Who would have imagined back in December as we launched the Race Against Hunger (RAH2021) to support a much needed food program in Nicaragua, we would still be experiencing such a wide range of ongoing struggles around the world.
The Race Against Hunger raised almost $18,000 which has allowed us to distribute 42,000 meals to 193 families in 5 villages along the north west coast of Nicaragua. We had planned a couple event based fundraisers for June with hopes of raising an additional $5,000-$7,000 to continue the program until the end of the year. However, COVID had a different idea, making it difficult to plan anything that would involve even small group gatherings.
There have been some hopeful signs of recovery. Locals have seen some return of visitors from Nicaragua throughout the region and a small increase in international travels in and around Manzano just south of Jiquilillo, however no international travelers have returned to Jiquilillo beach area as of yet.
We also heard word of the start of vaccinations in Nicaragua through April, but in very small numbers across the country. Information is tightly controlled, however official information for April declared 167,000 vaccines to be rolled out across the 12 health regions. The overall population of Nicaragua is 6.7M, with approximately 4.5M over the age of 15. Some other sources cite 500,000 vaccines received in Nicaragua, so optimistically about 10% of the adult population could have received the first dose. Focus of vaccines has been on the older population.
So while these are hopeful indicators, the return of international travel remains uncertain. Our hopes for a small booster summer event has been delayed by ongoing lockdowns and mobility restrictions within Canada.
At 35 cents a meal, we can help provide basic nutrition to supplement community resources while the world heals and the communities can begin to see the return of tourism that bolsters the economy of these communities.
We know everyone is facing different challenges at this time and send our thoughts and strength to your families as we move through the (hopefully) home stretch of the global battle.
With your help, we will continue to provide a bit of relief and support to our surrounding communities in Northern Nicaragua.