BGF in Nicaragua: Expanding Operations in Central America

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Helping those in Nicaragua comes at no small cost. It takes people and money to get the job done. Building Goodness Foundation is pushing for both of those things as it expands into Central America.

Wrapping up his first trip to Nicaragua in 15 years, Kelly Eplee, the executive director of the Building Goodness Foundation, sees a lot of potential for the developing nation.

"Our potential to work with that is awesome because we can work with people who want to help themselves," he stated.

Eplee says his group has a new list of priorities. Volunteers met with staff at the Carlos Centeno Primary Hospital and Siuna municipal staff to better understand the needs of the area.

"There's nothing like meeting people on the ground where they are," Eplee stated.

Building Goodness Foundation hopes to place a project manager on the ground in Siuna for a month. That person will coordinate volunteer trips to work on priority projects.

Robin Joslin, the BGF Nicaragua project manager, said, "They know the local infrastructure. They know where the bathroom is. They know where the hospital is. They know where the hardware store is and that is very important."

Based in the United States, Joslin says having someone physically on the ground can only help. "The person that's on the ground is the person that is most capable of taking care of that," he said.

BGF is continuing its search for project partners to collaborate with. Bridges to Community and the University of Virginia are already on board to help, but donors at home are in demand.

"We do labor for free so often the money goes directly to getting the volunteer to the place where they're needed or buying materials that are needed," Eplee said.

That money will help BGF continue to not just do but teach those who need it most.

Nicaragua may be a developing nation but it's becoming a booming place for tourism. Friday on NBC29 HD news we'll take a look at the attractions and how BGF is helping with that piece of the puzzle.

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