Today’s agenda was dedicated to culture and how it is sustained in Granada. Before we went out to experience Nicaragua’s culture (specifically Granada’s) firsthand, we brainstormed a list of words that Americans typically associate with Latin America and words Nicaraguan’s might associate with America. This lists were truthful in some regards and laden with stereotypes in others, but the activity helped us to put the relationship between Latin America and the US in perspective.
After leaving the hostel, we took our air-conditioned bus, which us Glimpsers were more than grateful for, to San Juan de Oriente. There, we went to the home/art studio of Don Jose and learned about the ways in which he preserves Indigenous culture through his pottery art. He showed us how to work the pottery wheel and gave us each a small vase to paint using our own inspirations. Although art is not every Glimpser’s strong-suit, everyone was very involved and had a great time expressing themselves through creation. Perhaps this was because of how inspirational Don Jose was. He had a story behind each of his art pieces and his entire family was involved in their making. It is rare to find an artist that makes a living out of their passion, yet Don Jose was a prime example.
Another highlight of the day was attending Mass at a local Catholic church. A group of students, religious and non-religious mixed, walked to the gigantic cathedral to experience Granada’s Catholic practice. I, being one of the non-religious ones, found myself to be completely immersed in the ornate decorations, music, and words of the priest (after a fellow student translated his sermon to me). It was an unexpected immersion, but an eye-opening one nonetheless.
Being the first El Lider Del Dia, or Leader of the Day was a difficult but helpful experience. I’ve struggled with shyness in the past, and more recently with being assertive and taking on the responsibilities of a leader. However, I learned that if I have enough support and if I am willing to push myself, I can lead others and allow myself to grow in more ways than one. I plan to keep developing these leadership muscles even after my trip in Granada.