Hola! It’s Angie and Herman the leaders of the day! The theme for today was “Working Like a Local.” To begin our day, we woke up our fellow glimpsers at 4:45am sharp to begin the day. Then, we began our commute to our first job of the day at La Gamacha, a community farm. There we were able to milk cows and goats, feed animals, and harvest coffee beans. We then were privileged to eat lunch that contained food grown directly on the farm we were visiting. This meal gave us an appreciation for the hard work of farmers and we understood how local farmers who farm organically, rather than with machines and chemicals, can benefit from a healthy and productive lifestyle that is also environmentally friendly.
After our first trip; we traveled back to the city, Esteli, to visit a cigar factory. This local small business was owned by a German man named Ralf Westerwick. He hosted us at his house and served us coffee (which was much appreciated after our early morning) while beginning to give us information on the globalization of cigar selling. He included that he had the intentions of creating jobs for the people in the community. At the location we saw the process of cigar making and discussed how the tobacco leaves are harvested, where they were sold and for how much one cigar was sold for. Mr. Westerwick spoke about the benefits that his workers had; weekends off because he knows the importance of family and lenient working hours.
After our trips to visit local businesses,we then traveled back to our Hostal for the third stage of our Community Action Project – our CAP Presentation. We presented the problem we had learned about from our visit to Los Pipitos last week, as well as the solution and plan for Los Pipitos that we worked on yesterday. We spoke about how we will meet their needs for a community garden which will give their students a balanced diet and also a source of income for the school. The staff of Los Pipitos are very excited to work with us this week and are grateful for our time and efforts, and they appreciate that we listened to what they needed.
During our self reflections and nightly meeting we spoke about some of the negative impacts of globalization on the environment and workers, as well as some of the positive impacts for local entrepreneurs. One of our leaders, John, informed us that the cigar factory workers only make half of one percent of what the cigars are sold for in Germany. This opened the eyes of many because it showed us how businesses can benefit from the expense of workers and their community. On the other hand, when we were working on the farm, we had a different feeling. There was unity all throughout the community and their job was their lifestyle. From this, the workers benefitted directly and showed our three C’s: courage, compassion, and commitment, towards their work. Our program coordinator, Erik, spoke passionately about the choices we make as consumers and how those choices can have a big impact on the world and the environment, as well as on our own health. Together, we brainstormed actions we could take back home to ‘be the change’ we want to see in the world, including: buy locally, buy from secondhand stores, research companies and their business practices, shop at farmer’s markets, and spread awareness about businesses and their practices.
After our hard day of labor and very intense nightly meeting we headed to bed early since we will wake up early once again tomorrow for our fun day!