Hi everyone,

So I contacted Witness for Peace.

THE WfP PLAYERS:

Brooke, Christine and Riahl are the current "Nicaragua Team" of Witness for Peace. They will be the ones working with the PC students to design and organize the delegation trip to Nicaragua. These are the folks who live in Nicaragua and will set up all the meetings with local people, coffee farmers, economists, rural homestays with coffee families, etc.

Ken is the "Delegation Coordinator" for Witness for Peace and he lives in Chicago. Ken is the person who helps with logistics on the U.S. side of things. He helps to schedule the delegation, take your money (yes, we must pay for this trip! Which could mean fundraising money for it!), and advise you on things like what to pack and what shots you should get, etc. He can also help with advise about how to fundraise, such as providing sample letters to your "friends and family." He'll also send each delegate a "Nicaragua Reader," which is an *awesome* packet of information about U.S. policies in Nicaragua, trade and immigration policies, coffee and other commodities that Nicaragua exports to the U.S., etc.

Susan is the New England Regional Organizer for Witness for Peace. She lives in North Kingston, RI. She will help the students AFTER the delegation to connect with local organizing on trade and coffee issues. For example, she could help you set up a visit with your state senator or representative to discuss what you learned in Nicaragua and to ask for specific policy changes.

SCHEDULING:

The calendar is filling up, so we need to decide if we are going to do this, and if so, WHEN.

Currently, there is space during Providence College's 2012 spring break, the 10th-18th of March. Is that possible for those of you who are planning to go on this delegation?

The May/June period is very busy for delegations and the calendar is starting to fill up quickly for May/June dates. There are currently still dates available, but if this is a time when you'd be interested in doing the delegation it's *strongly recommended* that we get these dates on the calendar ASAP before the dates fill up with other groups.

NUMBERS:

The minimum number of delegates is 10 and the max is 20 (but this, like all things, can budge a little bit).

The total fee is based on the number of days and the delegates, but roughly it costs $90 per delegate per day with the two travel days each counting as a half day. THere is an additional $150 fee per delegate, that goes to support Witness for Peace's organizing work in the New England region.

So, some quick math: a 10-day delegation (including 2 travel days and 8 full days in Nicaragua) would be $960 per person, plus airfare.

An 8-day delegation (including 2 travel days and 6 full days in Nicaragua) would be $780 per person, plus airfare.

Ken says: "Most university delegations take advantage of vacation or spring break weeks. They leave for Nicaragua on a Saturday or Sunday and return the following Saturday or Sunday."

I also recall that there are a couple of "scholarships" that become available if a critical number of delegates join the trip. This is something for our point people to ask Ken about, so that we're clear on how many people we need to join the trip before we start getting some scholarships/price breaks.

Obviously, the sooner we set the dates of the delegation and start getting delegates signed up (which includes completing the application and putting down a deposit), the sooner we can begin fundraising for our trips. We can, and should, have a conversation about fundraising to decide how we want to do that. There are different methods to helping make the trip more affordable, including pooling our money for "scholarships" for students who really need it, or fundraising as a group to lower the cost equally for everyone.

POINT PEOPLE:

Kristin and Esteban have been the first two in our class to volunteer to be the delegation point people. So, at this point, I am sending an email to Kristin, Esteban, and the WfP folks to put them in touch. Then Kristin and Esteban will be taking things from there...

Fundraising Tips:
I will put the document on here, but I just wanted to highlight some key points. They recommend doing the individual fundraising, but I kinda am leaning towards a collective fundraising. What does everyone think? Also, start thinking about places we can go to for fundraising, churches organizations etc. They recommend hosting a party or writing to businesses.