Mountain View, California (EastBayDaily) — Hula Networks, Inc., a Silicon Valley based information technology reseller along with a dedicated team of friends and family located in the U.S. and Nicaragua believe in the value of contributing to communities around the globe particularly the poor and elderly of Nicaragua. The following is a short depiction of this year's Hula Networks, Friends, & Family Piñata event by Rodrigo A. Cuadra
The New Year’s piñatas that were carried out this year are part of a tradition that goes back almost four decades. Sometime around the mid 1970s my great-grandmother began organizing “purisimas” for her local Granada old folks’ home. A purisima is a traditional festivity of Nicaraguan Roman Catholics where guests pray and sing to the Virgin Mary, and are rewarded with local fruit, artisan confections, toys, and whatever else the host deems appropriate. After a few years of small purisimas and my great-grandmother’s passing, my grandmother and her two daughters took over and continued to organize parties for the elderly.
In 1997 my mother, Sandra Cuadra decided to organize a similar event for the people of Kabuloa, a small village on the coast of Lake Cocibolca. Our family had vacationed there for decades, which resulted in a close relationship between our family and the local families that lived off the land. After almost 20 years of existence the original purisimas had gained popularity and were receiving more donations than they could handle, so it was decided that a second beneficiary was in order. The purisimas were a success with the locals, and for many years received government donations of toys and food for the growing population of Kabuloa.
In 2006, my aunt, Linda Haffner determined El Transito would be the third beneficiary of our purisimas. Her trips to this impoverished beach town had created a bond between her and the El Transito residents, who have been struck by tsunamis three times in the last decade. It was at this time that my aunt and my mother decided to drop the religious theme, and the purisimas became piñatas. Unfortunately, a change in the Nicaraguan government led to the loss of donations, and the parties lost some of their splendor. I remember going to the market with my mom and buying some toys and food for the parties, whatever we could afford. But the festivities had dwindled down to a small giveaway rather than a party.
This changed last year, when Hula Networks offered to become our sponsor. With Hula’s help, our fundraising has more than quadrupled, allowing us to hold lavish festivities for all three of our current beneficiaries. Our Kabuloa party was attended by over 200 people this year, while the El Transito party was attended by 80. Both of these have music and food for everyone, piñatas and games for the children, and care packages for every attendee at the end. The adults received a package containing rice, beans, vegetable oil, sugar, and coffee; while the children received a backpack full of toys and candy. There were also toothbrushes for all of the children, and baby wipes for newborns. "The 2012 Pinata event was a huge sucess thanks to friends, family and Hula Networks' customers and partners" stated Scott Hobin CFO, Hula Networks, "We raised over $3,000 which contributed to $1,075 in food, $1,0130 in necessities, $800 in party supplies,and $160 for transportantion resources."
The parties have become the event for the local children. You can find some of them huddled in a corner of the locale hours before the party has even begun, dressed their best and waiting anxiously. Some walk long distances in order to attend, and although most of them are timid upon arrival, they all start celebrating once the music begins. When the time for party favors arrives, they patiently wait until their name is called out. Once handed their presents, they forget about patience and open them enthusiastically to play with friends. The excitement these children show when opening their presents is my favorite part of the whole affair, and it more than makes up for the work put into the party.
The old folks’ home party benefitted 65 seniors and 23 staff members, providing them with blankets, shampoo, toothbrushes and other such amenities along with the same food package administered at Kabuloa and El Transito. They also get a bag of sweet treats. Although this event is shorter than the others, it is just as rewarding to behold. The men and women did not know we would be arriving that day and their surprise and genuine expressions of gratitude were touching. Most of the elders are abandoned by their families, and rely on the care of the nuns that run the home, and of contributors like you. They show much excitement at the bustle of the party and the gifts they receive, because they are not used to being taken into consideration. Watching their faces light up upon our arrival, year by year, is one of the many things that make this whole venture worth the effort.
After our greatest success yet, we would like to thank Hula Networks in the names of our almost 400 beneficiaries. Thanks to your kindness and cooperation, we may soon have to expand to a fourth location!
-Rodrigo A. Cuadra
About Hula Networks, Inc. Hula Networks, is a leading provider of true end-to-end Pure IP and Unified Communications solutions. At the forefront of cutting edge technology, Hula Networks’ team of direct OEM certified engineers are dedicated to providing unmatched quality, cost savings, and service to a growing base of thousands of satisfied customers worldwide. For more information, visit hulanetworks.com
Hula Networks, Inc.