Update on ecological, music, water, and aquaponics projects. 
Sarah Woodard, our partner with the Rotary Club of Ciudad Sandino, recently joined the International Service Committee virtually and shared updates on projects in Nicaragua.
She indicated that the Ecological Brigades program was about to start with assistance from the Mayor’s office, where Guillermo works. There was a lot of rain towards the end of the year that held things up. We learned that they are hoping to train young people to become eco-tour guides; this was a new piece of information.
The music program in Ciudad Sandino, for which we donated musical instruments, is progressing well with 30 students.
Sarah reviewed the water project, indicating that the CAPS water committee was managing the program, collecting water use fees and paying the bills. Government officials, who have been impressed with the project, are going to do a survey of the communities with the idea of making the program work even better.
The water project led to the Aquaponics project that is doing very well. It is in 21 homes, 13 schools and 2 municipal areas. The professor has been very busy teaching groups of residents on maintaining the system. He has to train schools one at a time that is labor intensive, so more of the project budget is going towards paying him. There have been cooking demonstrations on frying the fish and making meals. The Department of Education wants to expand the program to all schools in Nicaragua. Rosa Maria presented the project at the 1st National Women’s Farmers Congress. Sarah said the RC of Ciudad Sandino is interested in applying for a Programs of Scale $2M grant to expand aquaponics throughout Nicaragua and asked if we would be the International Partner.
Sarah concluded her presentation by thanking the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise for our help over the years.
For information about getting involved in International Service projects, contact Janet Napier at janetnapier@cox.net.