The work of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas includes sports equipment, Chica Nica doll dresses, lending libraries, the stove and chimney project, Firefighters United, backpacks, learning centers, eyeglass projects, and more. The Firefighters United projects provides used equipment to municipalities in Nicaragua; to date, Wisconsin has sent 25 ambulances and 35 fire trucks to Nicaragua.
Tony Jilek’s late wife, Ann, made four trips to Nicaragua before her untimely passing; Tony and his family visited our club to talk about their work in Ann’s memory through the eyeglass project of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Amerias.
The work of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas includes sports equipment, Chica Nica doll dresses, lending libraries, the stove and chimney project, Firefighters United, backpacks, learning centers, eyeglass projects, and more. The Firefighters United projects provides used equipment to municipalities in Nicaragua; to date, Wisconsin has sent 25 ambulances and 35 fire trucks to Nicaragua.
Tony Jilek’s late wife, Ann, made four trips to Nicaragua before her untimely passing; Tony and his family visited our club to talk about their work in Ann’s memory through the eyeglass project of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas.
Sue Christopher first learned about the work during a presentation last year to our club; after the presentation, she said she wanted to join them on a trip, and the rest is history! The trip in January 2018 was part of the eyeglass project; the group included 26 Americans and 6 interpreters. They flew into Managua, but spent most of their time in a rural area in the northern part of the country, near the border with Honduras. Mike Jilek took 1300 of photos on the trip, and shared some of them with us to give us a sense for what life is like in Nicaragua.
The eyeglass project often works out of churches. People were typically lined up waiting for glasses before the team arrived to set up. Individuals are screened and then connected with either readers or glasses matching their prescription. (The glasses are collected, cleaned and tagged with the prescription by Lions Clubs here in Wisconsin.) Most of these people have never seen an eye doctor or had glasses. Sue shared a story of an older woman who was provided with a pair of glasses and immediately pulled a bible out of her purse and began to read it.
At one of the locations, local Rotaractors brought the local public television station to the site of the eyeglass distribution; both Tony Jilek and his daughter, Jodi Bauer, were interviewed; Jodi’s comments made it to the final cut!
While in Nicaragua, the team also had an opportunity to see other projects of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, including several of the ambulances, a small business making compression clothing for burn victims and a beekeeping project.
Learn more about the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas.
 
 
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