After an amazing couple of weeks of giving out school supplies to various schools and volunteering with the San Juan del Sur Library & Wyoming Rotary, we were excited to keep on spreading the word about LOOTB and the San Juan del Sur library to the local community. Our good friends, Elisha and Gord from In Nica Now, told us about the Pitaya Festival–a very fun week long event that brings the entire local community together with different events each night to raise money for various causes that needed help in San Juan del Sur, including our beloved Los Pipitos school.
We looked at the week long line up and saw that there was an opportunity to host a booth all day at the main event on Saturday at Hermosa beach where there would be a surf contest, food & beer vendors, live music and an epic DJ concert at night until the wee hours of the morning. It sounded like a great time and a wonderful opportunity to tell people about LOOTB, so we signed up.
We talked to our local artisan, Humberto, and had him make a few special bracelets specifically for the Pitaya festival with the bright pink, purple, green and black colors of a pitaya (Dragon fruit). We picked them up, drove with Gord & E to the beach and then set up shop with our homemade LOOTB banners and new bracelets.
We had many people come up and ask just what LOOTB and Life Out of the Box was and it was really fun telling everyone what we’re all about. We also helped recruit volunteers for the San Juan del Sur library as they still needed more help painting and fixing up schools.
People were touched, supportive and excited to be able to make a direct impact on the kids here in Nicaragua through a handmade bracelet. It wasn’t just another bracelet to them, it was a LOOTB bracelet. We wrote down everyone’s emails so we could send them the link to the child they gave school supplies to through the San Juan del Sur library.
The best kind of work is when you get to mix business with pleasure and that’s exactly what the Pitaya festival was for us. We had a few beers, checked out the surf contest, enjoyed the live music playing right in front of us all while we were selling bracelets and spreading the word about LOOTB.
One of my favorite parts of the live music was when the kids of BPP, the Barrio Planta Project, danced and reinacted a scene from Greese. The Barrio Planta Project is an education NGO in San Juan del Sur created to empower low-income children living in Nicaragua. They teach the kids English, dance and other creative arts to give the students exposure to enriching cultural activities. And they taught them my favorite scene in Greese! Never in a million years would I have thought that I’d be sitting at a beach in Nicaragua watching a live scene from Greese. They were wonderful and it was our first introduction to the amazing kids of BPP.
We had such a great time hanging out with our friends, new and old, teaching people about LOOTB and the San Juan del Sur library and learning about new NGOs. Before we knew it, the sun was setting, the families starting leaving and the DJ starting setting up on stage. Time flies when you’re having fun.
An hour after dark we started closing up shop as well so that we could watch the awesome concert on the beach with our friends while of course rocking our LOOTB bracelets. This was the life. This was Life Out of the Box.