CKD

Recent reports have described an apparent epidemic of CKD along the Pacific coast of Central America, such that CKD is a leading cause of death among working-age men in lower-altitude agricultural communities in this region. Given the limited availability of kidney replacement therapies in this region, CKD often is a terminal diagnosis, lending greater urgency to the identification of a modifiable cause. This article discusses the epidemiology of CKD in this region, reviews the clinical features of this CKD outbreak...

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Factories of Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited

In the 1880′s, Nicaragua was the first country in Central American to begin producing centrifugal sugar; today it is estimated that Nicaragua will produce 542,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar, about 0.4% of production worldwide.  Of the total sugar produced in Nicaragua, 25.6% of it is exported and 14.6% is destined for the US.  Furthermore, among the top sugar...

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Community Visit – SchoolBOX

Having spent several weeks with the people of the La Isla community, I thought I had a good impression of what it meant to be poor.  Within this community, over 90% of the families live off of less than 1USD a day, there is no running water, and the water being drawn from each home’s well is questionable at best.  However, when a friend of mine, working for...

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A day with the people of la Isla

I lay, face up, in my bed listening to my host family noisily and lovingly get ready for bed in the room next to mine. There is a hole in my mosquito net the size of an orange, my only defense against the raiders of the night which will, the following morning, have left their mark of visit over most of my body. I’m staying with a mother and the five children of...

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HDR in León, Nicaragua

Now that I’m back home, I’m able to put together the 9 shot HDR images I took on my first weekend in León; enjoy the...

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Panama Panorama

Had the chance of getting on the rooftop of one of the tallest buildings in downtown Panama City with a very good friend; enjoy the...

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Faces of Nicaragua

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Faces of death painted at Ingenio San Antonio

Word of a death travels quickly in these tiny, rural towns of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.  Behind the homemade shack of metal siding and plastic walls, I see three men with latex gloves preparing the deceased man of about 55 years old; his wife does not want to see the body, but as I walk behind the makeshift preparation room made of hanging sheets, she comes with me and...

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The voices at Ingenio San Antonio & Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited – Part 3

I continue with my series of interviews together with some of the workers at Ingenio San Antonio (ISA); this time the words come from two paileros, men who work in sugar cane fields after they have been burned, their task is to cut all the cane down so that it can later be collected into massive trailers and hauled away to the factory to be processed as sugar. What...

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The voices at Ingenio San Antonio & Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited – Part 2

She was born a perfectly normal child, says her mother, nothing out of the ordinary that would give warning for what would happen in the future to this little girl. When she was 6 months old, she was taken to the doctor and was diagnosed with a kidney infection as well an inflammation of her liver. Because her mother is poor, she couldn’t afford proper treatment for...

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Weekend in Jiquilillo

I spent the weekend in Jiquilillo: a beautiful, touristically almost untouched  beach-city in northern Nicaragua.  Although we spent a little over one complete day there, our time there was filled with breath taking sights, memorable experience and an overall relaxing and re-energizing spirit.  I was able to watch some of the locals surf, I learned about some of the...

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The voices at Ingenio San Antonio & Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited – Part 1

My interviews with the people of the La Isla community have begun; the aim being to give a voice to the workers at Ingenio San Antonio, the Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited plantation currently employing these people. CAO (Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman), the independent recourse mechanism for the IFC (International Finance Corporation), is setup to handle official...

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Where do Bananas come from?

“Sure, as long as you help carry the watermelons”, he smirks as he answers whether or not I can go with his mother to Managua to get the next week’s fruits and vegetables which will be sold at his market stand. I had mentioned that Wesley and his mother, go, twice a week, to Managua to restock the supplies that they had sold previously within the small...

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The Children of La Isla

Where do I begin? A small primary school was built, next to the spring-water filled swimming hole, so that the kids of La Isla could have a different future than that of plantation work. They are on break, currently, until the 15th of February, and so loiter around during the day with nothing to do. Myself, and two German volunteers, headed to the community organizing a...

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Market colors

From 6am to 6pm, everyday, the covered market behind the large cathedral is a busy hive of people moving in and out with their own objectives and desires. On one side, one can buy any color of the myriad amounts of fruits and vegetables locally grown, on the other freshly cut meats and freshly fished fish, in between, your standard junk. I sat a good half an hour on a...

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León – First Impressions

I spent the better part of yesterday’s entire day in the streets and among the people of León, Nicaragua’s second largest and most colonial city. In some way, I find this city quite romantic with its countless shops and restaurants dotting the endless streets, the decrepit yet brightly colored Spanish colonial architecture, and with its people constantly...

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The Journey: Nicaragua

My journey began on Thursday,11:00AM.  I am waiting for my first bus, to take me to San José, in a large room full of hustling and bustling people.  I look around me and realize, to my satisfaction, that I am the only gringo in sight; after all, who goes to a foreign country to exchange with your fellow countrymen? I’ve been warned that these buses, as a secondary...

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Oh wie schön ist Panama

There are no addresses in Central America, at least not in the sense the we, in the Western world, know of them. A taxi would therefor take me from the airport to the beach town where my friends were waiting and beginning the New Year’s celebrations. I had no clue about how to get in touch with him once arrived, or what he looked like, or if I would even get...

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La Isla Foundation Non-Profit

Every since I was faced with the task of figuring out what I should do with my life, after having graduated with my Engineering Degree, I was highly motivated to seek out work/volunteering time with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) At the time, I was finding it harder than I had originally thought, to find a suitable organization to work with; so, instead, I went to...

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