Ever since I can remember, my grandfather Alfredo would bring gifts/goodies for the pueblitos (little villages) near his farm around Christmas time. I saw the poverty first hand and the plight of the Nicaraguan people has always been heavy on my heart and now that I am an adult I can actually do something about it!
Hello! “Feeding Nicaragua” is a ministry my husband (Jesse Valencia) and I (Mayella Haslam Valencia) had founded in 2002.
I am a native Nicaraguan and as a child I had grown up around poverty. Most families could not afford the essential things like food, clothing, shoes, and school uniforms for their children; they were forced to drop out of school and work or marry at an early age to survive.
At a tender age of 15, I had my first child; however, I married and went to live with my ex-husband’s family. It was difficult at first because it was 5 of us and we had to sleep in one bedroom. After struggling, at the age of 17 I was offered a position as a social worker for a not-for-profit-organization. I accepted the position immediately because I realized that this was my calling! My job description was to visit the barrios (ghettos) in order to encourage people to sign up for assistance. Needless to say, this was heartbreaking to see children as young as 9 years of age left behind by their parents to care for themselves and for younger siblings. These children would beg me for food and anything else I could provide them with. Seeing them live in houses made of scraps of plastic or cardboard just broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I knew at that moment that I personally had to make a difference. I made a promise to me and God that when I established myself I would do everything possible to help my people.
By 1993 I decided to come to the United State and was able to obtain a good job. Now I felt more empowered to help the Nicaraguan people! I began to visit my mother, who still lived in Nicaragua, every year from that point on. My new husband and I began to bring goodies – food, candy, books, and small toys - to the children around the barrios. Every year it has grown as my co-workers and friends made cash donations to our cause. We are now able to supply many poverty stricken families with sugar, rice, beans, soap, milk and the basic essentials just to survive! We are presently feeding over 50 families each yearly trip (on 2012 we fed over 200 families). It has been a blessing to be able to do this type of work.
In 2009 my mother had passed away and now I continue “Feeding Nicaragua” in her memory. Our goal is to bring as much support to many more families in the coming years. We are asking you today to help us feed hungry children and families; your donation, of any amount, will go a long way. If you are not able to help us monetarily that's okay! You can still help us by donating toothbrush, toothpaste, crayons, coloring books, or any school supplies.
I personally guarantee that your donations will get to the families that need it the most. I say this because there is NO middleman, my husband Jesse, my sons and I purchase the food with your donations of money, package all the books, crayons etc. and personally bring them on an airplane ourselves so that we may distribute them.
The Lord has giving us a loving heart for the Nicaraguan people and we thank Him for this. We ask, once again, to stand with us by donating any amount of money and/or supplies. Without your donation it is much harder. Please pray and ask the Lord who you can help!
Thank you for your loving hearts and generous assistance.
Mayella Haslam Valencia