After a good night’s sleep and a power breakfast of scrambled eggs and gallo pinto, we strolled to the market to step into the shoes of local vendors. We experienced what it was like to be true local Nicaraguans—working tirelessly for 10 hours a day for a small profit of just over $2. While getting to know our hosts, we learned that most venders earn their main source of income from their stalls to support their entire family. After a mere few hours of work, we were exhausted and couldn’t imagine working everyday as the locals do.

Jonathan and Kyra try selling clothing at the market

Justin, Elie, and Jackie show off the variety of clothing this stall offers

After sharing lunch with our hosts, we took a bus to Sandalias Tosca, a renowned sandal factory that has a positive impact on the community and the workers’ lives.

“As economic globalization gathers momentum, countries like China and the United States have become highly interdependent economically. Such economic relations would not enjoy sustained, rapid growth if they were not based on mutual benefit or if they failed to deliver great benefits to the United States.”

Glimpsers Josh, Jade, and Allison tour the Sandalia Tosca factory

This kind of relationship can be seen perpetuating throughout history, as the United States has gained global power and dominated international businesses. In many cases, economic advantage is prioritized over humanitarian, environmental, and local concerns. However, Sandalias Toscas proves otherwise. They treat their workers well by providing flexible hours and adequate pay. Their working environment is held at a comparably higher standard than that of a typical factory in developing countries. Hisel Martinez, the manager of Sandalias Toscas, gave us a comprehensive tour of the factory highlighting the assembly-line production. We were fascinated by the detailed work and commitment of the staff, learning that it is possible to efficiently produce a product while still maintaining a positive attitude. We were so impressed by the beautiful sandals that many of us purchased a few pairs.

Glimpsers observe worker screen printing logos onto the sandals

All that aside, CAP Panel Prep and English tutoring is going great! It’s unbelievable that we’re already half-way done with English tutoring. It feels great knowing we are helping these dedicated students. Tomorrow, we will be pitching our detailed CAP plans to Maria when she visits the hostel. We hope she will enjoy our plans to beautify, organize, and improve Barilette as a whole.

P.S. — We miss Zena and Snowball (our dogs) and everyone who misses us back at home. Please send in more comments!

Your LDDs,

Allison and Kyra

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