“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Today was our first official day in the beautiful city of Matagalpa, “The Pearl of the North,” and it only seemed fitting that history and politics were our main focal points given that the country was still buzzing from yesterday’s revolution celebration. I modeled for the Glimpsers the roles and responsibilities of what the Student Leader of the Day (El Líder deldía) has–a tool that I implement in my classroom because I love the philosophy so much—and was ecstatic to do so. First up on the agenda was the wake up call at 6:15am. Next, was a delicious breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, toast, sliced pineapples and bananas, and dragon fruit juice. Then, Jeannie and I lead two educational seminars after breakfast in relation to the day’s themes, and the students soaked up the concepts from Nicaragua’s past like sponges.
When we were finished learning some background information, we went on a city tour of Matagalpa. If I were to post some pictures up of the town, it wouldn’t do it justice; so I will just tell you what some of the students’ reactions were during the walk:
Kerene- It is so green here! It is not like this everywhere you go in San Jose!
Jay-There was a lot of trash…although there was a lot of beauty also.
Krina and Reyna- All the stores and bustle remind [them both] of India.
Tajah-I really want a hotdog…
Following the tour, we went back to the hostel to eat lunch and then were off again to our next destination, named Cerro el Calvarro. Traveling by private bus, we navigated the city’s narrow, unpaved roads up a steep hill and passed cattle and luscious foliage to the mirador.
When we returned home, there was still much more to accomplish. We met with two guest speakers from opposing political parties: Mario Prado (from the Liberal party) and Sonia Hernandez (a soldier during the revolution from the Socialist party.) I heard Mario speak and the thing that stood out to me the most was that he believed that the “Sandinsta revolution was an absolute failure because then there was another revolution (rebellion) to counter it.” He also spoke passionately about empowering the people and education—especially among the poor. The students had a chance to discuss what they learned with one another and relate it to their everyday lives. I was flabbergasted to see/hear 20 kids talking about politics! This is a very hard thing for even adults , let alone actually be in a room with meaningful conversations taking place about what we can do in both the United States and Nicaragua to better our own understanding of the world.
In the evening, we watched a German movie titled, The Wave, that encompassed the beliefs of a dictatorship but in a modern school setting. I am pretty certain that we all agreed that something as big as the Holocaust could still happen today, and the movie made us reflect on just how easy it is to be manipulated by the media and the government.
Buenas noches chavalos,