Hola! Today was our Culture day!
We woke up at 7 am and walked to the comedor for a traditional Nicaraguan breakfast spiced with pico de gallo and a cold glass of dragonfruit juice. After breakfast, we returned to the hostel and Molly, one of our lovely GG leaders, led an academic seminar on Nicaraguan culture. We discussed stereotypes we’d heard about Central America and worked to move beyond them.
After the seminar, we visited Xuchialt, an art school in an indigenous neighborhood of Leon. They welcomed us with a traditional Nicaraguan dance called El Viejo y La Vieja (the old man and woman.) Every year Xuchialt makes carpets from sawdust to celebrate Holy Week. Artists spend all day making hundreds of colorful carpets on the streets of Leon. Today we got to make our own carpets! While we worked, we were serenaded by live guitar and popular Nicaraguan songs. After we made the carpets, we trampled them with our feet, in accordance with tradition. Everyone loved the chance to get a little artsy and learn more about Nicaraguan culture!
Again to imabite for a replenishing meal! In the afternoon we visited the Myths and Legends museum. Our tour guide told us about La Llorana and other Nicaraguan legends. The museum is housed in a building which once served as a prison under the Somoza dictatorship.
After the museum, we walked to the Plaza Central to learn about Nicaraguan culture from the source: the people themselves. Groups of students walked up to locals young and old to ask them questions about Nicaragua’s history and legends. This was many students’ favorite part of the day. Matt and Tim played baseball with some little kids. And Katia’s group befriended a group of Nicaraguan teenagers. Everyone was struck by how friendly everyone was, and impressed by the depth and complexity of their stories.
After dinner we had our nightly meeting and Molly passed the torch to Luwam, who will be our Leader of the Day tomorrow. Good luck, Luwam!