Somotillo Fund addresses some of the root causes of poverty and
social injustice. It ensures that Nicaraguan people have access to
capital that they can use to exert control over their own lives and
communities. Loans to farmers, cooperatives and small businesses benefit
whole communities as funds revolve at the local level. A farmer, cooperative
or small business which receives a loan buys goods and services and
employs other people. Some even extend credit to their buyers, further
multiplying the community benefits of the loan.
Education & Scholarship
School Scholarships $110.00 per student
This important program is in its 13th year. These scholarships
assist needy students in the purchase of shoes, uniforms and schools
supplies. In Nicaragua, a student can not attend school without a
Computer Patron Project $145.00 per student
This project enables post-high school students, who are not able to
attend university to continue their education by learning computer
skills. Presently it is about 75% at capacity and assistance is necessary
for additional students. Our goal is to recruit ten patrons to sponsor
a students tuition of $145.00 per year.
BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.
800.421.5268 or 802.362.2800 fax--802.362.0159
©2002 BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.. All rights reserved