PANCAKES! We started this wonderful day having pancakes from our local comedor (restaurant) which were VERY good but not as good as yours, Mom. 🙂 After breakfast, we had a guest speaker from Leon, her name was Milena Cruz, and she is the director of the sister city partnership program between Leon, Nicaragua, and Hamburg, Germany. She talked about different aid projects that have been completed through this program and gave us a presentation, showing us two videos about how the citizens in Nicaragua felt about Hamburg’s help. The reason behind her visit was due to our theme of the day: Aid and Development. Before her visit, we had an academic seminar to get a full understanding of the possible advantages and disadvantages of foreign aid in developing countries. We split into two groups and had to support the arguments that were pro-aid and anti-aid.
The seminar made us think about perspectives about aid that had never come to mind before. For example, I learned that aid can be unproductive at times because the help they receive is not specific to the needs of the community or country and could even negatively affect the economy. Thinking about these things helped us in beginning to think about our CAP (community action project) because we got a better understanding about aid. Whatever way we get a chance to help out the community, we need to find out what they need first, then make a plan to fit those needs, and deliver that plan in a sustainable way.
Our community action project is going to involve working in relationship with a children’s home. It is slightly different from an orphanage because many of the kids have parents, but their parents work far away during the week and can’t take care of them, or, in other cases, their parents don’t want them. We went to visit it this afternoon and driving there was very shocking because as we approached the children’s home, we noticed that the houses in the surrounding neighborhood were not just getting prettier but bigger. Most of us Glimpsers questioned the reason why we were in such a rich neighborhood in Leon, but then as we tuned the corner, we noticed that we were at the orphanage. The orphanage was in the heart of the rich neighborhood in Leon. As we entered, all 25 kids were standing in the front waiting to meet us with a sign that read: “Bienvenidos Global Glimpse.”
The joy in the little kids’ faces in meeting us made our days, and right away we got along, and they gave us all tours around their home and school, which were connected. This was the most meaningful part of my day. As I got a tour from a six-year-old girl pulling me everywhere because she was so excited to show me, I asked her where her parents were, and she told me that they left her there, and they never came back. Immediately after, she ran to the playground that was not in good condition.
A metal slide had a hole in the middle, making it dangerous for the kids to hurt themselves. I noticed that the children were very happy, and even having a playground that was falling apart, they all played together. I thought about my little cousins under the age of five and how they cry until they get their iPads or use of any technology. The children here depend on themselves and each other because they are all going through the same experience.
Walking into the girls’ room, we found there were only six bunk beds, and each had no pillow and no blanket. The beds were very hard and old. The room had no fans, and only one out of two lights were working. It was very discouraging to see the state of the living conditions the kids were in. But as we said our goodbyes, the little girl that gave me the tour asked if she could take a picture on my camera. She was so excited when I let her, and she suggested to take a picture of me after she captured moments between her and her friends. This captured moment with her is one I will remember as we begin to develop a project for her and the rest of the kids, and I hope to continue capturing more moments like it every day.
love love love,
Isabel Garcia (El Lider Del Dia)