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The 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.

We 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.

Many 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.

We 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 November.

Thank you in advance for you generous contributions, and if you have any questions, please contact Jim Walker who is coordinating the project.

20th Annual River Clean-Up

Mark 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.


Bennington 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:
The 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.

We 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.

The 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.

We 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.

The 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.

Community Development Projects

Repair 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 barrio.
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
Material Aid
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
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 Funds
School Scholarships $110.00 per student

This important program is in it’s 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 uniform.
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 student’s tuition of $145.00 per year.



Contact Us
BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.
800.421.5268 or 802.362.2800 fax--802.362.0159

©2002 BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.. All rights reserved