On Wednesday, Dec. 12, McNicholas will hold an Advent Sale to support artisans from the Cultural Center of Batahola Norte in Managua, Nicaragua. The sale will offer handmade items such as crosses, jewelry, and small paintings, with all proceeds going directly back to the Nicaraguan artists that created them. Items will be available for purchase in the library during both lunches and after school from 2:40-4:00 p.m.
McNicholas formed a relationship with the Cultural Center of Batahola Norte through the Nicaragua Immersion Trip, a summer service opportunity for McNicholas students and members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish (IHM). McNicholas students have been attending the trip through IHM since 2000, but this past summer McNick partnered with IHM to offer the program. To help the students that attended the trip last summer stay involved, Director of Campus Ministry Jeffry Hutchinson-Smyth and religion teacher John Norman decided on this fair-trade inspired event.
“Earlier this year, Mr. Norman and I discussed a couple of ways that student participants from the Nicaragua Immersion Trip might continue to practice solidarity with the people they met now that they’re back home in the U.S.,” Hutchinson-Smyth said. “Fairly traded items provide a tangible connection for those who haven’t traveled to Nicaragua to experience the creative talents of local artisans there.”
Outside of participating in the sale, those interested in Fair Trade sales or helping the Cultural Center of Batahola Norte have numerous options. Catholic Relief Services partners with Serrv International to provide an array of fairly traded items for purchase via their online catalogue. Locally, the Ten Thousand Villages store in O’Bryonville is a great location for Fair Trade items. To assist the Cultural Center of Batahola Norte, there are ways to support educational opportunities for children and adults through Project Education.
“Such a small action on our part as making a conscious purchase to support someone in a faraway place can make a big difference in the income they earn for their families,” Hutchinson-Smyth said. “Each of these simple, yet beautiful items would make excellent Christmas gifts and the proceeds of the sale ensure a just wage for the artisans as they seek to provide a dignified life for their families.”