After lights out at 10:30pm from the previous night, students were ready to tackle their first full day (without a flight). We started with an early wake up at 7:00. That wasn’t too difficult though as the sun was already up, and things were already starting to warm up. By 8:00am, we were having breakfast at Comedor Imabite— a spot that we’d learn would become like a second home to us (we had already had lunch and dinner there the night before).
It was during breakfast that we started to get to work: tackling history. What history gets forgotten, and what history gets written down in our textbooks as “History” with a capital “H”? To start digging, we had to learn more about Nicaragua and León’s history. Camila and Carrie, the Global Glimpse Program Coordinators, led tours around León’s city center. We walked around the neighborhood that would be our home for the next two weeks. We examined Leon’s history through a giant mural that recounted the beginnings of the indigenous tribes to the Contra Wars in Nicaragua. Across the mural was the main plaza anchored by the Catedral de León. We climbed up narrow steps to the roof of the cathedral to get a bird’s eye view of the city. And this was all before lunch!
After lunch, we continued to explore Nicaragua’s and León’s history. Don Pablo Medrano, a representative of the Sutiaba tribe described the history of León and how the indigenous tribes helped make León what it is today. He discussed culture, history, and efforts to preserve the Sutiaba’s independence.
Students concluded the day with thoughtful reflections on their experience so far and on how history shapes not only the way we live, but the way we perceive the world. There were discussions about past historical events, current-day politics, and dominant narratives vs. counter narratives.
Today was just an introduction, and students have much more learning and exploring to do! Tomorrow we’re off to the beach to have some fun and learn more about culture.