“Please see the poverty we live in and learn from this experience. If you know people with shoes tell them to donate them because there are several hard workers here who need them”. Those were the words of an woman named Laura as she sobbed through telling about her life as a poverty stricken woman. She was a single grandmother with 8 children and 7 grandchildren to feed off of just $5 a day, $1 of which is spent on transportation to and from the dump.
Laura was one of the Nicaraguan people who were never given an opportunity to do more with their lives other than be farmers and dump truck sorters. This is because it is very hard to get an education past the preliminary stages (elementary) if you live in a rural area, because the high schools are in the city. Additionally, they have to help their families work on the farm or else they will starve.
It is too often that in the United States we a stranger asking for food or money and we deny this gift to them. Instead of finding out their story or background, we automatically assume that it is their own fault but in most cases, it is not. More times than not we are satisfied with making the most of ourselves as opposed to making the best out of the ones around us. And although, we might take that as life’s ultimatum, experiences like today remind us that there is a world bigger than ourselves and the ones we know.
But, in this time of despair, I found hope. Global Glimpse decided to have donors and board members come with us on the trip, a decision I am glad they made. They were extremely compassionate and sympathetic of this incredibly sad moment. After conversing with them and finding out that they were enthusiastic about using their wealth and influence to help the Nicaraguan people out, I became inspired. They let me know that affluent people still have sympathy for the less fortunate.
All in all, it was an eye-opening experience from both extremely poverty stricken people and wealthy people. From the impoverished side of things, it was a humbling experience where I learned about the hard everyday life of people who were not allowed to perform anything else but menial jobs. From the other side of things, I learned that someone from a completely different walk of life can understand someone’s dilemmas who is a lot less lucky in life. Yet, they still identify with and respect them as human beings the same as they would themselves. So far, I have tons of lessons to take back home to teach my cronies and family and even utilize them myself and it is only day four of twenty-one. For that, I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to not only witness firsthand but to also be emerged in the everyday life and culture of the impoverished people of Nicaragua.
On a side note, Colin says, “HI MAMA!”