21 June 2016

Richmond's First Presbyterian Church, Bluefields, and the Caribbean Dream Hotel

     A few years ago I was in the Caribbean Dream Hotel arranging with Juanita (see the previous post) for reservations for some family arriving in Bluefields. The office doors and windows were open and I heard the word "Richmond" as part of a conversation going on among a group of people rocking on the front porch.
      Reservations made, I stepped onto the porch and asked...Richmond? Virginia?  And it was indeed Richmond, Virginia that was part of the discussion.  
     It turns out that Richmond's First Presbyterian Church (FPC) has been actively involved in Bluefields since long before I ever heard of the place. Go figure!
   Groups of congregation members visit once or twice nearly every year - and this was part of one such group.  And, of course, Caribbean Dream is where they stay (unless they're at Ms. Freda's house...but that's another story).
     FPC has two ongoing projects in or near Bluefields. One project is their long standing Clean Water Ministry. (I'm one of their customers in Bluefields.)  From the FPC web site: "The Clean Water Ministry team is...an international mission effort of FPC with congregational and pastoral awareness and support with a commitment to...continue developing a network of clean water systems and related education in the community of Bluefields, Nicaragua and other east coast communities."  At the link here you can find a slide show of a water filtration system FPC helped build in Kukra Hill, a small town not too far north of Bluefields: 
     The 'hill' of Kukra Hill is very visible from Smokey Lane Lagoon just short of the entrance to our False Bluff Canal. The photo below was taken as we made our way into the canal.

The other FPC project is the sponsoring of students at the Moravian School, a school on Bluefields' main street which will be celebrating ninety-five years of educational excellence this year. Information on sponsoring students can be found here: http://www.fpcrichmond.org/nicaragua.html