Eagle County clothes kids in Central America
VAIL The Eagle County based Central America Foundation (CAF) will host a School Uniform Drive for Limon, Nicaragua from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday at Samana Lounge in Vail Village. A $20 donation at the door sponsors one child in need of a school uniform. Once inside Samana, attendees can sample food from eat! drink!, enjoy drink specials and a wine tasting. All attendees will also be entered to win door prizes from local merchants including the Golden Bear, Taste of Vail, Vin 48, tickets to Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals concert and more. CAF founder and Louisiana native Kelley Brupbacher has a passion for Central America and its people. After many vacations to Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama where she met incredible people living in abject poverty, Brupbacher, an Avon resident for the past 10 years, decided to do something to help. She recently formed the Central America Foundation (CAF) whose mission is to provide relief in three main areas: educational, medical and cultural relief to small and remote villages throughout Central America.Our goal is to provide school and medical supplies, medical training and new or additional community buildings to villages throughout Central America, Brupbacher said. On a recent trip to Panama I visited a community where 120 children ages 3 to 18 spent their entire school day in a small school room, Brupbacher continued. The kids had to rotate out so much that they were only getting about an hour-and-a-half of lessons a day. I thought, if I could just get enough building materials and volunteers, we could build a three-room school for these kids and really change their lives. Thats where the Central America Foundation was born. Targeting small projects in rural communities, CAF aims to change lives in Central America. We also hope to cultivate programs that educate locals on creating items relevant to their heritage for financial stability. Ive met women in these communities who create the most beautiful fabrics, rugs or jewelery, yet the thought of selling these goods to tourists or merchants has never crossed their mind. I hope to change that, Brupbacher said.The school uniform need in Nicaragua came to CAFs attention on a weeklong visit last month. Nearly 100 students are unable to attend school because of their families inability to buy uniforms. CAF board member Angela Rossi helped identify the schools and visited with the teachers and students. When we showed up, they demonstrated incredible gratitude and organization to us. The teachers had concise lists of which students needed uniforms, their proper sizing, etc. We were so impressed, we decided that the sooner we could get these kids uniforms, the better. There was obviously a great need.CAF has partnered with other local organizations for different causes in Central America. Vail PM donated time to build the newly-launched Web site http://www.cafoundation.org and Vail Mountain Coffee Rosters has committed to teaming up and helping a plantation in Guatemala. Were small, but were going to make a big difference in peoples quality of life, Brupbacher said. Were so fortunate to live in such a beautiful and generous community here in Vail, and so many of us spend our vacations in Central America whether surfing, exploring or just hanging out, I feel like we can all give a little bit back to those that make our experiences so magical.For more information about the Central America Foundation, visit http://www.cafoundation.org or call 390-6099.
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