Posts Tagged ‘Felix Almendarez’

Agriculture—Reaping the Benefits

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

The agriculture programs at ICC’s children’s villages are busy with activity this summer. One such program is at the Fountain of Life Children’s Village. Recently we received an update about their first harvest of plantains. Felix, the project director, reports that “In one month we’ll be harvesting continuously, and we’ll be able to sell some of the harvest—not in great quantity, but we will no longer be buying and we’ll start getting some income.”

Plantains that are part of the first harvest from our farm at the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua

The First of the First. The first plantains to be harvested at the ICC Nicaragua farm.

Agriculture is such a vital part of our ICC children’s villages. It benefits the children in so many positive ways by providing a balanced diet, practical work experience, and income from the sale of extra produce. However, there are subtle benefits as well.

This child from the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua helps to harvest a bunch of plantains almost as big as he is!

This child from the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua helps to harvest a bunch of plantains almost as big as he is!

Imagine a young child being rescued from life on the streets. He has no concept of the safety and security of a home and family, and begging food may be how he survives. Now, place that same child in an ICC village and give him love, security and nutritious meals.

Take him to the garden and patiently teach him about the ways of plants. Let him prepare the soil for planting, sow seeds, and wait expectantly for sunshine and rain. Watch him search day-by-day for the first tiny leaf to poke through the soil. Help him care for the tender plant and harvest the first fruits of diligent labor.

Then teach him about his Heavenly Father who loves and cares for him and who has a plan for him to grow and develop and bear fruit. With such therapy, an orphan child cannot help but gain a positive sense of belonging. And when that occurs, the orphan is no longer really an orphan and can grow to his or her full potential just like a well cared for plant in the garden.

You can see from these pictures that the plantain crop is well cared for in Nicaragua. The children have much for which to be thankful, and because you care, we are able to care. Your investment in the children’s programs of ICC enables agriculture programs like the one in Nicaragua to flourish.

On behalf of the children, thank-you for your continued support,

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

Happenings at ICC Nicaragua

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

[This blog post was updated on March 30th, 2011]

[UPDATE] Since this post was first published, we’ve received more information from Felix Almendarez on the progress of the farm.

Pineapple Crop “Starts”
Felix, director of the ICC children’s village in Nicaragua, recently determined that he would plant a pineapple crop.  He made a contact with a personal friend who also grows pineapples. Felix’s friend was willing to assist him.

The new pineapple grove at ICC Nicaragua's Fuente de Vida Children's Village

The new pineapple grove at ICC's Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua

They went into the friend’s field and began digging up starts from beside mature plants.  After awhile it appeared that they had collected about 500 plants. Felix’s friend was selling the starts for 1 Cordova (about 5 cents) each, so Felix decided he wanted a few more. After leaving the field, Felix thought he had about 700.  However, it turned out that there were more than 900 when the planting was done in the ICC garden.

Felix was so excited about having this new pineapple crop that he decided to get some more.  When he went back to his friend’s field he got another 1,000 starts.  In all, nearly 2,000 plants are now flourishing in the ICC Nicaragua garden, and Felix only spent about $100.  Since many of the starts were pretty mature to begin with, they will start to produce in about 9 months.

Farm House Completed
A group from Canada who have been friends of our project for many years came to Nicaragua to do some other projects. They stopped by to see Felix and Angelica and asked them what they could do to help. Felix told them about the need to get the farm house finished – floor, doors and windows – so that someone could live in it and take care of the farm. These friends provided all the funds to do that. Now Felix has hired an Adventist couple to take care of the farm and live in that house.

The new farm house at the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua

The new farm house at ICC's Fuente de Vida Children's Village

Canadian Group Adds Beauty to the Children’s Homes
Three of the members of the Canadian group stayed for a few days and planted flower gardens around the homes. We appreciate their help very much.

Flowers planted outside house four of ICC's Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaraga

Flowers newly planted at House Four of ICC's Fuente de Vida Children's Village

[UPDATE] Felix Almendarez, the administrator of our ICC Nicaragua campus, today was telling us that they have really been blessed with good crops on this land. He is amazed at the production and the size of the vegetables. They have cucumbers, zucchini, corn, tomatoes and other things.

Felix with cucumbers grown on the farm at our ICC Nicaragua campus.

Felix with cucumbers grown on the farm at our ICC Nicaragua campus.

A closeup of the cucumbers grown on our ICC Nicaragua campus

A closeup of the cucumbers grown on our ICC Nicaragua campus

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

God’s Providential Leading in Nicaragua

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

In the early days of ICC’s work in Nicaragua with orphan children we worked hard to find land for a children’s village. We evaluated several properties in the country and finally decided on one that seemed to be the best.

The sale was going through just fine, and we received some funding to purchase the land. We felt that God was leading, and excitement started to build at the prospects of being able to provide permanent homes for ICC children in Nicaragua.

Then, all of sudden, the process hit a snag. The sellers decided they no longer wanted to give up their land. It was difficult for the ICC family in Nicaragua to comprehend this. We sensed that God had lead to this particular piece of property. We all wondered why things were taking a different turn.

Felix Almendarez, ICC Nicaragua’s director, continued the search until another piece of land was found. Everything about it seemed to suggest that God certainly was in control. We felt that He had blessed by stopping the process of purchasing the initial property.

A photograph of ICC's land in Nicaragua

The land where our ICC Nicaragua children's village is located.

Once ICC purchased the land, work began on preparing the site for a children’s village. Felix constructed roads, the children helped plant gardens, and most recently we completed four children’s homes. In December of 2009, the children moved into their new homes with great rejoicing.

It wasn’t too long ago that God revealed once more why the present location is wonderfully situated for a children’s village. Flooding devastated much of the surrounding area when heavy rains associated with tropical storm Matthew passed through Nicaragua.

However, the property where the children’s village is located drains well and varies in elevation. The crops remained unharmed and the dairy herd didn’t suffer any loss. This was a blessing for ICC in the midst of such chaos and ruin.

Felix happened to pass by the property that ICC initially tried to purchase. The flooding that occurred at that location astounded him. Water covered much of the land. The damage would have been horrific if ICC had purchased that land and built a children’s village.

We praise God for His providential leading in the location of ICC’s children’s village in Nicaragua. Though it was difficult to fully understand His ways during the long months of waiting, it is now clearly seen that He knew what was best all along.

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC