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Granada Cathedral

Clothing collection project

Beginning in late 2008, Explore Central America - Nicaragua has been collecting clothing from visitors to Nicaragua who wish to help both urban and rural communities. This is a simple way to positively contribute.


Many visitors come to Nicaragua with luggage that is light as they anticipate to buy many souvenirs and return with full bags. Why not fill your bags both ways and contribute to those in need?


You don’t need to bring a lot – one or two items is fine, but a bag of used clothes is also gratefully accepted!


What type of items do we need?
(a) Clothes: Babies and children's clothes of all types, Adults clothes (mainly light clothinbg suitable for a hot and humid environment)). please no underwear, socks etc. All clothing must be washed and clean prior to donation. Please do not give anything that requires repair! Also, please consider that PRACTICAL clothes are more useful than DESIGNER wear.
(b) Toys: All types but not battery operated. A broken toy is of no more use to an underprivileged child than to your own child. If you would not give it to your own child then you must think twice about why you are giving to another. 
(c) Other items: Shoes, umbrellas, rain jackets
PLEASE DO NOT BUY NEW STATIONARY, SCHOOL SUPPLIES, USED CLOTHES, OR BOOKS – they can be bought much more cheaply in Nicaragua. 


Can I give the items directly to the children?
Please refer to our comments on responsible tourism. While its nice to give small gifts, remember that if a child asks you for something and you reward them with a gift, you are establishing a begging mentality. If you give a larger gift (like clothes) to one child in a community but not another, then you have responded to their actions and you have probably created resentment amongst other children who will have a negative impression of visitors. It is much better to give the items as part of an organized distribution. We will advise visitors when we will be having organized distributions and if people wish to participate they can contact us to discuss the options.


Can I still help once I am in Granada?
Some people are traveling for a long period and can’t bring anything from home. There are many second hand tourist markets in Granada (or Leon) where you can buy many clothes for a very cheap price. If you would like a member of our office staff to assist you with these purchases, please advise us via email in advance and we will organize an appropriate time and date.


How do you record donations?
We record items donated in a book in our Granada office, including your name, email address and a summary of the items. We keep a file of our distributions and they are available for perusal in the Granada office. We also keep our website frequently updated with distributions.


If you didn’t know about our projects before your trip, how can you help upon return home?

Tell friends and family about Explore Central America - Nicaragua social projects, especially those that are planning a trip to Nicaragua.


Make a donation to our Community Chest

Please do not send expensive packages of things – the cost of post, DHL or other couriers will probably be more than the value of the things and this expensive postage would be better sent to us (or another organization) where the funds will go directly to projects rather than spending a substantial amount on postage. (There is also the chance your things might go missing in the post!)


Consider projects like Stuff your Rucksack or Carry for kids for your next holiday.


How do we distribute the donated items? Good planning, in keeping with the concept of Ayni (a Peruvian concept of reciprocity gained from our work in Peru) is an important part of all of our social projects. It also plays an important part of the clothing distribution project. If we were to arrive at a village laden with clothes and proceed to give them out would end up in a “free for all”. Instead, we have a long term relationship with each of the communities we distribute clothes in, and know how many people (adults/ children/ babies) live in that community.

Prior to a clothing distribution, we will talk to the President of the community as well as the teachers at the school to get an accurate idea of what the needs are, what clothing sizes are etc.

Only one item is distributed per person, and each person is given a voucher to ensure that there is no duplication or doubling up. (Mothers are known to exchange babies in order to claim two sets of clothing etc etc)


The Distribution is carried out in a fair and calm manner with people required to queue and then select the item that they prefer.


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We are based in Granada, Nicaragua. For further information please email we are best contacted by email. we will respond within 48 hours of your enquiry, if not sooner. OR phone (505) 8447 8814 (spanish) or (505) 8982 8099 (english))

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