Whatever It Takes
This little story captures the heart of working in a 3rd world country. If you've ever worked abroad, this might resonate with you. If you haven't, I hope it gives you some insight into what it's like to make things happen in a land far away from home.
Many of you have been following SuNica's Turn On the Water Project in a place called El Porvenir. Turn On the Water is a full scale clean water project for a community of 110 families in NW Nicaragua. We first conceived of doing this project in April of last year and have not looked back since. We were able to fund the project through a campaign last fall called Turn On the WAter there is now only one large obstacle left before we can start to plan a ground-breaking.
That obstacle is land acquisition.
El Porvenir's Water Committee (CAPS) is working alongside SuNica, their local government, and a neighboring land owner to gain clear title to the land where the borehole and water tower will sit. Last month, we mentioned in a newsletter that SuNica & the CAPS were working on this task.
Here is the story of that process so far: (names have been changed to protect identities)
There was once a Nicaraguan man named Juan who worked hard for a land owner for 30 years. When Juan retired, the land owner appreciated his work so much that he gave him a small part of his farmland as a gift. That was a nice gesture, but of course there was never an actual deed issued on the land. A few years later, a large farming company from El Salvador officially purchases Mr. Juan's former boss's farmland. This land includes Juan's smaller tract of land which he 'unofficially' owns. Thankfully, Juan's former boss had written a clause into the contract indicating that Juan's land should pass to him. Of course, none of this exists with the local Register of Deeds. SuNica's very own Mario Moraga tracked down the new land owner and connected with it's representative while he was in town to check on business. The El Salvadorean business owner was in fact aware of this clause in the contract and is willing to deed this land back to dear Mr. Juan. Now, all we have to do is get a contract drafted up, then get Mr. Juan, SuNica, El Porvenir's CAPS, The El Salvadorean Farm's representative, a lawyer, a notary public, and a representative from the local government in a room to sign this document. During the signing, a certain amount of money will change hands from El Porvenir's CAPS to Mr. Juan. At the same time, a small piece of Mr. Juan's new land will be deeded to El Porvenir and all will be well.
Easy enough, right?
We hope you enjoy this story as much as we enjoy living it.