Sorry to disappoint you, but dollar day is not exactly a survival challenge on how one can live on just a dollar. Instead, dollar day is a thoughtful expression which represents the life of Nicaraguans who live on minimum resources every day. They have no hot water, no finished flooring, minimal electricity, and sometimes even a shortage of food. Can American high school students make it through this kind of day?

It began the night before. A stack of buckets was distributed to each room. We were challenged to shower by pouring cups of water on our bodies. Through this experience, we realized how much water we could save and how much is wasted when we turn on running showers. Hand washing was also done with bucket water. We were allowed just one candle for the night.

All it took was a 6:00 a.m. wake-up. Immediately, we hopped on the bus to Isiqui, a small neighborhood of families who live on a few dollars a day. After a half-hour bus ride, we pulled up onto a baseball field. We were welcomed by generous women who ran each house. The students met up with their assigned families and followed them home. Apart from observing their life at home, we also got to give them a hand with their everyday chores. We realized that the people lack resources, but they somehow manage to have a relaxing life with so much leisure time. We Americans never envisioned a house with the bathroom outside the house and a kitchen without a stove or sink.

After having lunch with the families we played tag and popped a pinata with the little kids of the community. The group realized that all it took for these kids to be happy was a simple game of tag. “We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without” –Immanuel Kant IMG_3275[1] IMG_3282 IMG_3297 IMG_3305 IMG_3299