Tonia Allen Gould talks to middle schoolers at a Technology Magnet School about all things authoring and dreaming BIG. Here she walks you through her journey to Finding Corte Magore.
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By children’s author, Tonia Allen Gould, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, tells the story of a small land and sea fiddler crab (complete with a fiddle and a bow) that finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. When he arrives at Corte Magore, Sam decides he wants to make this place his permanent home, but he realizes he will have to build himself a shelter from the rising tides that could take him and his fiddle and bow back out to sea. He must work diligently and ignore mocking from hermit crabs and seagulls and beat the clock on his arch nemesis, The Great Tidal Wave if he wants to stay.
Sam’s story is art directed by Mr.Lawrence; an original Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants and mostly illustrated by Marc Ceccarelli, another Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants. Michelle Fandrey at Skies America Publishing also contributed. The colorful book explores several important themes for young readers, including: – The concept of building a home – Hard work and self-reliance – Daring to dream of a better life – Overcoming adversity – Dealing with bullies and naysayers I want this story to help parents start a conversation about hard work, dedication, and independence. Sam does everything himself in this book, and he doesn’t ask for help. I want children to understand that life isn t always peaches and cream, but if you re willing to put your nose to the grindstone and ignore bullies and naysayers, in the end, everything usually works out okay.
Sam is also available on iTunes as a narrated and animated picture book app with an original musical score.
I sat outside on a bench next to a kind, aging lady, last night, before entering my son’s Christmas pageant. After we chatted a bit, she announced she was celebrating her 60th anniversary next week. I smiled and said, “60 years, huh? Now that’s something! What’s the secret?” She thought a minute and said, “You can’t change each other; no sense in trying. People don’t change, they grow.
Might as well accept each other for who you both are – the person you were when you got married, and the person you’ve each become.”
Don’t think your freedom is deserved because they served – that’s absurd. Freedom is not just a word. Freedom is a privilege granted you. Paid by sacrifice – in red, white and blue. But, have you paid back your due?
Are you being a good citizen? Respecting your fellow men? Showing up to vote again? Fighting for what you believe in? Showing gratitude to whom you depend? Time and time and time, again?
The tax on freedom is to do your part
From the start…
And from your heart…
Do they really have your loyalty?
Those men and woman who keep us free?
Or, is this just another fruitless holiday?
One where you get to stay…
At home – with pay?
Last year during NaNoWriMo, Grammarly worked with nearly 500 writers from 54 countries to crowdsource a novel. They analyzed the resulting 40,000 or so words and uncovered some writing mistakes that happened time and again, then summarized the top five in a handy infographic.
Reprinted with permission. Infographic and body content of the article attributed to https://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check
If you’ve been following my island project, Finding Corte Magore, then you’ll know it has been my lifeblood for the past fifteen months or so. What’s miraculous is that my lifeblood has flowed to numerous volunteers who have given of themselves freely to see this incredible project come to fruition. What’s miraculous is, my lifeblood has also become theirs, too.
In that time, my team and I went from having a dream of making a fictional place real – to actually being awarded an island in Nicaragua by the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S – and now have the ability to put the island to social good use, reversing the cycle of poverty along the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCS) in Nicaragua – a bio-diverse region that serves some of the world’s most poor. And, that poverty is what is driving the nation’s children from school into the workplace. (Guardian).
29-acre, Hog Cay, Nicaragua is now ours to share with the world. And we can put it to very good use by creating revenue producing opportunities from it that work to keep kids in Nicaragua in school.
Here’s what I know to be true. My dream is not your dream. I know you have dreams of your own. I know the economy is tough and many don’t have a great deal of discretionary income. I know you probably already have your own, favorite cause. I know people inherently like to give, but sometimes can’t. I also know I have to ask. I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but raising money is not one of them, so I hope I’m going about it the right way.
Today, what I really want you to know about this island is that it’s not some ruse to generate huge corporate gains. It’s not my island. It’s everyone’s island. It’s about turning dreams into reality – setting out to do something so big and grandiose – that proves to the world, particularly its children that anything is possible, and their obstacles can be overcome, just like mine were growing-up in the U.S. My story as it connects to the island can be read about here.
So, I’ll make my plea short and to the point. Today, I’m asking you for 5 minutes of your time, to go to our website, to click the PayPal link at the top, and to make your $10 (or any amount you can give or afford) tax-deductible donation to our California Benefit Corp and that money will flow to our joint partnership with Ambassador Campbell on Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua. You can make a difference by contibuting now – and you can help me keep this island dream alive.
If you can’t donate, I understand, but I’m asking you, please, for your share on each of your social networks you participate.
Throughout this blog, there’s more detailed information about the Finding Corte Magore project, it’s sustainability measures and what not – should you wish to learn more about it. In the meantime, thanks to your donation today, an indigenous child in the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region of Nicaragua can have access to learning materials delivered by the human rights organization, CEDEHCA, through the Finding Corte Magore project.
Check out the Finding Corte Magore project, live in Nicaragua. Here we interview, Denise with CEDEHCA, who talks about their support to the children in the Kukra Hill municipality.
Tonia Allen Gould
The Finding Corte Magore Project
Join us on our first money-raising initiative for the Finding Corte Magore project. With your tax deductible $250+ donation – you, or someone you love – can be memorialized forever by “Hugging a Tree” on Corte Magore, at Hog Cay, Bluefields, Nicaragua. I promise you, with every ounce of my being, your money will be put to very “GOOD” use.
On Google Maps the Coordinates for Corte Magore at Hog Cay are the following:
Here´s an aerial view of the island.
Tree Huggers® are created using high-grade stainless steel and are noted for being the only tree plaque that gently wraps around the tree (by means of plastic-encased springs) and expands without harming it as it grows! It will not rust or corrode or release any harmful toxins or chemicals that could harm the tree. There are hundreds and hundreds of trees on Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua – and we anticipate that eventually, every one of them will be memorialized by our donors. Click here to make your tax deductible donation.
The Finding Corte Magore Project Problem: 42% of all children along the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua drop out of school by sixth grade, if they ever enroll at all. Poverty in Nicaragua drives kids out of school and into the workplace. (The Guardian). They drop out because they don’t have shoes to walk to school, because they have to watch their siblings while their parents work, or because they have to work to support their families. They drop out because they see school as pointless. Guess what? They’re right. There are no jobs waiting for students if and when they graduate. Which means poverty will live on in Nicaragua forever. Unless…
Solution: Our project, led by Author, and Entrepreneur, Tonia Allen Gould, along with her team, aims to start to reverse this cycle of poverty in one large region of Nicaragua by driving sustainable, best practices, social good tourism to Bluefields via the island of Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua. Our social enterprise works like this: Eco-Tourists and Flashpackers visit our island in Bluefields, driving revenue to fund programs such as: Jobs and job training on the island for locals seeking to better provide for their families, such as eco-building, island maintenance, security, hospitality, transportation, and cooking, training they can take back to their communities to earn money. By showing kids along the Atlantic Coast that their parents can be trained and then gainfully employed, we can offer children hope for a better life for themselves. Hope that may start to reverse the cycle of poverty. By providing job opportunities for parents and making school meaningful for students, the island will free students to stay in school, go after their dreams, and spread prosperity as they become business-owners, entrepreneurs, tourism professionals, artists, scientists, coders, teachers…
We also intend to fund educational programs for students in Nicaragua – programs like a floating educational barge that delivers teachers and and school supplies to remote indigenous regions, after school sports and crafts programs that only students who stay in school can partake in, or on-island biodiversity and environmental learning research camps for older students.
The Finding Corte Magore project will establish ecotourism operations in under-developed and ecologically vulnerable areas, and set the precedent for sustainable development in a way that prevents the destruction of pristine natural habitats by irresponsible tourism. The FCM business model will be validated in the Hog Cay pilot site in Nicaragua given the biodiversity attributes and relative lack of development in the area, as well as the recent influx of visitors to the country. The FCM platform will subsequently be exported to similarly vulnerable areas with a viable and repeatable business model that creates investable and scalable opportunities to promote sustainable development.
Meanwhile, we intend to build a global, K-12 environmental learning curriculum from eco-projects happening on the island -which is an identified bio-diverse hotspot, projects that have research attraction from many of our potential partners and universities, as well as will put locals to work with proper training:
- Building our Eco-Beach complete with a volleyball pit
- Mangrove protection and devising ways to eliminate natural, island erosion
- Building the bar and commissary
- Renovating the basketball court with recyclable products like used tires
- Building floating casitas
- Training of locals to do construction, learn hospitality, cooking, bartending and how to captain a panga, etc.
- Creating a Zipline from one part of the island to the other or connecting the island to a neighboring island via zipline that won’t infringe on passing boats
- Eco-Spa – Building natural, spas from collected rainwater
- Lighting the island for evenings
- Building eco-sensitive tree houses on the island
- Rebuilding the island’s suspension bridge
- Artisanal Fishing Demonstrations with natives
- Creating Cultural Excursions like to the Garifuna annual anniversary celebration
- Coral Reef Restoration Projects
- Turtle Protection and Migration Projects
- Building Photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collectors to convert solar radiation into thermal and electrical energy to power the island and how people may be use similar technology to power their lives after a hurricane
- Farming Mussels in the lagoon to clean up the brown water
- Various Eco-Farming projects – (we have access to an eco-farm across the lagoon) – training on planting and growing foods in tropical climates despite global warming
- Figuring out how to divert town rain water and brown water from flowing into the lagoon
- Creating and traveling with our floating educational barge to indigenous regions, bringing education to children who otherwise can’t access education
- Inventing hurricane resistant “kit” housing for poor coastal communities led by a team of engineers in a think tank
- Building a bird sanctuary
- Creating Vertical Gardening Systems despite the clay soil which is conducive to growing certain types of food only
- Implementing fishing best practices
- Introducing diving to the area and along the many shipwrecked boats
- Finding the tradewinds and introducing surfing to areas which are untapped or undiscovered
No other tourism venture strategically connects the dots between social good, environmentalism and education – making our project the first of its kind and further promoting sustainability by making the number of visitors, to the island, virtually limitless. Planned educational opportunities at FCM are extensive and do not just include educational experiences consumed by the eco-tourists we attract. Rather, we see an opportunity to build a K-12 environmental educational platform that makes FCM virtually accessible from anywhere in the world. A FCM student/teacher/professor/university inspired curriculum will be at the core of our offerings.
We have been in talks with many notable agencies and insitutions such as NOAA, Conservation International, CREST and UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science. Sustainable, best practices and conscientious travel is imperative to this region or it may be devastated by tourists. That said, the tourism is still coming to the region regardless, here’s why: Eco-Tourism is already happening in Nicaragua A dirt road from Managua that normally takes twelve hours to drive, is currently being paved. This connects the Atlantic Coast to the rest of Nicaragua without having to fly. Lonely Planet calls Nicaragua the Top 4 place in the world to visit The Canal de Nicaragua is a shipping route under construction through Nicaragua to connect the Caribbean Sea (and therefore the Atlantic Ocean) with the Pacific Ocean.
Our business partner is: Ambassador Francisco Campbell, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S. and owner of 29-acre, Hog Cay. FCM has negotiated a 15-year leasehold already on the island. We are halfway there to make our vision at Corte Magore a reality.
Hog Cay Google Coordinates: 11°59’25.2″N 83°45’09.7″W.
We believe the dreams of children are the most precious resource in Nicaragua – but also the most squandered. So many dreams go unfulfilled due to extreme poverty. Something needs to be done about this. Every child deserves a shot to go after their dreams, and the Finding Corte Magore Project intends to give it to them. We believe that achieving dreams can not only elevate children above their birth circumstances, but also their communities and, over time, their nation.
We have acquired the island through a lot of hard work and dedication, and now we need to build it out, develop programs and put the island to work to keep a nation of children in school.
Finding Corte Magore is a California Benefit Company. The purpose of a benefit corporation includes creating general public benefit, which is defined as a material positive impact on society and the environment. A benefit corporation’s directors and officers operate the business with the same authority as in a traditional corporation but are required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on shareholders but also on society and the environment. Finding Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua is a Nicaraguan joint partnership formed under Nicaraguan law.
Finding Corte Magore – findingcortemagore.com
Tonia Allen Gould – toniaallengould.com, author and founder
FCM Twitter – @cortemagore
Oh, and one day, we hope to see you visit us on Corte Magore!