Sunday, June 18, 2023

Summer 2023, News from the Jungle: Health center walls, Starlink, life in the Amazon, and school in Macedonia

We give a warm thank you to every one of our sponsors and donors. Without their help, our progress in supporting the students of La Libertad and their families would not have been possible!

Please enjoy these updates from our work during the past six months.  We will be returning to the village during July and August of 2023.

Larry, our contractor, with Ben, the project director.


This August 2023, we plan to plaster the walls.

We have built the walls of our health care center.  It was more difficult than planned.  A high inflation rate added at least 25% to our costs.  The low level of the river made transportation difficult.  Finding a reliable mason was a challenge.  And now, the story.

Moving 1,300 brick construction blocks was very labor intensive.  After ordering the bricks at the business of Bom Jesus across the shared border of Tabating... READ MORE 


Starlink unboxing.

At last, we have internet connectivity.  This will allow us to connect to the outside world for education, employment, and emergencies and to keep in touch with family and friends.

After six months of being unable to sign up for the service, they finally solved the problems and sent us the equipment.  It arrived well-packed.  After a two-week setup and test in Leticia, we brought it to the village of La Libertad...  READ MORE


Passing through a floating debris zone.

In January, the river was rising.  The river may rise by up to 25 feet between its lowest (dry season) and highest (rainy season).  We had just taken our boat out of storage and traveled to Leticia to resupply.

It had been raining for the past three days.  The river was rising rapidly.  When it rises, vegetation, sticks, and logs along the river banks and tributaries are carried downriver with the current.  Depending on the current, it collects into dense patches in some places.  We always drive more slowly through these zones. READ MORE



After our more intense blog posts about the project, we decided to have pictures of things we see in our daily life around the Amazon.  SEE MORE


We are pleased to have presented 37 scholarships this year!  Each scholarship, $130/year, allows the students to buy the basic necessities they need to attend school.

We currently have 13 students on the waiting list for scholarships.  To learn more about the program, please visit our website.



One of our Macedonian students.

A third of our scholarship students are in the upper grades of school.  But they have no good, consistent school to attend.  Many of the students are leaving school.  This is for three main reasons.  1) Problems with the school construction in Macedonia.  2) The need to provide for themselves and their family.  3) The need to be occupied with something.

When a student who has received a scholarship from a sponsor leaves school, we try to convince the student that this is only temporary.  The scholarship is then temporarily passed to a younger sibling or cousin studying in the village of La Libertad.  When the construction in Macedonia is finished and full-time school resumes, we hope they will return to school.

We encourage the sponsors to stay with their students (and the temporary alternate family member) until they return to school.  READ MORE


To raise funds, we attended two craft fairs this spring.  One in Seasport, Maine, and the other in the project's hometown, Thomaston, Maine.  We sold handcrafts from the village and Colombian emerald jewelry.  Thank you, Dianne!

The first fair was at Searsport Elementary School.

And last, a couple of photos of the city

Aerial shot of the Port of Leticia

Night at Parque Santander in Leticia.

To sponsor a student or to help us with our work, please visit the link:

Thank you!

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