Millions of people in the world live in a situation where they lack basic needs. This is called poverty, and many times, there is government aid. However, in Nicaragua, there is no more aid. Today we explored some of the circumstances when we visited the Nicaraguan Municipal Dump. Arriving at the dump, it struck us how organized everything was. Trash was in different piles, sorted by five types. Many of the workers had to support their big families with the very low pay they received for their work.

We had a chance to talk with them, and we learned how they shared many similarities with us. They had Facebook and a deep love for their families. As our group handed them snacks and drinks they were super happy and positive about it. What struck us the most was how they had appreciated the few things they had. This whole experience really made us think about how we deal with trash at home. Garbage workers in Leon wore regular clothing over normal shoes. We became aware of where we put our trash. We definitely will talk about waste management with our peers.

We also went to Barrilete, a place that provides daycare to children of sex-workers, those who work at kiosks, and a few who were abandoned. We were struck by how friendly all of the kids were. As soon as we got off of the bus, they all gave us hugs and greeted us with “hola” and “Como te llama?” It was surprising to see how positive the people were, though little Barrilete had so little to house and teach so many children. The director of Barrilete, Maria, was the most inspiring person we’ve met. She had an immersive, full-time job that she didn’t get paid for, but she was dedicated to the job because of the kids.

Additionally, today was our first day tutoring English. The students ranged from 13 years of age to people in their 40s, and they were incredibly friendly. They were a lot more advanced in their grasp of English than we were expecting, and they were ready to learn.

Today was a super packed day, and we were really proud of the whole group for staying engaged and energized throughout all the activities. As the “liders del dia (leaders of the day),” we’ve learned a lot about the virtues of patience, punctuality, and telling people to be somewhere earlier than needed in order to stay on schedule.