|UMTV: New Life in Nicaragua|
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The municipal dump in Managua is the largest open dump in Latin America and home to hundreds of people. Some volunteers from the U.S. have come together to offer families there a new place to live and new ways to work. Kim Riemland reports.
(Locator: Managua, Nicaragua)
Voice of Ashley Dubois, Project Chacocente: “People, dogs, vultures and cows are all just feeding off of the same food, the same nutrition.”
One hundred seventy-five families live in or next to the La Chureca dump in Managua, Nicaragua. It is sustaining them and killing them.
Voice of Ashley Dubois, Project Chacocente: “Sixty-percent of the children that are born here in the dump won’t live past their fifth birthday.”
Thousands of people comb this garbage daily for food and recyclables.
Aaron Talbot, Volunteer: “Just to earn less than a dollar a day is pretty unbelievable.”
Nelson Ortiz walks in tall corn: “My corn is beautiful.”
After 25 years, Nelson Ortiz found a way out thanks to Project Chacocente, organized six years ago by a United Methodist missionary.
Nelson Antonio Ortiz, Project Chacocente Participant: “When I was in Chureca I am very sad. Sad because I no eat every day. My son no drink milk. Now in Chacocente I study; my children study; my wife, she make bracelets, hammock. I feel very, very happy.”
Eight families moved to Masaya…with 40 acres for crops and homes. There are classes, and a chance to learn a trade.
Nelson’s brother Jose says moving here saved his life.
Jose Ortiz, Project Chacocente Participant: “In Chureca, every week I was sick. But now, I feel well.”
The project depends on volunteers like these from Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. They work with residents to plant food, lay floors for the school, and enlarge houses.
Maeve Kirby, Volunteer: “There’s a huge communication barrier but with gestures, laughter and smiles, we can get the work done.”
Omar Hernandez, Project Chacocente: “We can share and we can learn one from another.”
Resident addresses volunteers: “Thank you very much for all the work you did.”
Voice of Nelson Ortiz: “I love the people of the United States. They are my friends. They are my friends.”
Upon graduation, the families own their own homes and two acres of land. Project Chacocente wants to buy more land to help 15 to 20 more families move from the dump.
Also, see: Nicaragua ministry battles poverty one family at a time
Posted: August 26, 2009Date: 8/26/2009