We had a very productive day where we learned about aid and development. The day started off with breakfast, and we had some delicious ham and cheese sandwiches, omelets, mangoes, and pineapple juice. Divya and Suzanne led an academic seminar which supplied us with knowledge on the positive and negative sides of aid and development. For the seminar activity, we were separated into two groups and we had to create an organization with a goal, and positive and negatives of the organization’s outcomes. Everyone realized during the process of aiding, we must not create dependency and the work we do must create sustainability. The saying of the academic seminar really got everyone thinking for the day: “You can give a man a fish, and he will eat for one day, or you can teach a man how to fish, and he can eat for a lifetime”.

The next seminar was about the background on the CAP (Community Action Project), and it was led by Aaron and Oliver. The CAP project is divided into three parts: Discover, Design, Deliver. The project is going to be focused on the Dreamers classroom at the Maryknoll primary school, and today we focused on phase one, discover. Everyone had to brainstorm questions that we were going ask the teachers of the class later in the day. Next, we had a guest speaker, Emily Sendin, she’s the representative of the Imagination Federation. Emily got the whole group to go through an activity where we had to decide if we agree, disagree, or were neutral about the statements she said by standing on a certain side of the room corresponding to the answer. We discussed the reason for picking our answer, and there were many controversies among the different answers. After the activity, Emily joined us for a lunch of fried chicken, pickles, rice, and fruit punch.

We had a field trip to Maryknoll primary school in Chacraseca, where we surprised the Dreamers class with two piñatas. The kids had so much fun diving to the ground in their uniforms to get as much candy as they could. We enjoyed every part of the piñata activity, and had a chance to take a few swings at the piñata as well. Then, the teachers of the Dreamers class, Rita and Leila, answered our questions about their needs for the class. We got all the information we needed for the second phase of the CAP project which is to design a plan on what we’re going to do for them.

After the visit to the school, we went to go visit the “Sewing Hope” project at La Ferreteria “Construyndo Esperanzas”. We saw women show us the things they make and sell, having the money go back to the community, and also empower the women. They had recycled empty chip bags woven into purses and wallets as well as home made designer handbags and stoles which would cost hundreds of dollars in the U.S. We didn’t see the women make the chip bags, but we were shown a general procedure of making the handbags and stoles from painting fabric to sewing it all together. The overall process is a lot of work to make one purse, so it’s very time consuming. I’m glad they welcomed us to their “Sewing Hope” project even though they had so much work to do.

After a nice ride back to the hostel, we went straight to planning our lesson plans for English tutoring. We had dinner after, which consisted of Nicaraguan tamales, mashed beans, hot dogs, and fruit punch. After dinner, everyone got ready to go to the university where we teach English. When the two hour class ended, everyone was really enthusiastic because their students were progressing well.

It was a very long, tiring day for everyone but it worked out perfectly fine.