It’s my final blog for this development education study mission to Nicaragua. But rather than give my impressions of our experience one last time, the final word goes to my teammates and the cooperators we met in Nicaragua. Here are few quotes that did not make it into previous blogs.
“The co-operative movement is going to make a big impact on this country.” Bill Freeman, Toronto freelance writer
“This mission has given me a deep appreciation for what we have in Canada.” Roger Harrop, Fergus Ontario dairy farmer, GayLea board member. “It’s been a truly educational experience.”
“We produce just as the land provided.” Gonzalo, organic coffee bean grower
“I feel blessed to have a chance to come here. It makes me want to do more.” Marie-Claude Jette, Metis National Council, Ottawa
“We are very happy in God’s name.” Krukira Fisheries Co-operative secretary Mary Webster welcoming our team.
“We can’t just sit around scratching our behinds, looking at the ocean.” Ralph Washington, Krukira Fisheries Co-operative.
“What we brought is nothing compared to what they (the Nicaraguans) have given us.” Betty Willemsen, Ontario Dairy Farmer
“The co-operative movement is very beautiful.” Bernardo Cardenal, president, CECAMPO, Masaya
“Rape is a huge issue,” Martha Downs, executive director of ODISRAN, association for the disabled referring to a 17-year-old mentally challenged quadriplegic who was impregnated by her father.
“We are very proud because we did not know we have a family in Canada and now we see this with our own eyes and we are very, very happy.” Ralph Washington
“The commercial banks don’t think farmers pay back their loans.” Jorge Martinez, president of Caja Rural Credit Union, Managua, explaining why 60 % of its services support agriculture production.
“The shorter rainy season means we have a small window to plant and harvest our crops.” Mausilia Navas, La Esperanza red bean co-op, commenting of the effects of climate change on Nicaragua’s agriculture sector.
“The co-op is very aware about gender issues. I think it’s very important because we incorporate this into our lives.” Lesbia Vargez, farm woman, member of La Esperanza board
“I can’t wait for my son to finish school.” Myra Kormann, Calgary Co-op board member telling the team that she hopes to take her son on a similar mission when he gets older.