Today was our second day in Granada and we were up bright and early with a pancake breakfast from Don Carlos. After our meal, we did an energizer in the courtyard that got us moving and prepared for our first Academic Seminar-an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of what is to come. Today was Official Day 1-History. Students said they felt it is necessary to know the past in order to understand the present. Students also mentioned that history is written by survivors. Because of this, the stories we come to learn and know might contain bias, and might not encompass all of the perspectives of the story and those affected. Especially when considering who writes the history textbooks. We spoke about being curious, asking questions, and just questioning in general, especially what we see and hear in the media.

We asked students why they are on this trip and many of them spoke about their families and teachers and how supportive they were. One student said she wanted to understand the experience of her grandmother that she grew up learning from. It became clear how important it is to be supportive and encouraging to our young people. We also spoke about the importance of investing in our own histories by using our elders as a source of knowledge and a resource to understand what brought us to where we are. Each of us has a history unique to us, and we will be sharing these parts of ourselves in the coming days.

The guest speaker and brilliant historian Jorge Diaz made this very clear when he spoke about the connections and similarities between Nicaraguan history and our students histories and where we come from-Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Portugal, India, Mexico, Ecuador, Barbados, Haiti, and Italy. We learned about the struggles for power, the courage of young people and women and how they impacted the history of this country, and of course, we learned about the first woman to be elected President in the North American Continent- Violetta Chamorro.

We were able to tour the city by horse, do a walking tour of the largest lake in Central America, Lago Cacibolca, and enjoy a traditional meal at Don Carlos restaurant. Students felt extremely grateful and welcomed by the restaurant staff and the space itself. While we are still adjusting to the heat and the busy days, we are appreciating being forced to slow down, look around, and enjoy the history, people, culture, and food that Nicaragua has to offer us. It’s lights out en la Casa Roja, gearing up for another busy day tomorrow!

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