The teaching staff at Miguel de Cervantes (with Jennie Wong)
With a population exceeding 1,300, Sawa is the largest of our partnering villages. It is also the hometown of Project Ezra founders Augusto Vicente and Truman Cunningham.
Our downriver mission base, referred to as the Sawa Hilton, is built on property upon which Truman reconstructed his house after carrying it across the river in 1990 when peace returned to Nicaragua.
Sawa is not a known word in the Miskito or the Sumu languages. It’s a bit of a mystery how the village got its name. Yul Aaikra, an old Miskito nickname for Sawa, illustrates the ruggedness of life here in the villages of the lower Coco River. It means “Dog Killer,” and refers to an anecdote about a dog that slept outside on a porch one night and was found dead in the morning. Swarms of mosquitos had drained it of its blood.
Augusto Vicente’s brother is the Catholic lay pastor and Seek the Lamb teacher Beres Florencio shepherds the local Moravian Church. The Seek the Lamb team has assisted both congregations in constructing sanctuaries with support in the areas of finance, logistics, and oversight.
More graduates of Miguel de Cervantes Elementary School continue their education in Livinkrik, Andris, Waspam, and Puerto Cabezas than any of our other village schools. Nowadays, many go on to college. Not only is Miguel de Cervantes entirely staffed by its alumni, but Sawa natives teach in several schools up and down the river.