Fundación A. Jean Brugger owns some beautiful artwork for two reasons: the President of the Nicaraguan Board of Directors, Germán Sandino, is an artist, and from 2007-2009 the Fundación operated an art gallery, Galeria del Sur, and some of the artists donated their work to the Fundación when the gallery closed.
'Lamposa' is Spanish for 'mop,' and the 'lavalamposa' is a small sturdy concrete sink to wash out things like mops. What quickly became apparent was there was no place to put our lavalamposa, so Supervising Engineer Luis Mendoza and Project Manager Katie Brugger put their heads together and came up with this little structure, that uses materials left over from construction.
Many people in town thought the building was a house because they often saw Project Manager Katie Brugger at the site. So it was good to get the sign up and let people know these are the Fundación offices.
We have decided to do the landscaping a little at a time, with donated plants and materials. The plants we started with were donated by Katie and Jean Brugger, and by Director Javier Flores. Javier also donated 4 cubic meters of soil to mix with the dirt on site. The round pavers were made using stones collected on a nearby beach. Marcelino Mendoza, father of Supervising Engineer Luis Mendoza, is a gardener at Pelican Eyes Resort, and he supervised the work of the landscaping team and planted every plant himself to make sure it was done right.
In Nicaragua it is traditional to put grills on the windows. We decided to use a simple design of interlocking squares. The grills were fabricated and installed by a Fundación scholarship student, Henry Sevilla. Henry is about to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering. He did his internship with MultiServicios, the contractor for the Fundación offices, and was also the subcontractor for the roof and flashing. Henry's family has a welding shop half a block from the new offices.
From the very first designs of the new building, Alvaro's office was located on the northern side. This was because as Program Director, there is always a stream of scholarship students heading for his office. For this reason it made sense to have his office near the entrance. But when Alvaro finally sat in his completed office, we had to laugh at the memory of the day when we had first staked out the rooms, and Alvaro had imagined sitting at his desk. In reality, where he was crouching in 2018 is very close to where he is sitting in the office this week--and he is facing the same direction, east.
The staff moved into their new offices today, with the help of two parents of scholarship students. Karla Castillo, mother of Jeyson Pérez, helped pack, and José Rafael Ruiz, father of Nancy Ruiz, loaded the furniture on his truck and drove to the new offices. Several scholarhip students also helped.
With the rainy season approaching, the engineers decided that it would be best to improve on the rainwater system. The contractors installed a drain and a large pipe to remove rain but the slope of the back yard meant some rain would possibly pool against the building. A drainage canal was built along the side of the building out to the street on the east side by Engineer (and FAJB graduate) Kenneth Avendaño and his crew
Today the contractor, Multi Sercons.sa, of Rivas, presented the keys of the new office building to the Fundación staff. Even with coronavirus prevention measures, the building was finished a month ahead of schedule. We are thrilled with the job MultiServicios and our Supervisory staff did, as the building is absolutely beautiful.
We look forward to the staff moving in to their new offices in May, and to planting a garden in front of the building. When that is complete we will be holding an open house for the entire community!
For the last four months the back of the Fundación offices has been filled with a storage shed, a contractor's office, and construction materials. Now that it has been cleaned out we are celebrating how much space we have!
The plan is to build a simple patio to make the yard useful for student meetings and other gatherings. Our longer-term goal is to build a meeting room here, which will be used for student meetings, workshops, and also be available to rent to provide an income for the Fundación.