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Echoes of Silence Projects

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

This page is under constant construction but here´s some photos and text re CIPRES, Cafe Sandino, the dome office, even a photo of Echoes founder Paul Baker Hernandez, lurking behind 8 year-old son - and constant delight - Joel Anthony BH. Incidentally, Joel is also the little dancing dude in home page picture, about 3.5 years old, wearing his brother's too big hat and bandaids.



El Che watches over the entrance to CIPRES. What was it he said about true revolutionaries really being lovers?



Text reads: Welcome. The best business for the people is growing food. Support small farmer economy.

CIPRES is dedicated to eradicating hunger in Nicaragua. Its programmes form the cornerstone of the new FSLN government´s Zero Hunger programme (see Diary, January 2)



CIPRES has acres of fencing right on one of Managua´s busiest roads. On them, we will re-paint some of the wonderful revolutionary murals obliterated by criminal ex-president Arnoldo Aleman. And create new ones for today´s revolution, where the environment takes over from the dodo politicians. Among these, a huge Sandino and his wife, Blanca Arauz, pouring out the land´s bounty, gazing directly across into the idiocy of consumerist Metrocentro shopping mall. It´s lurking behind the ESSO sign. Two versions of development face-to-face.

If you want to join us, please do. Same goes for all the other projects listed here.



Cafe Sandino - an integral part of CIPRES. Trade justice cafe, with coffee roaster and home cooking bakery, international/national meeting place, centre for revolutionary arts, plotting, chatting, preparing demonstrations, cooperative movement and more. See item 2 below.



Some of the model farmers on the CIPRES demostration farm.



A memorial to those who took Che at his word. Nearly half Nicaragua´s population was involved in the great Literacy drive. It was almost the first thing the Sandinistas did after taking office in 1979, taking Carlos Fonseca´s, ´And teach them to read,' to heart.

The new government is already hard at work on reducing illiteracy once again, these first heroic efforts largely ruined by 16 years of greedy neo-liberalism. Needless to say, those other wicked ´terrorists´, Hugo and Fidel, are helping. And so, according to the US State Department, "destabilizing the region"!



2. Café Sandino

A Center for Popular Struggle


The site of this new venture – a Just Trade café and much more - is 4 manzanas, owned by the not-for-profit organization Centre for the Investigation, Development and Promotion of Rural and Social Economy (CIPRES) in the very heart of consumerist Managua. The property is legally secured against sale. CIPRES is strategically placed right across from the luxurious shopping mall (at Rotonda Ruben Dario) and the cathedral of many pimples that the wealthy élite´are trying to make the centre of the city. On the one side. On the other, the University of Central America, the Technical University and the Engineering University. Plus the offices of the Union of Workers in the Countryside, the ATC. It has a working café building with a bar, kitchen and three large public rooms, office buildings, acres of green area, a model farm based on permacultural principles, meeting rooms, an auditorium, a patio for holding modest outdoor concerts (300-400 people) with wonderful overarching guanacaste trees, and a natural amphitheatre for gatherings of up to 1000. It has a huge square footage of fencing right on the main road for mural work. There we plan to create a gigantic Sandino/Blanca Arrauz mural to gaze directly across into the shopping mall, and to repaint some of the revolutionary murals blotted out by Arnoldo Alemán. It even has tennis and basketball courts. The initial Café coordinating group comprises Orlando Nuñez, internationally renowned economist, analyst and author, Coordinator of CIPRES; Nick Hoskyns, International Representative of the Nicaraguan Fair Trade and Organic Cooperative Movements; Magda Lanuza, Research and Campaigns Coordinator with the Center for International Studies; Elvira Blass Martinez, Environmental Journalist, Co-coordinator Environmental Community, and co-founder of the Victor Jara Cultural Movement; Paul Baker Hernández, singer/songwriter and author, Coordinator of the Echoes of Silence Cultural Workers Network.


Dimensions of the Café. Some exist already, some would be medium term projects; some longer-term.


• Fair Trade Coffee, wine, sesame, honey and other products and services of the fair trade, cooperative, and organic movements

• A ‘Shop window’ for cooperatives, communities and their projects

• Demonstration permaculture farm offering programme and support to enable people to stay on the land creatively and sustainably

• A ‘Democracy of work’

• Office for the promotion and coordination of the popular struggle in Nicaragua

• Office for ‘media’ and other communications work

• Office to forge cyber-connections with the global popular struggle

• Local, national and international meeting places

• Information about, and connections with, grass-roots projects based throughout Nicaragua and Central America

• Revolutionary music and poetry, both live and recorded

• Peñas every month

• Video-making capacity

• Presentation of important videos and films

• Exhibitions

• Spaces to present non-commercial music from all over the world, with the greatest proponents of ‘Classical’, Flamenco, Jazz and other disciplines. Together with a ‘silent’ room dedicated to the song of the wind, the birds and the trees

• Craft market for the cooperatives

• Farmers’ market for organic and fair trade products

• Play park for children

• Meeting rooms and auditorium

• Cheap lodgings for visiting artists, national and international delegations

• Quality, cheap foods from Nicaragua, Chile, Bolivia, and other countries, accompanied where possible with typical music and participative dance

• Meeting/launching point for demonstrations

• Meadows, copses, ponds and other natural environments

• Free Space


• Community theatre, dance, clowns, gigantonas (giant women: 8 ft high puppets - traditional Nicaraguan street theatre resistance to imperialism) etc.

• Assistance to artists of all sorts from impoverished barrios/countryside enabling them to bring their message and experience to the heart of the capital

• Lectures on poetry and the other arts by local, national and international artists

• Master classes by artists of every type

• Library with movement articles, magazines, books, CDs, videos, films

• Museum of the revolutionary process in Nicaragua and worldwide

• Centre for child care

• Clinic for natural medicine and preventative health care

• Project to repaint some of the great revolutionary murals painted out on Aleman’s orders

• Project to paint new murals celebrating the struggle today and tomorrow

• Workshops to train people in community organizing, the committed arts, conscientization, etc.

• Art/Music/singing classes

• Workshops to plan events, paint banners, create puppets, invent dances

• Ceramics workshop

• Seminars on positive initiatives for socially-responsible trade such as ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean

• Offices of various organizations involved in popular struggle

• Eco-buildings using local creativity, materials and personnel

• Intelligent technology development and usage: solar, acoustic, of the water and the wind

• Tennis and basketball courts for ‘Sandino Cup’ tournaments

• Swimming Pool/alternative exercise gym

• Asylum for street horses, cared for by 'street children'

• Centre for the development and promotion of alternative transportation

• The production of handspun, hand-knitted sweaters for Northern markets



Otra vez, en español


Café Sandino: Un Centro para la Lucha Popular


Este nuevo proyecto – un café de comercio justo y mucho más - está ubicado en el corazón de Managua. Esta situado en el CIPRES (Centro para la Promoción, la Investigación y el Desarrollo Rural y Social,) un refugio verde de cuatro manzanas.

CIPRES está ubicada estratégicamente al otro lado del lujoso Centro Comercial (a la Rotunda Rubén Darío) y la nueva catedral que el gobierno quiere consagrar como el centro de la “nueva” Managua. Alrededor de CIPRES están la UCA, la Universidad Tecnológica de Nicaragua, y la Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería. Café Sandino/CIPRES disponen de un café con bar, cocina y tres salones de comer, recintos de oficina, una granja modelo que practica la agricultura sustentable, canches de tenis y baloncesto, salones públicos, un auditorio y un patio para conciertos (para hasta 400 personas) con unos impresionantes guanacastes, y un anfiteatro natural para reuniones de hasta 1000 personas. Tiene centenares de varas cuadradas de alambre sobre la calle principal, idóneo para los murales. Tenemos planes de construir allí un Sandino grandote que enfrentará al Metro Centro opuesto, y repintaremos algunos de los murales destruidos por Arnoldo Alemán. El grupo de coordinación del Café consiste en Orlando Núñez, economista, autor y Coordinador de CIPRES; Nick Hoskyns, Representante Internacional del Movimiento Para el Comercio Justo y Para Cooperativas Orgánicas; Magda Lanuza, Coordinadora de Investigaciones y Campañas para el Centro de Estudios Internacionales; Elvira Blass Martinez, periodista ecologista y co-coordinadora de la Comunidad Ambiental; Paul Baker Hernández, cantautor, coordinador de la Red de Trabajadores Culturales “Ecos de Silencio.”


Facetas del Café.

Algunos ya existen, algunos serian proyectos a plazo mediano, algunos a largo plazo:


• Café de comercio justo, vino, sésamo, miel y otros productos y servicios de los movimientos justo comercio, cooperativas y o


(lo sentimos - hay un glitch, temporal ...



3. 'El Famoso domo',



The office is being constructed from bamboo (skeleton) and adobe (skin). Looks a bit fragile, but once it's all tied in and the adobe's set hard, it'll stand up to earthquakes.

The embryonic piranha pad.


Next pictures are of Daniela and Bob, by Daniela and Bob. They were travelling through and really kicked the project into gear. Note the hard hats and specialist equipment. Really, anyone can join in. D and B thought the whole CIPRES-Echoes-Cafe Sandino set-up was one of the best projects they'd found in a year's travelling. This is Daniela.



Eventual internal space will be about 9 feet high by 12.5 feet radius. It will have a natural airflow cooling system (warm air rising pulls cooler air in), and be solar powered for computer/phone, etc. Outside will be covered (eventually) by bourgainvillea (is that how you spell it?). Not only will it be cool, it'll also be very beautiful. Here's Bob, slogging away.



Like all the best offices, it`ll incorporate a fish pond and a mango tree. So, while writing the definitive political tract one will be able to pull in a flounder and pluck off a mango, right from the desktop. And stripping off for the dog days of summer, the desktop doubles as diving board (OK, where did the piranhas come from?) Also, please note the tennis court. CIPRES was once owned by a Somoza lackey. The plan is to get the Williams sisters here, to launch a tennis festival to bring in loot for all the CIPRES projects. Not as nutty as it sounds: connections exist with TENACITY, an inner-city tennis program in Boston, USA. Where Patrick McEnroe and others help out. We'll see. Meantime, it's great for starting the bougainvillea. Anyone with other ideas, please write us.


In line with CIPRES principles and the inevitable Gandhi quote: "Build your house from stuff found within a 500 yard radius", el famoso domo will hopefully serve cooperatives and other communities as a model for low cost, extremely strong (earthquakes), construction, with no specialist tools or skills required.

It's tremendous fun, immensely creative, and the setting is so beautiful. Why don't you join us? If you can get here, we can offer accommodation and food.



4. Son and Father


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