Today we embarked on our Aid & Development Day; Seminar 6!

First we went off to visit the organization FUMDEC, whose main goal is to empower women within the communities to step up and take the leadership role, not only in their families but in their communities as well. The organization helps these women create their own businesses through the help of micro credit loans and seminars. Marisol, the manager of the micro credit program, gave us an excellent presentation and undoubtedly inspired and empowered many of our own glimpsers.

Next, we went on the bus and drove through the streets of Matagalpa and the wilderness, which we weren’t always so sure we’d make it out of, to the wonderful little community of Matasano. It was here that we met the extremely friendly Araceli, who is one of FUMDEC’s amazing success stories. She took out a loan from FUMDEC only just three years ago to buy herself a few cows and from that she eventually launched her widely successful cheese business. Now, her loan has been paid off and people from all of Nicaragua, even the capital, come to her for her cheese and diner. She took in our group with open arms, a huge smile, a great story, and a delicious lunch. She personally, despite being 8 months pregnant with her first child, walked us through the mountainous terrain of the community she calls home. The views were breath taking and we ran into a few friendly furry faces along the way. She then hugged all of us goodbye and we were back on our way through the mountains to the hostel.

The next big part of our wonderful day was the introduction of the CAP (Community Action Project). We will be, as a group, deciding on a sustainable project to benefit the community even long after we are gone. We were introduced to the partner organization and began the discovery phase of our project. More to come on how that develops!

To end this great day, we got to return to El Progresso to teach our second English classes. Despite the lack of a few sick teachers and a very raucous drum practice in the courtyard, everyone had a successful class. Shout out to Seth and Dwight for stepping in on the classes with only one teacher. They were a huge help and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The kids are starting to really enjoy our time together and love to keep us at the school long after classes are over, asking us all for pictures and Facebook. Everyone is really glad this is part of our trip and can’t wait for the next time we get to teach.

We are all tired and our days are blurring together but we’re having the time of our lives. We miss everyone at home and hope you enjoy seeing what we see!

– Emma & Andrew A.

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