Rick’s Heart Foundation has been actively involved in helping the community of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua for many years now. From sponsoring convoys of emergency support vehicles, sending a playground, funding dinners for the Community whom live around the Chinandega dump, sponsoring shipments of needed supplies to even sending our Foundation’s Staff member down to bring sports equipment for the local children. Below is an article surrounding the Playground Delivery.

“Operation Nicaragua would like to thank our partners Rick’s Heart Foundation, Diamond Delivery and Ocean Trailer for their support and for helping make the Jiquilillo Playground Project a reality.

Approximately 1 year ago the City of Kamloops was planning on demolishing a play structure that had provided countless children years of enjoyment. This play structure was offered to the Kamloops Fire Fighters Charitable Society and plans were made to relocate it south. This was bound to be a major undertaking and would not have been possible without the assistance of volunteers and corporate sponsorship.

Rick’s Heart Foundation, Diamond Delivery and Ocean Trailer are shining examples of companies that have made this world a better place through corporate responsibility. These groups are the altruistic beacons that others need to follow. These companies provide help to people that do not use their services, children that will never personally thank them and seniors they will never meet. This epitomizes the true meaning of giving.

Rick’s Heart Foundation has provided the Operation Nicaragua Project and more importantly the people of Nicaragua with sports equipment to improve the lives of thousands of children and are financial contributors to make these projects a reality. Furthermore, they provide a template of generosity that other companies need to follow to improve this planet. As a business they provide services for financial gain, and they are also able to provide these same services for a humanitarian gain. For example Diamond Delivery has transported thousands of humanitarian relief items to get them to the people that need them most. Ocean trailer provides the shipping containers that are the backbone of the Operation Nicaragua Projects. These containers are used to transport the donations and are re-purposed once delivered in country. They have been used to provide aid caches, community centres, sorting goods storage, fire stations and food storage. To make an impact on the betterment of our shared planet a company needs to look at the services they provide and see if their specialties can be re-purposed to assist those locally or globally.

With the utmost respect and gratitude, Operation Nicaragua would like to thank Rick’s Heart Foundation, Diamond Delivery and Ocean Trailer for being part of the solution.

The Kamloops Firefighters International Projects:

In 1992, a tsunami destroyed the fishing village of Jiquilillo, located on the west coast of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas. After 2 firefighter took a recent trip to Nicaragua they immediately saw the desperate need for supplies of all kinds, from clothing to ambulances. Ricks Heart Foundation and Diamond Delivery teamed up with the Kamloops Firefighters to get urgently needed supplies to those in dire need in Nicaragua.

“Our Fire crew was doing a safety inspection at an elementary school and found piles of desks and chairs that were landfill bound. We had a medical call at a care home and discovered that older beds and wheelchairs get sent to the scrap yard. This system needed to change and we are doing something about it!” Operation Nicaragua, with the help of so many loving hearts, has shipped the following to Nicaragua:

– 10 firetrucks
– 2 ambulances
– 11 Shipping containers of humanitarian aid
– almost 300,000 lbs of goods
– over 100,000 pieces of clothing
– 15,000 pairs of shoes
– hundreds of firefighters bunker gear
– over 100 breathing apparatus for fire-fighters
– 30 hospital beds
– 50 wheelchairs and walkers
– 1 playground
– thousands of hospital linens
– 100 water purification systems
– 20 sewing machines
– dozens of computers
– And more!

This project has received several awards and team members have been appointed honorary officers in the Nicaraguan Fire Service and 2 Members have received the highest rank of Commandante of the Bomberos de Nicaragua. It is also of great importance to mention that these projects are a 2 way operation. The Canadian firefighters and volunteers are able to re-purpose discarded items from Canada and give them a second life.

Operation Nicaragua thanks or partners across the globe including Rick’s Heart Foundation, Diamond Delivery, the Bomberos of Chinandega and our dedicated warehouse volunteers.

Kamloops Fire Fighters Charitable Society is a registered charity and long time partner with Rick’s Heart Foundation.”

On the left is a video from when the playground was first set up in Jiquilillo, Nicargua.

Below are photos of the Community of Jiquilillo and Chinandega: the meal we provided, school supplies and their home.