In the remote northwest corner of Nicaragua, just three hours from Houston, Texas there lived over 800 children living off of the garbage of the city dump of the city of Chinandega, Nicaragua. These children were digging through the garbage, with their bodies full of open sores, desperately looking for something to eat. Children were competing with dogs, cattle and adults for scraps of food.

In 2001, after hearing Father Dessey and Rotarian Frank Huezo speak at the Rotary International Convention in San Antonio, Texas, other Rotary districts from Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado, North Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, decided to join the rescue mission. Since then many other great miracles have happened for those children in desperate need.

In 1995 a missionary, Padre Marco Dessy, began working with these children by means of a small school where the students also received a hot lunch each day; but he only had room and funds to support about 90 children. A Rotary Club from Humble, Texas began an effort to expand the school and provide additional funds. Then in 1998, Hurricane Mitch destroyed the northern region around Chinandega leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless with their homes, farms, cattle, tools and everything gone. They also ended up at the city dump compounding the problem. Rotarians from the Houston area responded.

The original School of the Dump was expanded to include all grades from pre-K through high school. A Trade School was also built as well as a live-in school for blind children, a hospital, medical and dental clinics, a pregnant women’s shelter and much more.

The Children of the Dump project in Nicaragua is still active. Due to the political situation in Nicaragua
we are no longer taking the trips to visit the project but we are still actively supporting it as allowed.
Frank Huezo (Rotary Club of Kingwood) has been to Chinandega recently.   He is able to go into the country by flying to Costa Rica and then taking a bus into Nicaragua.

The Haldo Dubon school is functioning with school classes in regular session.  Funds are needed for school supplies, teacher salaries and to help with the maintenance of the buildings.  These buildings age just like
anything else they need maintenance.

The layette project is not active now for a several reasons:
1. We cannot send anything into the country.
2. Steve Thorpe passed away last year and he was the person that organized that part of the project.
The Rotary Club in Chinandega is very active and they are doing all they can to keep the schools going.
Since we are no longer able to send containers that has stopped a large part of our income for Betania.
Daniela Porras is still the administrator of the project, she has been there about 6 years now and is
doing an amazing job. Daniela is also an active member of the Rotary Club in Chinandega.
This is a great Rotary success story with long-term commitment!