Hello readers! My name is Joshua Ron Henry Trajada Roa. I´m 17 years old, and I attend Lowell High School in San Francisco, California. I wake up everyday in Leon, Nicaragua thinking “Wow, we are one amazing group of teenagers.” Despite the fact that this is my first time being away from my family and everything that I know, I still feel at home and safe around my fellow Glimpsers. This country is not only full of vibrant beauty and overwhelming amount of culture, but it is also full of loving people that welcomes tourists with open arms.

Throughout the day our Glimpsers observed the world around us keeping these questions in our heads, “How does culture impact the development of a country? And, why is it important to preserve culture?” Likewise, we were enlightened by the words of Marcus Garvey, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

For our Glimpsers, the scorching hot Nicaraguan morning started at 7:15 AM. Being leader of the day has its pluses, but being in charge of waking up 19 tired teenagers and herding them out the front gates is DEFINITELY NOT ONE OF THEM. Then, we strutted down to our favorite eatery “Quiero Mas” (I want more). We took 30 minutes to stock up some energy for our fun-filled day. Beans, rice, eggs, and bananas, as usual, satisfied our tummies.

Afterwards, our GG coordinators took us on a surprise field trip to Talleres Xuchialt. There our Glimpsers made a vibrant and detailed sawdust rug. The artists of the facility mixed pine sawdust with assorted color dyes, which is then used to construct temporary awe-inspiring works of art. After darkening our hands with dyes creating figures that represent our American culture combined with Nicaraguan culture, the group took pictures and continued to destroy the sawdust rugs. We all agreed that this represented the moral of materialism; Instead of treasuring the out come of your labor, it is better to cherish and absorb one´s journey to achieving that goal.

Before arriving and after leaving Talleres Xuchialt, our Glimpsers has shown their mastery of commuting on crowded and hectic Nicaraguan buses. Our lunch restored the needed energy to push us through the day, and nobody complained about the expected beans and rice combo.

From 1:00 to 3:00 PM we worked on our CAP Project which is our community service project. Los Ositos (little bears) is a day care center focused on providing care for children with working parents. From what I heard, the group in charge of repairing the furniture had a productive meeting, and same goes for the group in charge of constructing playground structures. Being part of the mural group, I can vouch that we got down to business planning blue-prints and writing up presentations.

Then, we had an hour and a half of free time which got everyone so pumped. Of course some stayed to take naps or plan their English lesson plans for tutoring. Afterwards we had dinner. From there, we headed for our tutoring sessions with our Spanish-speaking students. Teaching is not one of my fortes, to be honest, but conversing with the people I teach is one of the greatest joys of my day. I learned that most of the ways we communicate does not require speaking or words, we see it in each others´ eyes. From the body language, I can tell whether one of my students is lost or confused.

The nightly meeting went smoothly, and like always one of our glimpsers performed an amazing dance move before receiving the responsibility of leadership.

Throughout the day, experienced how influential art can be in communities. I hope to incorporate this influential aspect to our mural project at Los Ositos preschool here in Leon.


-Joshua Roa