Dear Family and Friends,
We had a terrific weekend beginning on Friday with a trip to Villa de San Francisco to visit Lenis Garcia and her family. Lenis graduated from TLC last March and is now running a successful retail business selling used clothing and shoes. We delivered 20 pairs of new shoes donated for her from a supporter in Virginia. Her shop is doing well enough for her Mom and Grandmother to be employed there. Lenis has also made her first micro loan payment early. We enjoyed a great lunch with her family, purchased a pair of shoes then headed back to campus.
We stopped in Zambrano to pick up another graduate, Yanetzi Ortiz who came to campus for the weekend. Yanetzi has been operating a successful school supply store for over one year. She has recently encountered some competition in her community and is currently re-evaluating her products and services to meet the competition. We had a valuable strategy session with Yanetzi and we are optimistic that some of these new ideas will help her.
Alumni weekend continued with a visit from Karla Mendoza who is very close to launching her organic egg business. Her coup is built and the feed grasses are growing well. She will soon have water and electricity to begin raising her chickens. Karla hopes to have her first eggs in about 5 months. TLC gave Karla a donation of about 50 children’s books in Spanish. Karla will be staring the first library in her community school very soon. It fills a real need since they have no reading books available for kids.
On Saturday night we celebrated the July birthdays with cheeseburgers, French fries, lemonade and cake. While commonplace in the US, this meal was a real treat for the students. They decorated the comedor and we had a grand time! (After a steady diet of beans, eggs and rice, the gringos enjoyed the cheeseburgers as well)
On Sunday, a team of 3 professors arrived from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. Amber, Debbie and David will stay on campus until Thursday, visiting classes and touring the farm. We hope that in the future, students from the college may be able to come to TLC during their spring break to share with our students as well as learn about coffee farming, clean water production, aquaponics and other sustainable projects at TLC. We are grateful for this team of Lafayette friends and the students are very excited they are here!
Dan and I are looking forward to sharing more with you about TLC upon our return.
See you soon.