Question of the day: What is poverty?
Today, we went to visit the Matagalpa City Dump. It was a very emotional day and resulted in many deep discoveries about ourselves and huge emotional and mental impacts. We prepared for this trip by learning about poverty in Nicaragua, the living conditions of those in poverty, and learning about the way the dump system works in Matagalpa. We were warned the night before that we would not be fully emotionally prepared for what we would see and would not need pictures to remember. While at the dump we spoke with the workers at the dump who were between the ages of 14 and 24 years of age. There were also many small children there which made the experience harder. Workers at the dump work from around 5 AM to 12 PM sorting through mounds of trash for things like plastic, bronze, metal, copper, and any other valuables that can be traded for cordobas. Aside from the workers and children, we saw A LOT of bugs, many vultures, feces, and glue sniffers. Although it was a very disturbing encounter, we were not allowed to heavily react to anything we saw, smelled, or heard. We could not cover our mouths, make abrupt noises, and also could not wear or bring anything of value. Matagalpa city hall also attempted to send police officers with the group. We gave the workers juice and bread after the tour of the dump and returned to our hostel to take mandatory showers and self reflect. All in all, today was a very emotionally and mentally taxing day but it taught the group something about the way we live our lives and ultimately brought the group closer together.