Local Non-profit makes headway in Jinotega

By Chloe Smith

Seven years ago, Deeply Rooted Grounds was formed to help communities in Nicaragua. Today, the nonprofit’s most recent purchase in Jinotega plans to transform Central America.

Clinton Dosio, the organization’s Chief Operations Officer, is one of the many leaders of Deeply Rooted Grounds residing in St. Augustine, but playing a significant part in this purchase.

“Our big step that we just took was that purchase of that property, and that’s gonna be a big hub for, I would say, Central America now,” said Dosio. 

Acting as the base of operations, the property in Jinotega — located in north central Nicaragua — will become Deeply Rooted Grounds headquarters, allowing mission teams to come in and help partner in the community. The building is converting into a full-blown facility providing nutrition, education, health, physical therapy and a spiritual center. 

“We’re not just feeding them; we are giving them nutrients for their body and soul,” said Dosio.  

Founded by U.S. Army veteran Nathan Pendleton in 2016, the St. Augustine-based non-profit provides aid to poor and special needs children in Nicaragua through their Dream Centers, Miracle House, nutritional feeding programs, education, child sponsorships, and soon, their new headquarters.

According to the Deeply Rooted Grounds website, 1.8 million people in Nicaragua live in poverty, 1 in 5 children under the age of 5 are malnourished, and one-third of the rural population lacks access to improved water sources. Deeply Rooted Grounds now feeds over 9,000 kids weekly in Nicaragua through their multi-level community projects. 

The new facility will also serve to train and teach local leaders, preparing them to be sent out into other parts of Central America to expand the blueprint. 

“What separates Deeply Rooted Grounds from many organizations that are out there … is that we have a very good structure to empower local leaders, and that allows us to grow much faster because of that,” said Dosio.

Most of the work done in Nicaragua is by the indigenous, which allows Deeply Rooted Grounds to pay less as an organization while creating opportunities to empower and support the communities and families within the villages. 

Spending only a few weeks out of the year in Nicaragua, 37-year-old Dosio serves Deeply Rooted Grounds primarily by building support in the United States, where he resides in St. Augustine with his wife and his three children. 

Besides his role as Chief Operations Officer at DRG, Dosio also owns two businesses. He is the Founder and President of Dosio Wealth Management and owns and teaches at Renaissance of Jiu Jitsu, a martial arts school in Jacksonville. He also acts as the Worship Pastor at Mission City Church in St. Augustine. 

Clinton Dosio

Dosio started from humble beginnings, growing up in a single-parent household with three other siblings. His mom, Donna, with an incredible story of her own, was deaf and went to the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine. 

“I grew up poor … and there was times where all we had was rice in a jar. We didn’t really do any type of welfare,” said Dosio. “There was times where I was like, at the end of the day, I was like ‘God, am I gonna go hungry today?’”

Undoubtedly endeavoring to succeed in several aspects of life, Dosio “has an incredible desire to pass his dreams for vision and innovation into reality to help others,” as stated on the Deeply Rooted Grounds website. 

Even before Dosio met Pendleton, he served in Central America, drilling water wells and feeding children in El Salvador. But, it was not until Pendleton returned from one of his mission trips, broken-hearted and wanting to do more, that Dosio joined in to help the Nicaraguan people and bring Deeply Rooted Grounds to life.

“When I heard about him going to Nicaragua for that first time and what the kids were dealing with, that’s where it kinda hit me,” Dosio said. 

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Many of the children are not only living in poverty but are oftentimes living without their parents, as many of them travel to coffee fields for months for the harvest. 

“You’ll see a 6-year-old or 5-year-old taking care of their 2-year-old little brother or sister. And they’re living on dirt floors. Houses are, I mean, it’s really a shack. There’s sticks, dog food bags, trash pretty much pulled together to make some type of shelter,” said Dosio.

The villages in Nicaragua are located on the side of a mountain, so “when it rains, the water just runs through the whole house,” explained Dosio. 

The remote location also makes it difficult for families and children to receive healthcare. Pharmaceuticals and other essential resources are not easily accessible. 

For this reason, many of the children living in Nicaragua become disabled. Madeline Eaton, for example, became disabled at the age of 2 when she got a fever. Her family did not have access to Tylenol to keep the fever down, and, as a result, Madeline lost her ability to walk and speak. 

With the help of Deeply Rooted Grounds, not only is Madeline speaking again, “but, with therapy, you know, now she’s walking again, and she wasn’t walking at five,” said Dosio. 

Many of the children living in poor third-world countries have lost their sense of hope. But, with the services provided by Deeply Rooted Grounds, children, such as Madeline, are able to reinstall hope and experience life change. 

“A lot of times, people are like, ‘hey, why go there?’ or ‘why not just send them money?’ This is why,” explained Dosio. “Because when you go there, it changes you as a person and you now become an advocate. And not only that, but when those kids hear that you came from America to see them, and just to play with them, it lets them know that they’re valued. It lets them know that they’re worth something. It lets them know that there’s a purpose for their life.”

Although Deeply Rooted Grounds gets most of their funding from donations, the nonprofit also partners with a farmer growing organic coffee. And for every bag of coffee sold to either donors or local churches, a child in Nicaragua is fed for a month.

“I would love for people, just even the coffee shops around here, to be able to you know bulk purchase from what we’re doing,” said Dosio. 

Deeply Rooted Grounds offers multiple methods to support it’s services. Mission trips, child sponsorships, prayer, and donations help ignite further life change for the communities in Nicaragua. 

“We wanna get people in this community looking outside of what’s going on around them. Seeing third world coutries. Seeing what’s going on around them,” said Dosio. “And when you go on a trip like this, it gets you disconnected and allows you to be able to immerse yourself. And when you immerse yourself, you’d be surprised how much joy you have when you do it. It’s amazing.”

To learn more about or support Deeply Rooted Grounds, visit https://deeplyrootedgrounds.org/

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