“How are the people?”, “What do we need to do?”, ” what do Nicaraguans do in their everyday lives?”

These are some of the questions that went through our minds when we heard that we were going to live like a local here in Leon Nicaragua.

Living like a local consisted of some rules. We couldn’t use cameras, bring any money, use any of the lights in the hostel, and we took bucket baths. For breakfast and dinner we had a simple plate of Gallopinto and a tortilla.

The people in the community of Thomas Borges received us with open hands. All 22 of us students were separated into 9 different families. All of us were able to help the families with their chores for the day. We all had the opportunity to interact and learn more about the family.

Later on we joined with everyone and their families to a fruit eating competition. We competed in which group can eat all the fruit before the other group did. We also brought a piñata for the kids. Even with just a piñata the kids had a blast. We then got our food to eat lunch with our family. Leaving the families left us thinking about the question of the day…

Does money actually buy everything?

This question was discussed as a group and as we saw today that money doesn’t buy everything.

From what we’ve experienced today, it made us feel overwhelmed from what we have compared to what they have. The way of living here in Nicaragua is way different from United States.

Each family that we spent time with had different kinds of stories. Just like their children, walking all the way to school for how many minutes. Some families don’t have any refrigerator so they just store their food where ever they can, and some people have bad experiences in terms of their safety. In fact, they don’t have any health care near their community and running and electricity is very limited.  We are also struck by that fact that ALL the kids, no matter their age, help out with all the duties around the house.  One example was one of the 8 year old girls who was making a large pot of Gallo pinto for her entire family.  Now to sum it all up, even though they have this kind of living, you still see them smiling, laughing, and having fun as a whole family. We as a group felt it heart warming as we see happiness in their eyes. Also, we are thankful for what we have, and learned that we shouldn’t take things for granted .