Today we woke up bright and early to begin our Politics day. We had two rival political parties (The Sandinista and Liberal parties) come to the Hostel to teach us about politics and their political party. Instead of falling asleep to middle aged men with overly large vocabularies talking at us, we actually got to hear from the youth of the political parties. Their ages ranged from as young as fourteen to thirty years old. The rivalry was very obvious throughout the entire activity. One story that stood out to me was the life story of one of the men from the Liberal party. His uncle was kidnapped and imprisoned by the Sandinistas where he was beaten to death. Also, an older lady who joined the youth of the Sandinistas told us about how she had to fight against the Samozas (a political party who had control at the time) after her brother was killed by them. She decided to join the army and fight in order to end the long history of dictatorships.
Today I also learned that it is difficult to uncover the truth in politics. The Liberal party claimed that there was corruption in the presidential elections that led to Sandinista victories, but the Sandinistas said that that was impossible because once someone votes they put an ink mark on everyone’s hands that does not go away until after polls close. Tension grew even more when both parties were brought into the same room for lunch. They sat on opposite sides of the room and never spoke to each other. They claimed that they did not mind the other party, but everyone could sense the tension.
After they left we held our own elections. Half of us were a part of the Liberal party and the other half was the Sandinista party. We all got to hear the speeches from the candidates and then vote for whomever we wanted. Even though we had a serious day of politics we all got a huge laugh when one of our candidates was giving their speech the person with the dart (a game that we have had going for a while) “shot” her and she had to “die” on stage. After some corruption during our election the Sandinista candidate won. After a long day we got to enjoy some delicious authentic Italian pizza right here in Matagalpa.