Novemer 12, 1997


Dear Readers,

We've tried to make this November 12 issue of URRACAN UPDATE mercifully brief -- or rather, not as extensive as the last issue. The long poem at the end can be taken for optional humor.

One of our readers complained that the lines of text get truncated in their journey through cyberspace. As an experiment, we've narrowed the margins to five inches in our Word 6 format before transferring it to our Microsoft Exchange mail program. We don't send the material as an attachment because many of our readers do not have the software to read attachments.

Feedback on this problem will be much appreciated.



California computer specialist Takashi Yogi is now on our Bluefields campus helping to install computers and to train personnel. He works with the US group EARTHLINKS (Santa Barbara, CA) and visited URACCAN last year to initiate this work.

He will spend several days on each of our three campuses offering support and training on hardware use and maintenance. Welcome Takashi.


[URACCAN UPDATE received the following news release from Pastors for Peace that we would like to share with our readers]

For Immediate Release, November 12, 1997

Contact: IFCO/Pastors for Peace tel: 773-271-4817 fax: 773-271-5269

email: p4p@igc.apc.org

Pastors for Peace Supports Ambushed Bishops in Chiapas, Mexico

In the shadow of recent attacks against Bishops Samuel Ruiz and Raul Vera of

Chiapas, a caravan of 25 volunteers from IFCO/Pastors for Peace is on its

way to southern Mexico and Nicaragua to deliver hundreds of thousands of

dollars in humanitarian aid. The 10-vehicle caravan is currrently on its

way through the US, traveling along eight routes with planned stops in 80

cities for material aid collections, educational events and press conferences.

Last week, on Tuesday, November 4th, Bishops Samuel Ruiz and Raul Vera were

ambushed on a country road in the Mexican State of Chiapas. The bishops

were attacked along with a group of 60 people who were following in two

open-bed trucks. The group was hit with several bursts of automatic weapons

fire from a nearby hill. Three people were wounded, but Bishops Ruiz and

Vera were not hit by the gunfire. In addition to the two bishops, those

riding in the ambushed vehicles included a parish priest, two nuns, several

catechists and worshipers of the parish and the doctor of the parish clinic,

who immediately attended those wounded in the attack.

Several weeks ago, when the Bishops' pastoral visit to the region was

announced, a right-wing paramilitary group, called "Paz y Justicia,"

threatened the group and stated they would block the road to prevent the

caravan's passing.

After the attack occurred, the Dioceses of San Cristobal de las Casas in

Chiapas issued a statement saying, in part: "The attacks against our

Bishops and those travelling with them is one more act that confirms the

dramatic situation that our State is suffering."

The caravan will arrive in Chiapas on November 24th and will be one of the

first groups on the scene after this most recent attack. Pastors for Peace

volunteers will document human rights violations and provide an

international presence in the war-torn region of southern Mexico.

In addition, the caravan will deliver emergency relief aid, including food

and medicine, to indigenous communities that have been ravaged by the conflct.

Previous Pastors for Peace relief efforts to Chiapas have also been attacked

by right wing paramilitary groups. In March 1995, a 17 year-old caravan

member was seriously wounded after masked gunmen surrounded and attacked a

school bus filled with humanitarian aid. In November 1996, another Pastors

for Peace vehicle, carrying over a dozen caravan members, food and medicine,

was shot at by a member of Paz y Justicia in the northern zone of Chiapas.

Pastors for Peace is an action/education project of the Interreligious

Foundation for Community Organization. Since 1988, Pastors for Peace has

organized nearly 20 humanitarian aid caravans to Mexico, Guatemala, El

Salvador, Nicaragua, and Cuba in support of communities, churches and non

governmental organizations. Today there are over 300 Pastors for Peace

school buses, ambulances and trucks in Mexico, Cuba and Central America. In

addition, over 35 million dollars worth of humanitarian aid has been

delivered by thousands of volunteers from the US, Canada and Europe.


It's good news for Mother Nature and for her children on our Caribbean Coast. Investers, who want to build a dry canal (railway) in the region, however, have received the news with mixed feelings. The good news is that a recent study shows that a wide swath of Caribbean Coast forests devastated by Hurricane Joan in 1988 are now in a process of revival. The devastated area is the path traced b

y the hurricane from Bluefields west towards Chontales province. The nine-year study was carried out by the Caribbean Coast research association CIDCA [Centro de Investigaciones y Documentacion de la Costa Atlantica]. It confirms that several typical native species are taking root. Natural regrowth is producing trees with a high potential value for lumbering.

David Bradford, deputy director of CIDCA, told the Managua daily El Nuevo Diaro (reporter Maria Lourdes Tercero) that their study does not support the claim that this is a "degraded area". People who believe this claim see no reason to oppose building a dry canal there. [See END, November 8, 1997].

The area is neither "dead" nor "unrecoverable". The study predicts that this tropical forest should recover fully within the next twenty-five years. Natural recovery rarely occurs when forests are destroyed by the extension of the agricultural frontier. Slash-and-burn land clearing damages tropical forests almost permanently.

Nicaragua's Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) recently presented CIDCA with its prestigious "Siempre Virens" [Forever Green] Environmental Protection Award.

CIDCA's "Monitoreo del Bosque Huracanado" project has received considerable publicity abroad in specialized scientific periodicals such as Environmental Management, Ecology, Bioscience, and the Revista de Biologia Tropical [Tropical Forests Review].


Two Managua dailies both gave front page coverage to the November 10 International Day of Action to protest illegal logging in the RAAN (Nicaragua's North Atlantic Autonomous Region) by the Korean company SOLCARSA [Sol del Caribe, S.A.].

"El Nuevo Diario" ran a front page picture of demonstrators at the Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington and a photo and story (on page 7) titled: "Abogan en todo el mundo por bosques de Nicaragua [Word-wide support for Nicaragua's forests]". The photos show people carrying placards with slogans such as "Viva la Region Autonoma" and "Protect the Rainforests of Nicaragua -- Lungs of the World".

"Barricada" ran a front page story [Marches in the US - Solkarsa provokes protests] and a page-8 color photo of demonstrators in New York. One placard reads "Solidaridad con los Pueblos de la RAAN [Solidarity with the People of the RAAN]. "Barricada" carried a front-page feature November 14 reporting claims by Nicaraguan environmental groups that the Korean company bribed members of the RAAN Aut

onomous Council to obtain their lumber concession. The article described the opposition to the concession from indigenous elders and community leaders. Photos of the demonstrations in the U.S. accompanied the featured item.

In its November 11 edition END ran a story on the Nicaraguan protests. Demonstrations took place in several communities. Radio stations on the Caribbean Coast broadcast information denouncing the activities of SOLCARSA. A network of Nicaraguan organizations has been formed to coordinate activities related to this issue. It includes Jovenes Ya (Youth Environmentalists), CEPAD (the main Protesta

nt development alliance), OPDESCA (Organization for the Promotion of Atlantic Coast Development), Guia Ambientalista (Environment Guide), the Association of Atlantic Coast Students, and the Centro Humboldt (Humboldt Center - this organization carries out extensive research and development work throughout Nicaragua).

On November 10 the network presented Nicaragua's Contralor General a petition requesting the state fiscal control agency to investigate the process involved in granting the concession. A large photo the meeting in the Contraloria adjoined the article.

Below we reproduce a report on the International Day of Action issued November 12 by the Nicaragua Network.

Activists in Nicaragua, the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America held an International Day of Action on November 10 to protest the illegal logging of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) by the Korean company SOLCARSA. The concessions granted to SOLCARSA not only undermine the rights of the indigenous peoples of the region and threaten the rainforest, but they also blatantly vi

olate a recent Supreme Court ruling. The Day of Action was organized by the Nicaragua Network, Native Forest Network, and Rainforest Action Group of Delaware Valley in coordination with the Nicaraguan environmentalist group, Jovenes Ambientalistas (JA!).

Protesters in Washington, DC "re-decorated" the Nicaraguan Embassy with a 30-foot banner that read "Aleman! Protect the Nicaraguan Rainforest and Indigenous People!" Representatives from the groups organizing the protest presented the Embassy staff with a statement of principles demanding respect for the autonomy of the Caribbean Coast and a halt to the devastation of the rainforest. Protestors

demanded that the ambassador fax the statement to Aleman. After approximately two hours of stalling by staffers, it was confirmed that the ambassador had agreed to do so.

At the Nicaraguan consulate in New York, two protesters were arrested almost immediately on bogus "disorderly conduct" charges. Representatives from the Wetlands Rainforest Action Group and Amanakaa Amazon Network met with the consul, who expressed concern for the rainforest but warned that cancelling SOLCARSA's concessions would be seen by the regional councils as a violation of their autonomy.

As these demonstrations were taking place, other activists in Miami and San Franscisco were also presenting the statement of principles to the Nicaraguan consulates in their cities. Solidarity activists in Canada, El Salvador, Portugal, and Great Britain also faxed the statement directly to President Aleman.


November 12, 1997


Tim Hansell, a physics major from Toronto, arrived in Nicaragua early in November to take up his job as an ESL teacher with URACCAN professors in Bilwi. His students are professors who have enrolled in the York University Masters Degree program, part of the York-URACCAN Linkage Project.

Tim brought with him the news that the Canadian International Development Agency has approved a York University proposal to finance four more "teacher-interns" to work with URACCAN.

To help put Tim and others involved in the URACCAN ESL courses in the best of mood for their work and studies URACCAN UPDATE offers the following poem by "Anon". It could be called "Pronunciation Woes". Of course, we do not agree with Anon"s advice, although we appreciate the Frenchman's dilemma mentioned below. Apparently, this work comes by way of the Paris HQ of NATO. See bracketed note bel


[Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language ... until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself.]


Dearest creature in creation,

Study English pronunciation.

I will teach you in my verse

Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy,

Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

Tear in eye, your dress will tear.

So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,

Dies and diet, lord and word,

Sword and sward, retain and Britain.

(Mind the latter, how it's written.)

Now I surely will not plague you

With such words as plaque and ague.

But be careful how you speak:

Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;

Cloven, oven, how and low,

Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,

Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,

Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,

Exiles, similes, and reviles;

Scholar, vicar, and cigar,

Solar, mica, war and far;

One, anemone, Balmoral,

Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;

Gertrude, German, wind and mind,

Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,

Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.

Blood and flood are not like food,

Nor is mould like should and would.

Viscous, viscount, load and broad,

Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation's OK

When you correctly say croquet,

Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,

Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour

And enamour rhyme with hammer.

River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,

Doll and roll and some and home.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,

Neither does devour with clangour.

Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,

Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,

Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,

And then singer, ginger, linger,

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,

Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,

Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.

Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.

Though the differences seem little,

We say actual but victual.

Refer does not rhyme with deafer.

Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Mint, pint, senate and sedate;

Dull, bull, and George ate late.

Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,

Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,

Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.

We say hallowed, but allowed,

People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the differences, moreover,

Between mover, cover, clover;

Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,

Chalice, but police and lice;

Camel, constable, unstable,

Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,

Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.

Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,

Senator, spectator, mayor.

Tour, but our and succour, four.

Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Sea, idea, Korea, area,

Psalm, Maria, but malaria.

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.

Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,

Dandelion and battalion.

Sally with ally, yea, ye,

Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.

Say aver, but ever, fever,

Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.

Heron, granary, canary.

Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.

Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Large, but target, gin, give, verging,

Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.

Ear, but earn and wear and tear

Do not rhyme with here but ere.

Seven is right, but so is even,

Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,

Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,

Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!

Is a paling stout and spikey?

Won't it make you lose your wits,

Writing groats and saying grits?

It's a dark abyss or tunnel:

Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,

Islington and Isle of Wight,

Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --

Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?

Hiccough has the sound of cup.

My advice is to give up!!! (*)

-- Author Unknown

(*) Our advice, of course, is to take it all with a grain of salt and persevere.

Hasta la proxima