Small Scale Projects that are High Impact

Our Country Director,  Ashley Rerrie, was recently featured in the article "Small Scale Projects that are High Impact" in Connections, the St. Thomas University Alumni Magazine. Click here to access that article.

Below, we share the article and go deeper into our impactful work in the remote Nicaraguan community of  Los Norteños.

The community of Los Norteños in Nicaragua is made up of 11 families who live in tiny houses with no running water. The nearest water source, found a kilometre away from the community, is a river contaminated by chemicals used in nearby plantations.

Ashley Rerrie (right) & Marta (left), a Los Norteños community member

Ashley Rerrie (right) & Marta (left), a Los Norteños community member

Every day for the past 27 years, women in the community walked to the river and brought water back for drinking, cooking and bathing. In 2017, Ashley Rerrie, as Country Director at Casa - Pueblito, worked to support community members working to change their  lives forever by ensuring easy access to safe and clean water.

“We built an artisanal well in the community and running pipe networks to bring water from the well into their houses. It’s an important project for us in terms of health and ensuring access to basic rights like water but also for gender equity,” said Rerrie.

“We work on small scale projects that are high impact because they’re based on what communities feel they need for themselves,” she said.

The Los Norteños project directly responded to the community's need for clean water and water security, and was implemented by community members themselves, supported by Ashley and the rest of the Casa - Pueblito Managua team.

As Country Director, Ashley supports Casa - Pueblito's community development projects and coordinates the global educations program with Canadian high school and university students. They go to Nicaragua on solidarity trips for about ten days, learning about the country and using Nicaragua as a microcosm to explore global social justice issues.

Other significant past projects of Casa - Pueblito include building a high school in Jiñocuao, another underserved Nicaraguan community, promoting resistance to climate change for communities located in the drought corridor of Nicaragua, and building organic community gardens that help preserve water in soil.

Rerrie’s goal is to find better ways to tell the stories of what Casa - Pueblito is doing in Nicaragua.

“We need to let people know what Casa - Pueblito does and get people invested in the communities, and interested in ways that they can support Nicaraguans.”