Heyyyy y’all, it’s Michelle and Jessica back to give a brief update about this eye-opening day! We started off the day by waking up a bit later than usual, at 7:30 in the morning. Speeding forward we had a quick bus ride to NutreHogar, where our journey of ‘Deconstructing Poverty’ officially began. NutreHogar is a non-profit organization created to assist kids (Younger than 5 years old) within Panama suffering from malnutrition. We were introduced to Maruquel, the director of NutreHogar, who kindly and thoroughly explained to us experiences she has had with children and significant events in the organization’s history.

As we advanced through the day, we learned to be more appreciative of what we have already and not be so attentive to unnecessary or excessive items. We were told a story at NutreHogar about a toddler, Alejandra, who suffered domestic abuse, who currently lives at the facility. After meeting Alejandra, our group was impacted by her aura of positivity and her innocence; we all discussed our gratitude to be living in a healthy environment with an abundance of opportunities.

As Lideres del Dia, we not only learned more about our own skillsets but also about our individual comfort levels around new experiences. We both took a different approach to the role, focusing on different assets in order to run the day smoothly and effectively. We learned more about the group, the numerous connections that are slowly building up, the personal stories behind each person, and their opinions on such sensitive topics. As lideres, we gained our own confidence and understanding about the type of Leaders we are.

Being the lideres on the second day of English tutoring, we oversaw the extreme changes our group has had with the students. After the first day of tutoring, many of us had experienced struggles with communicating productively with the students but with the help of our amazing program leaders, we were able to create the best environment and lesson plans that fit our abilities. We hope to learn and grow along with the students we’re teaching.

Tomorrow will be the 7th day of our trip, which will focus on “Working as a Local”. Passing on the Torch, the Lideres del Dia will be Emily B and Hadleigh. A quick idea of what we are doing before we call it a day is……making Panamanian cultural sandals called cutarras. We hope we succeed and have a fantastic day!!!

Buenos Noches y Adios, Michelle and Jessica J