Today posed as a challenge for the Glimpsers as we pushed ourselves into an uncomfortable lifestyle. We rose at 6 a.m in order to start the day off early and on the right foot. For breakfast we ate pineapple, banana, an assortment of tradition breads and orange juice, which sadly came from a bottle instead of freshly squeezed. After breakfast the Glimpsers went upstairs to talk about poverty and the five P’s that contribute to a country being considered impoverished. The 5 P’s are People, Place, Past, Peace, and Politics. Using this as a guide, we then were given pieces of paper indicating one of the 5 and we grouped them together to develop a better understanding of what contributes the most to poverty. Throughout the meeting we found that People and Place can greatly effect poverty due to the number of people and how quickly overpopulation can become a problem. As well as placement which determines natural disasters and the ability to use the land as a resource.
After our meeting we made our way to the bus and drove to LAS Hormiguitas, which is a school that provides teen moms and children without an education a safe haven. The women we talked to were angels sent from above due to their selflessness and outstretched arms to the minorities in the Nicaraguan society, pregnant teens and uneducated individuals. We soon learned about a device called Escuelas Movil (Mobil School) which was easily transported between the market, poorer neighborhoods, the central park, and the dump. Which leads to our next mission, as the students entered the bus there was definite confusion as well as obvious nerves. Without much explanation of what we might see at the dump, we were afraid of how traumatic it might be. In a sense we were right to be alert, however it wasn’t what we were expecting. There was a large amount of land dedicated to trash, however the piles that we thought we towered over our heads, were really broken trash bags laying flat over a larger area rather than neatly stacked and organized. As an advocate of the dangers our planet faces, this was concerning. But an even larger issue than that was what was being done. Around 35-40 Nicaraguans we searching through the trash ranging from ages 5 to 50. Children being taken out of schools to spend their days searching from salvageable items such as, metals, bottles, cans, and tarp to sell out on the street for a profit. This felt very foreign as well as sad to many of us because its hard to imagine this being an occupation or even a normalized lifestyle. As we got to know the kids due to use the Mobil School to help teach them math, English, Spanish grammar and spelling, we realized how kind and happy they seemed. Although this is not a normal lifestyle in our country or even a developing country, the people knew what had to be done on their part to make ends meet. To me this felt noble as well as brave for putting on a happy face and making the best of their situation.
When we made it back to the hostel there was a mandatory shower for health precautions and then a self-reflection so we could discuss what it felt like to be at the dump. This conversation lasted nearly half and hour and each student was required to share their experience. After all of this we were given a break for lunch which was beef, rice, salad, plantains and dragonfruit with lemon. Following lunch was the leadership meeting for August and then we were given a chance to go out into the city with the restriction of spending only $1= 28 cordobas because of the circumstances we had faced that day. Once we returned to the hostel we had dinner which was fried squash with egg, beans, diced tomatoes, and ice tea. After this we went immediately to English tutoring and then headed home for the nightly meeting. We debriefed on the day and I passed off the torch to August who discussed the plans for our Community Action Project which will be starting tomorrow. Now it is time for bed as we expect to rise for an early morning tomorrow.
A view of the dump. Out of respect to those working there, we did not take photos during our time there.