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More Than Just a Bracelet

Jonathan Button and Quinn Vandenberg left the United States in May 2012 and moved to Nicaragua to create a business that gives back to the community.

And now – less than a year later – they are operating a successful business that buys and sells bracelets created by local artisans. 

For every bracelet Jonathan & Quinn sell, they give school supplies to a child here in Nicaragua. 

More Than Just a Bracelet

– Life Out of the Box kickin’ it at Pitaya Festival 2013

More Than Just a Bracelet

– LOOTB offers different styles with something to suit everyone

To learn more about Jon and Quinn and Life Out of the Box click here.

Since meeting this lovely Californian couple eight months ago we’ve become great friends. 

We believe in Jon and Quinn and the Life Out of the Box vision so it was without hesitation that we bought a bracelet for our little miniature schnauzer Maggie Mae.

More Than Just a Bracelet

– Maggie’s bracelet makes a comfortable and stylish collar

One thing we love about about Life Out of the Box is that we actually got to see the child we impacted. Each bracelet is stamped with a unique number that corresponds to a specific child.

Maggie’s number is 328 and the child she provided a gift to is David.

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This is what Jon & Quinn had to say about him:

“This very sweet guy is David. He’s 14 years old and loves school. He had the biggest smile of all the kids we’ve met here in Nicaragua, a smile that will just make your heart melt.

He goes to school at Los Pipitos, which is a school in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua dedicated to children & adults with disabilities and special needs. He was so happy and thankful when he received the notebook we gave him on your behalf on the first day of school.”

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Each time we look at Maggie’s LOOTB bracelet we are reminded of David and the difference we made.

To purchase your very own LOOTB bracelet, give school supplies and see the child you’ve impacted click here.

In Nica Now Meets Life Out of the Box

As we turned the corner and approached the big yellow church in Granada we spotted them right away.  

Our first impression was,

“Wow! She’s tall”.

Elisha waved and smiled as I looked for a shady spot to park the Galloper.  We hopped out of the truck and walked over to meet Jon and Quinn, aka “Life Out of the Box”.  We shook hands and introduced ourselves and headed towards the Calzada.

Elisha and I have a list of expat blogs that we currently follow.  One of our favorites is Life Out of the Box.  Life Out of the Box blog was created by a couple from California that moved to Nicaragua three months ago.   They are both 25.  Their names? Jonathan Button and Quinn Elise. 

JB & Quinn currently live in San Juan del Sur and are experiencing many of the same things we did when we arrived in Nica 8 months ago.  They have a great outlook on life and the country that they have chosen to call home. They are immersing themselves into the local culture and cuisine to a greater extent than we have – which is great to see!

Our epic meeting that took place a little over a week ago, came about after we read an article Jon had written and published on their blog. It was titled  Shopping in Rivas, Nicaragua and partly centered around the challenges him and Quinn were having in their search to find locally made products.

It just so happens that Elisha and I are currently living in Laguna de Apoyo – just below the Pueblos Blancos – the place where most of the country’s handicrafts are made.  It only seemed right that we invite them for a visit.  After all, we did have 5 extra bedrooms.

Their response to our invitation was,

“How about tomorrow?”

Mercado Artesanias in Masaya, Nicaragua

It’s quite surreal meeting someone who already knows you and it’s pretty awesome meeting someone you already know well.  There are no surprises when it comes to who they are as people and there’s no pretending to be someone you’re not. Although Quinn and Jon are younger than us we’ve discovered we have very similar core values, goals and outlooks on life. Their blog is an excellent representation of who they are.  Keeping it real is what they do.

We’ve drank a few beers and enjoyed some meals together and shared a lot of laughs. We’ve also shared stories covering some pretty deep topics, including our personal definitions of happiness, which for the time being for Elisha and Quinn seems to be Season 8 of The Bachelorette.

Nice work on the breakfast pizza, Jon. A great looking pie, indeed!

Elisha used the words “friendship on fast forward” to describe this experience. Typically when meeting someone new you know very little about them. In the beginning you tend to see them sporadically.  What’s cool about our friendship with Jon and Quinn is we understood who they were before we met.  And once we did meet we spent a few days living (and working) together.

Hard at work on blogs (while enjoying bevvies)!

Who’s got two feet and a heartbeat? Jon does!

We already know and understand this couple the way you would with friends that you’ve had for years and to be honest with the amount of deep questions Jon posed over the last couple of days we actually feel like we now know ourselves a little better.

It feels good to have close friends in Nicaragua – the place we now call home.

Our Nicaraguan besties

Dreaming Nicaragua

DREAMING NICARAGUA is a film about HOPE. It’s about love for the dignity and courage of the human spirit that, even immersed in uttermost tragic conditions, fights for a better life, and in this case, with a friendly SMILE.

from the Director of “Angel’s Fire”
Winner of IDA AWARD 
international documentary association

We learned about this independent film through Life Out of the Box – a blog we are currently following. We totally want to see this movie, but at this point aren’t sure how. 

As soon as we have more information on how or where we can view this film we’ll be sure to let you know!

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