Hello everyone! My name is Agata and I was El Leader del Dia for today. Today was another tough day since we had to wake up at 5a.m. again, but we managed to stay energized through the activities. In the morning, we had a seminar with our GG Leaders about poverty. As a group, we discussed an article that we read, which dealt with poverty in Nicaragua, and more specifically, the poverty in the rural areas. After we all expressed our ideas and got engaged in a very strong discussion, we went on a field trip to Las Hormiguitas. The program coordinator spoke to us about what Las Hormiguitas is all about. We also found out about the Escuela Movil team, which is a mobile school that travels to kids who are less fortunate and aren’t able to go to school on their own. Most of the time, Escuela Movil travels to dumps like the one we went to today. Once we arrived at the dump, the volunteers set up the mobile school and the children working at the dump came running over and were eager to see what we all came for. While we were at the dump, many of us were able to speak to a few of the kids, and we even played a soccer game with them. It was a long game, especially through the heat, but everyone did awesome. After coming back to the hostel, everyone was expected to take mandatory showers since we just came back from the dump, and then we went out for lunch.
After lunch, we all sat in a circle and had a self-reflection about what we saw at the dump and our whole experience in general. Later on in the afternoon, two women came from La Amistad, which is the organization where we will be delivering our Community Action Project. Miguel, Nachiket, Emely, and I gave a presentation about our vision for remodeling the library, and luckily our project got approved! After the presentation we went to dinner, and right after we watched a movie called “Wasteland.” The movie was about a man named Vik Muniz, a Brazilian artist, who traveled to a landfill in Rio de Janerio, and made masterpieces of the worker’s portraits at the landfill with the materials that were found at the dump. The movie was touching for our whole group and we discussed it at our nightly meeting.
Personally, the day was very emotional for me. I always heard people talking about how poverty is bad, but they never explained how bad actually it is. After going to the dump, my whole perspective changed. Being able to experience poverty first hand and not through a book or someone else’s words, meant so much to me and that is an experience that no one will ever be able to take away from me. It was very hard to stand at the dump and not be able to do something about the people suffering, but I decided to be realistic and decided to do what I can. I saw the guys playing soccer with one of the teenagers there and he had the biggest smile on his face. It was crazy how all those people have nothing, yet they walk around with smiles on their faces. Also, the movie “Wasteland” meant so much more to me after coming back from the dump. It meant more because I finally understood what those people were going through. So for my last words of today, just remember: It’s never too late to make a change, no matter how small it is.