Poverty. Poverty is an unfortunate reality in any part of the word and we came face to face with it today. The main event today was our group’s visit to the Jinotega dump. Here people survive by picking out garbage. There were aspects of their jobs that were unfamiliar to us, such as the number of insects . It’s not a glamorous job; it’s dirty, but it puts food on the table. After our emotional visit, we watched the documentary Dreaming Nicaragua which provided further insight into impoverished people of Nicaragua’s situations and how they persevere and still manage to find happiness throughout it all. Immediately afterwards, we had our third day of English tutoring which went fantastically for everyone involved. Every single delegate has had their heart touched by the students’ willingness to learn.

Today we learned what one of the bottom most layers of Nicaraguan poverty looked like. It was incredibly different from that same bottom layer in the United States. Several delegates had to take a step back and re-evaluate their complaints about their lives when the people we met today managed to keep a smile while doing their job. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this experience for me was how it didn’t seem all that bad. Before visiting the dump we were told that this is the most emotional part of our trip, many students would cry, and the adults would be willing to talk to us privately about the emotions we felt. It seemed like it would be an extremely negative experience, but I came out with a new appreciation of the human spirit. Despite everything, these were people who were not only doing the dirty job of picking through trash for value, but they managed to do it with a smile on their face. Many were open and happily willing to speak to us about their lives and how they planned to give their children a proper education. One of the things I am very proud of my peers for today was that they didn’t show any signs of disgust towards these people nor any pity. We met an inspiring lot of people today, but the one that stood out to me the most was the group of men we encountered in the dump who were enjoying a game of soccer in their free time. They laughed, cracked jokes, and just kept a smile on their faces not minding their situations. Even considering their home our home which was absolutely touching. Being El Lider Del Dia today was an incredibly interesting experience. The morning seemed to be going smoothly but when we headed to the dump we spent a little too much time there due to how captivating the experience was. The entirety of the schedule was then off which empathized how a leader must be flexible… or at least that’s what I told myself. Overall it was an interesting experience being in charge of seventeen other teens. Today I learned that I usually tend to be an optimist in grim looking situations. Instead of feeling dread for these people, I hoped that many of them would succeed at putting their children through school and those same children would break the cycle and get out of the extreme poverty they were living in.

Today was an incredibly enlightening day for everyone. From those expecting the worst and those expecting something that would seem not too extreme, we all learned and gained a whole new appreciation for these people. Today no pictures will be added to the blog today in respect for the people we met today as well as a way to simulate the locals’ living conditions. This trip has been an amazing experience so far and I know it will continue to be until the end. Hope everyone checks in tomorrow for the next blog post!