Culture is the theme of today’s activities. We experienced first hand several aspects of Nicaraguan culture as represented by the Jinotegans.
We visited Ceramica Negro in Tomatoya. It is a women-run pottery cooperative. Each one of us learned how to make small plates under the guiding hands of the experts. It was an exhilarating experience for most of us. We now know that there is so much work behind each piece of pottery: from digging for the right soil and hauling it out of the dig site, baking the pieces made, and to decorating each piece with a sharpened bicycle spoke.
As a bonus, we also learned to make rosquilla from the women of the cooperative. Rosquilla is a sugared pastry made from corn. Like the pottery they make, this is also made from scratch. What a laborious process! The result was delicious. Even better is knowing that we got these new skills and knowledge for free. Yes, we were not charged for taking their time away from their families and their livelihood.
The day ended with an explosion of dancing, or should we say, our attempts at polka, mazurka and one other dance that starts with a”j” after we watched a video documentary of Nicaraguan cultural expressions through religious celebrations, music, painting, handicraft and stories of dwende and fantasma.
P. S. We had hamburguesa and papas fritas for dinner for those of us who eat meat and an appropriate option for those who have a different dietary preference. 😉