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Back to Nicaragua for Jody Paterson and Paul Willcocks!
Amount Raised
Fundraising Goal $11,000.00

My Message

How much have we enjoyed volunteering for Cuso International in Central America? So much that we're now off on our third adventure!

Our first Cuso position was in Honduras, and we came back to Canada in April 2014 after a challenging, inspiring, fascinating and life-affirming two-plus years in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, working in communications with local development organizations there. We returned to Central America last fall to begin new four-month positions in Managua, Nicaragua, and are now going back to Managua in September 2015 to continue that work. 

Jody is excited to be able to return to doing communications work with the largest federation of women's farming collectives in Nicaragua, the Federacion Agropecuaria de Cooperativas de Mujeres Productoras del Campo de Nicaragua (FEMUPROCAN). She will continue her role in helping the organization identify and use new communications and monitoring tools in ways that support FEMUPROCAN's work to improve the economic situation, equality, human rights and land access of women farmers in Nicaragua. FEMUPROCAN has a full-time communications staffer, and Jody works closely with Julia Michele Castellon so that both benefit from each other's knowledge and informed opinions around effective communications for achieving equality for women. 

The federation has more than 2,000 members, almost all of them small-lot farmers. They are trying to improve yields and sales not only so they can continue to feed their families on what they grow, but earn at least a little of the money needed to cover the costs of all the things that add up over a typical year: school uniforms and supplies; transport; equipment repair; planting supplies; health care. 

Paul will be working in communications with the Centre for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education (CATIE). This fine organization has a long history pf agricultural enhancement in Latin America, and has led much of the investigation and experimentation that is putting cacao plantations back on the map for countries like Honduras and Nicaragua as a means of lifting subsistence farmers out of the cycle of poverty. 

Our positions are for eight months. We have raised $6,800 for Cuso International since our first trip to Honduras, and we hope to raise another $4,000 in the coming months. We are deeply thankful to the many people who have donated to Cuso on our behalf. Ongoing support from the Government of Canada is very important to Cuso, but the fundraising that each volunteer is asked to do is also vital to this work. As volunteers, Paul and I really believe that the work we are able to do through your support to Cuso is changing things for the better in countries that still need a leg up from people living in more privileged countries. 

We're both excited to be putting our skills to use once more in ways that will help alleviate poverty in Nicaragua, address gender equity and create sustainable income sources for the long term. Much thanks to Cuso International for the opportunity to be part of the global community helping to share skills with countries with so much potential and enthusiasm. And thank YOU for supporting us in this work - your donations to Cuso International are building a better world. 

My Team

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Thank you to my sponsors:

Paul Willcocks left a message
Dec 1, 2015 8:11 AM
Happy to support Cuso's work around the world.
Paul Willcocks donated $55.00
Dec 1, 2015 8:11 AM
Jody Paterson left a message
Dec 1, 2015 7:49 AM
Thank you, Cuso International, for changing my life and broadening my thinking through this opportunity to volunteer in Central America!
Jody Paterson donated $50.00
Dec 1, 2015 7:48 AM
Janice left a message
Sep 23, 2015 1:54 PM
All the best on your new adventure!
Janice Sexton donated an undisclosed amount
Sep 23, 2015 1:53 PM
Kristie, Ed and Family donated an undisclosed amount
Sep 22, 2015 11:00 PM
Kristie Kelly and Ed Coderre and famliy left a message
Sep 22, 2015 10:55 PM
En todos mis anos de trabajar con volontarios.. unos como ustedes sobresalen.... que todo pase muy bien esta vez y gracias por sus reflexiones...
H.N. left a message
Sep 22, 2015 5:52 PM
Thanks for your good work and shared insights, Jody and Paul...
A friend donated an undisclosed amount
Sep 22, 2015 5:49 PM
GEORGINA SCOTT donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 29, 2015 12:42 AM
Ernie and Sharon Baatz donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 25, 2015 1:28 PM
Denise Helm donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 17, 2014 11:11 AM
Dianne and Al donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 17, 2014 10:08 AM
David Cardin from Playa Roca playaroca.com left a message
Nov 28, 2014 6:32 PM
It is nice that you and Paul are the epitome of Thanksgiving, giving to those in Nicaragua that can take your gifts of education and benefit themselves. playaroca.com R^R in paradise on the Pacific. We will give you discounts to apply to your donation box. Playa Roca Beach Hotel, Las Penitas-Leon, Nicaragua
Michael Klazek left a message
Nov 14, 2014 3:13 PM
Thank you Jody, for hitting another nail on the head (Nov. 14th blog) when it comes to understanding difficulties in potential-rich Central America and the people we love to visit. FEMUPROCAN and its component collectives inspire our support. Are women the primary decision makers throughout the system? Brava a cada una.
Michael Klazek and Susan Colonval donated $100.00
Nov 14, 2014 2:42 PM
Paul Willcocks donated $175.00
Nov 5, 2014 7:31 PM
Cairine and Fred Green left a message
Oct 17, 2014 2:05 AM
You and Paul are making a real difference to those less fortunate. You have big hearts and big skills and abilities and Central America is lucky to have you both working on special projects. So sorry we didn't see more of you but we will keep in touch with you and look forward to catching up when you get back. Safe journey, safe contract and all our very best for a rewarding and meaningful experience.
Cairine Green donated $100.00
Oct 17, 2014 2:02 AM
Walt and Lynda Hundleby donated $100.00
Oct 15, 2014 6:01 PM
Lynda Hundleby left a message
Oct 15, 2014 5:54 PM
Hi Jody and Paul - Thank you for all you do taking your message of caring, tangible and needed support for those living in poverty in Nicaragua and for offering your skills and talents. You are an amazing couple. I have enjoyed the photographs and learned from your blogs that you have shared with your Facebook friends. Thank you for sharing the richness of your lives. I am glad to know you. Wishing you safe travels and good health.
Friends of Jody and Paul donated $500.00
Oct 10, 2014 11:29 AM
Jody Paterson left a message
Nov 26, 2013 10:07 PM
We'll soon be at the two-year mark in Honduras, and wrapping up our postings at the end of March. That's going to be a difficult time! We've certainly had an amazing experience here thanks to our Cuso placements. It's been challenging working in a different culture, but I feel like we've helped our organizations here in Honduras, and it sure has been great to be able to help them tell their amazing stories to more people. I've especially had fun making videos for the regions!
fernandofigueroa68@yahoo.com left a message
Nov 24, 2013 10:35 PM
God bless you Jody.
Sean Kelly left a message
Feb 28, 2013 8:08 AM
Hi Jody, Sean Kelly with Cuso Intl here. I just wanted to say I'm really enjoying your blog. Good luck with the bad days and relish the good ones. Cuso has an org blog at http://cusointernational.wordpress.com/ ... would you be interested in writing a guest blog entry, or adapting one of your previous entries? You can let me know (media@cusointernational.org) Thanks
Harry Atkinson left a message
Feb 1, 2013 1:47 PM
Jody and Paul have put themselves in a position to help by being where the action is - in an attempt to understand the issues and provide their on site attempt to help solve local problems. My sincere admiration. Harry Atkinson
Harry & Sylvia Atkinson donated $100.00
Feb 1, 2013 1:40 PM
Jody Paterson left a message
Nov 6, 2012 10:36 AM
Just wanting to leave a quick note thanking everyone for their support and well-wishes! Can't believe we're almost 10 months into our placements already - time has flown by. We're finally hitting our stride on the work fronts, something that takes time when you find yourself in a very different work culture. We're loving the tremendous learning opportunities that come with tackling new jobs in a new country in a new language. Thanks for getting us here, Cuso, and thanks to all of our supporters!
Darlene Melnyk left a message
Nov 6, 2012 10:08 AM
I love your blog and your pictures. Your hard work with all the people and creatures you come across is felt and appreciated. carryon
Darlene Melnyk donated $100.00
Nov 6, 2012 10:04 AM
Steve Malone left a message
Sep 17, 2012 3:41 PM
Hello We are a small NGO out of Canada (Ontario) working in Honduras for the past 10 years www.hhcf.ca. Thanks for being there and doing waht you do!
Janice left a message
Aug 14, 2012 1:27 PM
Water seems to be a big issue in the toilet problem. What about waterless composting toilets? http://www.natureshead.net/land.html Just a thought.
Jody left a message
Aug 9, 2012 1:25 PM
Hi, Ron! Thanks for that advice - I know Howard but it slipped my mind to ask him. OK, he's on my list.
Ron Hasz left a message
Aug 9, 2012 1:11 PM
Jody----about competent workers in Copan. Go ask Howard--owns Terramaya and the other small hotel on the west side of Copan. I think he could help you find someone. Howard and Angela are really great people.
Derek Evans left a message
Jun 25, 2012 11:24 AM
Jody, Congratulations on your Doc, and thank you for your wonderful speech and continuing inspiration!
Colin Nielsen donated $75.00
Jun 4, 2012 1:09 AM
Karen McIvor left a message
May 30, 2012 7:10 PM
Congratulations, Dr. Paterson!
Karen donated $50.00
May 30, 2012 7:10 PM
Joan Rossa left a message
Mar 5, 2012 3:55 PM
It's nice to be a small part in what you are doing.
Joan Rossa donated $200.00
Mar 5, 2012 3:54 PM
Jody left a message
Mar 4, 2012 11:50 PM
Thanks to everyone who donated and helped us achieve our goal! We greatly appreciate your support of Cuso International and the work we're doing in Honduras. Check in with us on our blogs every now and then (http://closer-look.blogspot.com for Jody, http://willcocks.blogspot.com for Paul) and stay in touch!
Janice Sexton left a message
Mar 4, 2012 1:09 PM
Hi Jody, I've enjoyed reading your columns over the years and really admire you for taking on this great adventure and wish you all the best. I'm hooked on your Haiku....so much better than twittering! Janice
Janice Sexton donated $200.00
Mar 4, 2012 1:07 PM
ulysees (-: left a message
Feb 2, 2012 11:41 PM
Great to see that you've made the jump Jody... Central and South America can take up the rest of your life and then you can retire next to a mango tree, what could be better and to learn all of those gifts that these peaceful people are a part of . Thanks for doing Jody so well!! (-: hugz,
John Pelter donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 2, 2012 11:18 AM
Pat Vickers donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 2, 2012 11:17 AM
Elizabeth Pogue donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 2, 2012 11:16 AM
Phyllis Burton donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 2, 2012 11:16 AM
Sannee McFarlane donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 2, 2012 11:15 AM
Ann Rodgers donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 2, 2012 11:13 AM
Proceeds from the farewell party donated $1,300.00
Feb 1, 2012 2:20 PM
Robert Paterson donated $50.00
Jan 14, 2012 2:59 PM
Travis, Matt, Vicki, and Sean Paterson left a message
Jan 14, 2012 2:26 PM
Good luck Sis and we hope you and Paul have a great year.Travis wishes both of you some extra good luck. See you in June.
Sean Paterson donated $100.00
Jan 14, 2012 2:20 PM
A friend donated $100.00
Jan 11, 2012 6:45 PM
Shelley Morris left a message
Jan 11, 2012 6:09 PM
Friend, you inspire me, you lead by example, your heart is as big as the sky and you are beloved, prayed for and will be dearly missed!
Shelley Morris donated $100.00
Jan 11, 2012 6:08 PM
Kim Westad donated $200.00
Jan 11, 2012 2:12 PM
Michael Klazek donated $50.00
Jan 10, 2012 12:52 PM
Barry Salter left a message
Jan 10, 2012 12:00 PM
Jody Many thanks from all your friends at St. John the Divine for your help over the years. I wish you and your partner all the best in your future endeavours.
Barry Salter donated $75.00
Jan 10, 2012 11:58 AM
Gloria Hoeppner left a message
Jan 10, 2012 2:29 AM
Jody, your place in my heart will now have a Honduran chapter! Victoria is going to miss you so much! We will be tracking with you and following your blog with much interest. We wish you and Paul a most rewarding time with CUSO CASM.
Darrel & Gloria Hoeppner donated $100.00
Jan 10, 2012 1:54 AM
Gary Collins left a message
Jan 9, 2012 6:36 PM
Hi Paul and Jody, Good luck in your new life adventure. We will be paying attention.
Gary Collins donated $500.00
Jan 9, 2012 6:35 PM
Dianne Marks donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 8, 2012 11:02 PM
Denise Helm donated $100.00
Jan 7, 2012 5:14 PM
Toni Graeme left a message
Jan 7, 2012 3:58 AM
Dear Jody, it is a pleasure to support your venture with CUSO. Risk and reward is what a full life is all about and third world countries give us lot of opportunities. All the very best to you and Paul. I look forward to to blog reports.
Toni Graeme donated $50.00
Jan 7, 2012 3:55 AM
Jody Paterson left a message
Jan 6, 2012 11:07 PM
Hi, everyone! We're in the countdown now - leaving Jan. 15 - and I wanted to thank you for your generous donations. Thanks so much for all the support! Steve, you asked me a question that I'd like to answer but I can't find your email on this site - please feel free to send me an email at jodypatersonmobile@gmail.com. Thanks, everyone, and I hope you can drop by our farewell on Wed. Jan. 11, 6-10 p.m. at the Garry Oak Room of the Fairfield Community Centre.
Geoffrey Espin donated $50.00
Jan 6, 2012 9:19 PM
David A. Brown left a message
Jan 6, 2012 4:31 PM
I'm certain the heart-swelling rewards will match the challenges you and Paul find in your CUSO endeavor. We will sorely miss you both. I will be plugged into your blog. Stay safe.
David Brown donated $200.00
Jan 6, 2012 4:26 PM
Erma Siteman left a message
Jan 6, 2012 3:20 PM
Dear Jody, and partner; `What's new? , Victoria is unable to keep anything good while they drag their feet. We are the loosers! Please accept my greetings ,as a senior beginner writter. Locked Diary when you loose a loved one the diary is neglected You forgot what it contained awhile ago The mystery is, where is the key Perhaps in Spirits keeping shall we leave it there, put it all to rest Will then our strength be whole? Written by Erma Siteman `
Sam Van Schie left a message
Jan 6, 2012 12:47 PM
Best of luck in Honduras, Jody and Paul. I look forward to reading about work in the coming year.
Sam Van Schie donated $20.00
Jan 6, 2012 12:45 PM
Jane Vincent left a message
Jan 6, 2012 10:20 AM
I wish you all the best with your new adventure. Good for you doing what you want to do - they are lucky people in Honduras having you there.
Tom Hawthorn donated $100.00
Jan 6, 2012 1:56 AM
Steve Malone left a message
Jan 4, 2012 10:08 AM
I wish you well in this great mission and adventure. Where will you be located in Honduras? We are coming in March 2012. www.hhcf.ca
Cal Roskelley left a message
Dec 31, 2011 8:55 PM
Hope you all have a fantastic time in all the ways you have already both imagined (and many, many more)!
A friend donated $25.00
Dec 31, 2011 8:53 PM
Dennis Leclair left a message
Dec 27, 2011 3:26 PM
Hello Jody and Paul My name is Dennis Leclair from Kelowna BC. Today, I received from CUSO, two potential placements in Ghana and Ruwanda. I respectfully request that you provide "general" information related to your CUSO "selection" experiences and initial guidance for a potential newcomer to CUSO. I hope you all have a great holiday and I appreciate your time. Regards and the best of luck in your CUSO placement. Dennis Leclair 250 808 3313 dleclair@shawcable.com www.leclairandassociatescon
Dennis Leclair left a message
Dec 27, 2011 3:20 PM
Hello Jody and Paul My name is Dennis Leclair from Kelowna BC. Today, I received from Andrea, my confirmation for consideration for two positions. Andrea has also forwarded the position descriptions and related info that included your contact email. I will be completing my telephone interview with CUSO on January 5th. Prior to this interview, I am gathering information related to these positions and you and your associates are my first contacts. I respectfully request that you provide "gene
Barbara and George (Mom and Dad) left a message
Dec 26, 2011 9:18 AM
Hi Jody and Paul - We have always been proud of both of you and are even more proud of you as you hed off to help the people in Honduras. Travel safe! Much love
Barbara left a message
Dec 25, 2011 6:36 PM
Barbara & George Willcocks donated $500.00
Dec 25, 2011 6:18 PM
Warren Standerwick donated $135.00
Dec 23, 2011 4:54 PM
nancy Davies donated $100.00
Dec 23, 2011 4:33 PM
Bill Tieleman left a message
Dec 21, 2011 1:02 PM
Hey Jody and Paul - I'm so impressed and pleased that you are going to do this valuable work! Happy to contribute. I worked for Oxfam Canada as a fundraiser for three years in Toronto and know how important development is - and how hard to raise money. Good luck and be safe!
Bill Tieleman donated $100.00
Dec 21, 2011 1:00 PM
Kim Dinsmore left a message
Dec 16, 2011 6:13 PM
Amazing! Good Luck! I look forward to reading your blog!
georgie left a message
Dec 14, 2011 2:23 PM
Good Luck in this adventure
Georgina Scott donated $25.00
Dec 14, 2011 2:22 PM
A friend donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 12, 2011 5:17 PM
Carmel Thomson donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 12, 2011 11:06 AM
Herb left a message
Dec 10, 2011 8:41 PM
What an exciting adventure. Your energy will make things happen there as here I am sure.
Herb Neufeld donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 10, 2011 8:36 PM
Janet christie left a message
Dec 8, 2011 10:27 AM
OH My God Jody and Paul. This is amazing. I can't imagine going to a place like Honduras. My heart would break every time I opened it. You are such brave and incredible people and can't actually believe you are leaving. What am experience! May the Force be with you!
Bruce Saunders left a message
Dec 8, 2011 2:14 AM
All best, Jody. This looks like quite an adventure. We'll miss your work here. B
Bruce Saunders donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 8, 2011 2:11 AM
John left a message
Dec 7, 2011 3:21 PM
Proud of you both and looking forward to reading about your adventure!
John Carswell donated $25.00
Dec 7, 2011 3:19 PM
Sasha McInnes left a message
Dec 7, 2011 3:08 PM
I've heard so much about you, Jodi, from Doug and am delighted to hear that you're going to Honduras where I'm sure you will make a great contribution to a FREE press! Take good care. Muchos saludos cordiales!
Sasha McInnes donated $100.00
Dec 7, 2011 3:05 PM
Doug Hayman donated an undisclosed amount
Dec 7, 2011 11:47 AM
Tsugio and Susan Kurushima donated $50.00
Dec 7, 2011 10:44 AM
Tracy and Douglas Shaw donated $100.00
Dec 7, 2011 10:41 AM
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