Today we began the day later than usual and ate a leisurely breakfast before preceding to the morning seminar and activity. In the seminar, the group discussed Nicaraguan politics, past and current Nicaraguan political parties, and the civil war and revolution. Along with discussing national politics we learned about the effect the U.S. has had on Nicaragua.
To provide some context for the seminar and the discussion of Nicaraguan politics, the day began with Ben and Julia taking me as a “political prisoner” then forcing the group to negotiate for my release. Ben made increasingly absurd demands including asking for three shoes and forty meters of dental floss, which eventually resulted in the rest of the group staging a prisoner exchange then “killing” Ben in order to secure my freedom. After my successful rescue, the seminar began. In the seminar the group discussed the two most prominent political parties in Nicaragua (the Sandinistas and the Liberals), and the presidency of Daniel Ortega and a number of other prominent politicians.
After the seminar we participated in a mock election in which the group was divided into Sandinistas, Liberals, and undecideds. The Liberals and the Sandinistas then chose a Presidential Candidate to represent them and prepared for a debate. I moderated the debate in which a the two candidates (Julia and Erick) answered questions about issues like corruption and the economy. After the debate an election was held that I rigged in favor of Julia (there were more votes than there were people), then Ben “assassinated” Julia.
Once our morning activities were done, we ate lunch, and went on a political mural tour of Esteli. The tour began at Casa De Cultura, the community center in Esteli, and wound its way through the center of the city until we reached the City Hall. Along the way we saw murals of famous Sandinista revolutionaries, and depictions of the city’s rich history as a catalyst for the revolution.
In the evening we returned to Casa De Cultura to teach English, had our customary nightly meeting, and the wrote down our thoughts about the political situation in Nicaragua.