Gifts for Everyone...

PurpleDirt Community, 

Como estas? Mellinda and I are having a fabulous and very productive time in Nicaragua. This is such an amazing country. 

After a hectic week of city living, we are now in absolute paradise at a small surf camp, just north of Chinandega by Playa de Asseradors. The place, the people and the environment ooze with inspiration; this is the perfect environment to get our creative juices flowing for PurpleDirt. We are meeting with the women's co-op later this week, and are looking forward to spending the remainder of our time co-collaborating with them in our version of utopia.  

The past week, although a different pace, has been full of adventure in the "big" city. When we first arrived in Granada, we spent time reconnecting with some of the artisans that PurpleDirt has been working with since inception. It was great to catch up with them face-to-face and to see their new designs.  We also found a new addition to the family: Pedro Concepcion Onzca (in the photo above) – a talented metal and chain worker originally from Ticuattepe Village, a very small community between Managua and Masaya. 

We split our time between Granada, a city of just over 100,000 people, rich of colonial heritage, and Masaya, a town of 146,000 people known as "The Cradle of Nicaraguan Folklore" and for being the heart of Nicaraguan handicrafts. They are about 30 minutes apart and it is pretty easy to commute back and forth between the two with the Nicaraguan public transit bus system. It costs between 9 and 12 Nicaraguan córdobas each way, which converts to just under 50 cents Canadian. 

Sabrina, a friend of mine who has been living in southern Nicaragua for some time running her own fashion line, was able to put us in contact with artisans and suppliers in Masaya. One of her most resourceful (and adorable) contacts is an older Nicaraguan woman named Connie. She lives in a humble home in Masaya and seems to know EVERYONE! Everyday we posed new questions for Connie and, without fail, she was able to find us the materials, tradesmen, artisans or other information we required.   

Similar to Connie, kindness and generosity is prevalent in almost everyone we met in Masaya and surrounding regions.  From Chico, our metal smith, who took a ring off of his finger that I said I liked and resized it for my own finger, to a leather craftsman who literally gave Mellinda the t-shirt off his back when she fell in love with it, refusing to take our money. Then there was the woman who saw that I was hungry and gave me one of her bananas. There has been an amazing the volume of "regalos," or gifts, that we have received during our travels and will always cherish. 

This kindness and generosity flows into the PurpleDirt community – I would not be able to make this happen without everyone’s support. Thank you for all your pledges and for sharing my story and endeavour with your friends and family. Only 10 more days left in our Indiegogo campaign, so please keep the support coming!



Comments on this post  ( 3 )

Pilar says:

Donna this was a moving tbuirte. Love to you and Kathy’s family who were all special to me growing up. Most of my memories of Kathy were from Camp Lakewood where we were camp counselors. Such a gentle spirit with a sense of humor that slays me to just think about. RIP Kathy.

Sameer says:

Donna:Thanks for sharing this I knew Kathy in high scohol and have so many fun memories of her. I lost touch with her and saw her for the last time about 7 10 years ago. she was a teacher of life and a friend and always produced a smile on my face when I spent time with her. She will be missed and the world will miss her. I know she had struggles in her life, but she was one of the strongest people I knew I guess until the end of her life. I feel lucky that she was part of my journey.Much love and peace Kathy Mary Claire

Saul says:

When buying (or senillg) property there is generally a paper trail for each transaction. If Jason Puracal had a business escrow account at a bank, each deposit would have been recorded. He would have had the appropriate copies of contracts and deeds, ext., to correspond with the deposits and withdrawals from the bank. If his clients were foreigners, customarily, their deposits would have been via wire transfer. Contrary to what some may think, the average person does not enter a country such as Nicaragua carrying $50K-100K or more in cash. The real estate agents don’t want that nor do scrupulous lawyers handling real estate transactions. The sellers and buyers of the properties should have been interviewed or deposed. A forensic accounting of the business should have been demanded.

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