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San Luis Obispo businessman Craig Cowan thought giving would be easy when his 9-year-old son, Cole Bradley, decided to collect shoes for orphans in Nicaragua. The footwear was supposed to be a Christmas present that would allow children to go to school; they're not allowed in the classroom if they're barefoot.

Locals enthusiastically donated 5,000 pairs within weeks, but shipping problems and customs bureaucracy delayed the delivery well into January.

I joined Cowan in Costa Rica in January, 2005 and chronicled his journey into Nicaragua. The resulting 3-day series, which I wrote and photographed, later won third place in explanatory journalism in the Inland Press Association's 2005 national newswriting contest (25k to 75k circulation division).


                DAY ONE
Care package
Sider: glue sniffing additions
Sider: How it all began
• Sider: Brief Nicaragua History

                DAY TWO

• Free-For-All

                DAY THREE
• 'I should have known better'
• Sider: Alejandra

                MISC. DEBRIS
• Reporter's notebook


T Y I N G S H O E S T O H O P E

Photos coming soon!