Cinta Verde is a gem, surrounded by lucious cloud forest with crystal clear, ice cold rivers coursing down from the towering mountains above. The only problem is that those rivers swell during the rainy season just like the river in Jicaro, isolating over 300 people (175 of whom are children) from reaching Esquipulas and/or the elementary school (where classes are held, as well as all the important community meetings). As it turns out, they actually need two bridges in order to grant access to everyone in the community, as you can see in the following map, hand-drawn by the women of Cinta Verde.
Luckily Bridges to Prosperity was in need of a site for a different team to build on and we were able to reverse the roles and do all the leg work of finding the site, performing the survey, and meeting with the community about the project, instead of them doing it for us. That means that by this time next summer, Cinta Verde be plus two for bridges. Our site is once again picturesque, as shown in the following photos.
We have enjoyed getting to know the community in the few days we lived there already. Our living and eating situations for next year are already figured out. Our centerline is set, the design of the bridge has undergone its first draft, our sample excavations are complete (much to the chagrin of our cow friends).
The bridge committee has been established and each member has a list of which community members will join them on their work teams. Everything is set for the next Continental Crossings adventure!
Today the mayor´s office gave us a ride from Esquipulas to Managua and our flight leaves for Iowa tomorrow morning. A big thanks to all of our supporters for making this project possible! It has been one of the most meaningful experiences of our lives and we are extremely grateful to all who helped us along the way.
In other news, there wasn´t enough room for all of us to ride inside the truck today which left Ian, Louie and I in the bed with all the bags. It was all fun and games…until the rain started. And when you´re hurtling down the highway at 75 miles per hour, rain hurts. If you are familiar with the pins-and-needles feeling when your arm falls asleep, that´s what our whole bodies felt like. But by this point we are no longer surprised by anything this country throws at us. We just laughed it off while blow drying our pants. Bring it on Nicaragua, cuz we´ll be back!