This is Justin and Bradley and we were the Leaders of the Day for “Deconstructing Poverty / Aid and Development” day. We started the day off with a delicious breakfast of pancakes (YES! FINALLY! SOME MURICAN FOOD!) Then we went on to do an energizer to try and wake up everyone. The energizer of the day was (drum roll…) the human knot! We split up into two groups and then criss-crossed our hands and tried to get ourselves untied. It was… interesting to say the least. One group managed to somehow untied themselves into two separate circles while the other had the luck of having James in their group
One of our main events for the day was our visit to the Estelí landfill. Before leaving we were assigned a “bus buddy” for the ride there. This was one of those “get to know somebody you don’t talk to” moments. Upon arriving at the landfill, we saw the community there and it was shocking to see the conditions they were in. There were makeshift houses made of cardboard and aluminum sheets literally on top of the landfill; houses that some of these people have been living in for 5 years. We took a self guided tour of the landfill and saw people searching through the landfill for recyclables and usable materials in order to make a living. Some of us struggled with the smell and the swarms of flies, but we managed to push through. After the visit, we went to see Dona Francisca and here community, which survived off of materials gathered from the dump. Unfortunately Dona Francisca had headed into Estelí earlier that day, so she wasn’t available. Instead, we asked questions to the leader of the community, and Dona Francisca’s mother (Coincidentally, her name was also Dona Francisca… so we kind of did get what we came for in a way we weren’t expecting.) We also spoke with a pastor that was helping out the community by building houses, building wells to clean water sources, and educating the kids there. He was working with an organization known as INSFOP.
Once we were finished we came back to Hotel El Chico, had lunch, and took a much needed mandatory shower. Following that came the also much needed break time. At around 3:00 two representatives came from INSFOP and allowed us to interview them. From them, we learned what they did, who they helped, and how they did it. In the future, we are planning on working with them to help the community we visited today,
Afterwards we were supposed to go and tutor English, however there was a slight change of plans when the students weren’t present at class. Instead, the group agreed on seeing the Estelí Night Life and visiting the Central park. There we played a new game known as pterodactyl, discovering that Harsh himself was one of them. Good news: The pterodactyl is no longer extinct 😀