Build 'N Barrel

Nicaragua Mission Blogs

Last Mission 2013 
Past Trips
- July 16-24, 2012
December 15-22, 2011 
June 5-12, 2011


1.     Tony Longobucco and Nica Team (last night bonfire event)
"We are gathered here tonight to raise our glasses to toast those who made this Mission possible and to those volunteers who donated their time and energy to help the needy in Nica...Cheers!"

Starly, Sofia, Mamasita, Chica and Amanda Jones
Women have that bond that knows how important it is to raise a family in a safe and healthy environment- Mamasita and Chica are "Happy Campers now that BuildnBarrel came to their rescue!

BuildnBarrel team-"All for one and one for all"... Mission Accomplished!

"Director" Starly- "Wyatt, pour it on man, show me that your guns are not just for show!"

Amanda Jones- You go girl! Her life motto- "Go Big or Go Home!"

Mamasity and family are going to think that they are livin' in South Beach!
(Nican-"Where's that?!!")

No, this is not an oversized tic, tac toe board! Although, I did see the girls jumping around like they were playing hopscotch!

Amanda Jones- You go girl! Her lilfe motto-"Go Big or Go Home!"

Teddy Meissner- In life you always got to be looking over your shoulder, no telling what's coming at ya!

Harrison "Einstein" Doyle- Glad you could "drop in"!

Mike Jones- The Big Wave Slayer- Didn't you ever learn not to take on things bigger that you?! Guess you didn't listen!

Amanda Jones- What do you think this is, a Sports Illustration Magazine photo shoot. Lookin' good girl!

Amanda Jones & Papa Jeff "JJ" Jones- "Should I stay or should I go not"... AJ-Hummmm, those waves are looking pretty big and gnarly!

Amanda Jones- I don't think you should be smilling, there's a wild dog coming at ya from  behind!

Manuella "Man yeller" Valdivieso- When I'm done with this place, no big bad wolf will huff and puff and blow this place d

Amanda Jones- You got a license to carry that "thankg"!

Chica- Are we done yet?!

Donald (Pro Photographer & surfer) with Wyatt-Donald... "Wyatt, quit draggin' your feet, you're slowing me down dude!

Team Nica- There's gold in them there hills... NOT! Just prepping to make cement.

Team Nica, Teddy Meissner, Harrison Doyle, Sofia, Starly, Amanda Jones, Manuella Valdivieso and Mike Jones- Yea, do you really think you're going to look that tidy whitney on your way back??... You keep dreamin'!

Mike Jones- All hail the king... What do you think you're Picasso painting that roof?!!

Manuella, Valdivieso- Just because you come from a wealthy Peruvian Oil drilling family (You wish!), don't think that you're going to find any oil by drilling down there!

Wyatt- Caught you! Don't you know there are laws even in Nica for peeping Toms?!

Mike Jones, Wyatt, Harrison and Mamasita- Hey now, don't let the Mamasita do all the diggin', get to work guys!

Nica Team-"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". No worries, they had there down time surfing the big waves of Nica and fishing. PS. Girl's team caught the most fish...again!

Amanda Jones & Starly- "Chica" and Rover- "Dog" gone it, stop nibbling my ear.

Amanda Jones & Starly-"Chick" en fights anyone?  Ever heard of a ladder girls?

Team Nica-Oh, there's the ladder! What, is putting a roof on more important that painting???

Amanda Jones & Starly- Hey nice picture frame, but who are the (2) Chicos? They look friendly, but not familiar. I guess in Nica they're not superstitious about standing under ladders. Let's give the boys a hand!

The Man of the House- I've heard of a "cat on a hot tin roof", but a "Nican"?!

Manuella Valdivieso & Donald- "One false move and you're..."

Papa Jeff "JJ" Jones & Papa Jorge Valdivieso- Old Guys Rule... and don't you forget it!

Amanda Jones & Chica- I've heard that a "picture paints a thousand words". Need I say more?

This little piggy went to the market,
This little piggy stayed at home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went...
"Wee wee wee" all the way home...
I don't want to tell you what really happen to this BIG PIGGY!!

Mike Jones & Team Nica-
"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now" (Talking Heads Lyrics)
Mike Jones-So get to work!!

July 16, 2012
This summer's crew...from left to right in picture...
Wyatt Thompson, Starly Santos, Sofia Silva, Jeff Jones, Amanda Jones, Danielle Baker, Chip Meissner, Chad Meissner, Michael Jones (missing but will be there soon...Teddy Meissner)

July 17, 2012
Day 1 in Nica...
After a day of traveling and dealing with our missing bags, we got to the Surf Sanctuary safe and sound.  The boys went for a quick surf while the rest of us settled in.  Everyone got up pretty early and went surfing for the day.  We then went to the site where we will be doing our first project of the mission-reconstruction on the sea turtle reservation.  In just any day now, thousands of sea turtles are going to be arriving to this area and reservation is in dire need of repairs to the watch towers.  Then after checking out the site, everyone went out back to get in a few last waves before the end of the day.  While eating great food cooked for us, we got the good news that everyone's bag is here.  We are all looking forward to a full day of work tomorrow!

July 18, 2012
Day 2...
We started off our day bright and early by picking up one of our helpers, Roberto.  We got to see some baby pigs which were pretty cute!  We then headed to the turtle reserve in Astillero.  We started off by sanding the main railing and then Amanda and Dani went to help out Donald with some carpentry.  We were able to sand, coat with bug protector twice, and varnish the majority of the railings as well as building up some new railings.  In addition the girls learned how to make cement and everyone helped fill in the major cracks in the road.  We couldn't leave the turtle reserve without catching some spectacular waves!  Everyone was out there including the dads!  All in all it was a great and productive day. 

July 19, 2012
Day 3...
Today everyone got up and headed down to Colorado, Nicaragua to watch the Masters International Surf competition. Even though the waves were small, the competitors still shredded it up out there!  The group saw Sonny Garcia and Shea Lopez, two professional surfers.  After stalking them we got a picture and their autographs which was pretty cool!
We headed back to the Surf Sanctuary for some lunch and then out back to shred some waves.  The girls went back to find a nice surprise waiting for us...TEDDY!!!
After a long all-night drive from Atlanta baseball, Teddy made it to the Miami airport and traveled here to spend the rest of the trip with us!  He headed out to get a little surf time in with Chad and Michael.  Everyone is exhausted and looking forward to tomorrow's work day where we will either make some steps and handicap walkway up to a clinic or put some screening on a different clinic.  Either way we will end up finishing up both before the mission is over.  
That's all for now!

July 20, 2012
Day 4...

Everyone got up early to start our work on the pediatric clinic.  There is a big step up that a lot of the mothers have a hard time getting up with their children.  We dug out a hole and mixed up cement to fill it in to lay the foundation for the step that we would finish on our next work day.  While all that was going on some of the others were using a machete to make a path from the pediatric clinic to the adult one, which are right next to each other.  Also we were prepping and sanding some wood that would be used at the next clinic.  Once the concrete was poured and smoothed and all the other work finished, we headed over to Yolanda's which is a local restaurant.  After lunch we headed to the other clinic where we framed and screened in some windows.  We had to stop and leave the rest for the next work day.  After that long day everyone went back to The Surf Sanctuary to eat and play some games!

July 21, 2012
Day 5...
After a long work day everyone slept in a little this morning!  We went surfing for the first part of the morning and caught some great waves.  Then we went back the The Surf Sanctuary for a quick bite to eat and then headed out to go fishing.  Because we were such a big group we had to split up.  It turned out to be girls vs boys and we made it a friendly competition to see who could catch the most fish.  The boys' boat thought they had it made with 8 fish up until 20 minutes left when the girls managed to catch 4 more, bringing in the win with 9 fish!  By the time we were finished it was dark out so we went back to The Surf Sanctuary for some dinner and games.  It was a great day!!

December 15, 2011
Nica Bound, ready to work hard and play hard! 
This mission's crew (from left to right):  Austin Krystoff, Jeff Jones, Kyle Bartholomew, Chad Meissner, Teddy Meissner, Harrison Doyle, Michael Jones (not shown Will Wittich)

December 16, 2011
We started on the community playground today....the kids are so excited and we feel great to be a part of making this happen!

June 4, 2011

It's finally here.....
Heading to The Surf Sanctuary in Playa Santana, Nicaragua!  We can't wait to get started. 
Check back for daily blogs and pictures
The crew (from left to right):  Ross Thibeault, Chad Meissner, Teddy Meissner, Michael Jones

2:00pm - We arrived safely... The first load of land fill for the foundations we will build was just delivered.  
Tony from the Surf Sanctuary is so excited to guide us and we can't wait to begin our work. 
Before the day's end and work begins.... we just had to check out the waves!

June 5 - 7
Sorry we haven't been able to blog every day...we have been VERY busy!!! The internet has also been down a lot as right now Nicaragua has two tropical fronts on both sides of the country so we are in some pretty rainy weather.  That hasn't stopped us though.  
These first days have been very productive.  We started off our first project forming a foundation for the home of a family of 4.  We leveled out the ground, laid down the steel rods in formation and began mixing and pouring the cement.
Then we came back on day 2 to finish.....

With the foundation complete, we then moved onto our next project which was the local clinic.  We began by digging a trench for storm drains, took out the corroded cement that was a hazard and made a new pathway. 

These pictures pretty much say it all - When it was all said and done, we were soaked and probably the dirtiest we have ever been....  And that's saying A LOT for us!!! 

After a long, hard day's work...there is nothing like coming back and letting the ocean clean you off

Good night! Back to work early tomorrow............

June 8

Back to work bright and we are hoping to finish.  This work has been so much harder than we expected, but we have learned so much about construction and building and it's very rewarding to see our projects helping out people. 

June 9-11
We are at the Managua airport now heading back to the States....hard to leave! What an amazing week in a gorgeous country with awesome people.  We are so thankful to Tony and The Surf Sanctuary for helping us make this happen.  Couldn't imagine a better place to come to!
We have more to share...we will post when back home so keep checking.
The Surf Sanctuary

June 16

Over the past few days we have been gathering the final pictures and unpacking all our gear since our arrival back home. After finishing our construction, our last three days were full of surfing and fishing.

The weather and the water cleared up and with the off-shore winds back, the waves were super fun!
It felt good to relax after the hard work.

Driving home to the airport, we passed all the work we did and felt accomplished.

We can’t wait for our next mission and we hope to bring more volunteers down to help next time.
Keep checking the blog to get updated on future fundraisers and trip dates.

Thanks for all your support!