Posted by Ronald Somerville on Jan 10, 2019
Front door of the Streamliners
Espresso Bar
Photos by Malcolm Rust
President Elect Gerry
thanked Maria for her 
hospitality and presentation
about coffee in her home town 
in Nicaragua. She also spoke about 
charitable work she has done for her 
Nicaraguan homeland.
Karen McDade - Caring Cupboard
(St. Thomas Food Bank) presented with 
donation from Treasurer Mike Moore
(photos compliments of Mike Moore)
Ev Hathaway - Christmas Care St. Thomas
Accepted donation from Treasurer
Mike Moore
Tina Anderson - Salvation Army St. Thomas
received donation from Treasurer Mike Moore
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Steamliners Espresso
In the absence of ailing President Trish Shouldice, President-elect Gerry Janssen conducted the meeting.
Following lunch Gerry introduced our Maria Follias, owner-operator of Streamliner Espresso. We learned that the name of the cafe was chosen because of our railroad heritage and her business connection with CASO.
Speaker Notes;
Maria was our hostess and speaker today. She and her partners and staff served us a variety of dishes and treats from their specialized menu.
She opened her presentation with some background information about herself, her businesses and her registered charity. Originally from Nicaragua, Maria arrived in Canada in 1987.Currently she and two partners own Streamliners. Across the street in CASO they have also established a coffee roasting operation, for both their own needs and to roast beans supplied by or for other similar local businesses. 
Over the years she has travelled back and forth from Canada to La Savana in the mountains of north-west Nicaragua, Maria has struggled for a long time to find ways to improve the lives of people in her home region. It has always been a great concern of hers that the people who live there have to work much too hard for too little benefit, with little or no support from government or other agencies. They lack most of what we take as basic necessities, access to education, to health care, to safe water.
They have neither proper roads nor opportunity to reach markets for the sale of their products. Maria has worked to find markets for their coffee beans, and to ensure that they receive a better price for what they sell. For her purposes she contracts to buy her coffee supplies from several small farmers. She pays to import her purchases to Canada, to St. Thomas.
In 1998 she established a small registered charity – Los Frutos Del Cafe. It is a movement she uses to empower volunteers to help with making improvements. They try to earn funds to pay toward the costs of schooling. They set up maternity clinics. They dig wells and try to build systems to deliver the water to where it is needed. They need better water purification methods.
They set up dental clinics, as often as possible offering the the skills of volunteer dentists from other countries, occasionally from our own area.
In the last few years she has enlisted the help of a Rotary club in a small city about 30 miles distant from her community and slowly her teams are bringing change. Much more is needed
At the conclusion of her presentation Maria answered many questions from our members.
Malcolm and Gerry thanked her presentation
From Tour of Homes chair: This year the Tour of Homes Celebration dinner will be held on Friday evening Feb 22, 2019 at the Wayside. 
President Trish
Finemaster Stew gave us information about another area of the world. Rotarians in Malawi, in Asia have gathered data about how they adapt bicycles for use as ambulances and so useful are they for an impoverished community that Rotarians in the city of  Epsom,  England shipped six more vehicles to them. Another story of Rotarians at work in the world.
We did not have a 50/50 draw this week.
1 – Stew Shouldice – had a great family Christmas gathering;
1 – Barb Warnock – enjoyed a great Christmas with family;
5 – Pat Martyn – celebrated 3 family birthdays and 1 anniversary, and wished all a Happy New Year;
1 – Malcolm Rust – to recognize our speaker;
2 – Ron Somerville – for several happy gatherings of family and friends;
2 – Adriana Balderas – for her family over Christmas, and to tell us about her son Andrew who has successfully completed a very difficult program to earn his Swimming Certificate;
1 – Mary Morin – to wish one and all a Happy New Year;
2 – Bill Horn – he and Maggie safely home after extensive travels over Christmas and New Years, and to celebrate the arrival of a great grandchild;
4 – Gerard Janssen – for having enjoyed gatherings of family and friends, to thank our speaker, for his son's birthday
Trish ShouldiceGerald Vreman
Barbara Warnock
Jennifer Babcock
Pat Baker
Adrianna Balderas