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Today was the second of our two cultural immersion days. The challenge, “Working like a Local” was intended to teach us the various obstacles rural farmers face in Estelí. After traveling to the farm, La Garnacha, and engaging ourselves in the daily life of a Nicaraguan farmer, we compared the process of cultivating and selling their products to that of farmers in the United States. We noticed that similar to the United States, many farm owners have turned to sustainable farming, because of its positive impact on the environment and its ability to reduce our global footprint. One of the aspects of ecofarming that was shown to us was a unique way of creating compost and fertilizer using earthworms.

Afterwards, we participated in various daily routines across La Garnacha. This included milking goats, hiking to one of the most famous viewpoints in Nicaragua, grinding and roasting coffee beans, and cutting down grass with machetes. We then treated ourselves to shopping at the local artisans’ store and tasting their authentic Nicaraguan coffee.

Upon returning to Estelí, we prepared the final design of our community action project, which is to give new life to the headquarters of an environmental organization, Mujeres Ambientalistes (Environmental Women). As leaders, we were pleasantly surprised to see that everyone had ideas to contribute. Every student in this group is extremely passionate about giving back to the community that has taught us so much. We have all fallen in love with the organization that we are working with, and we are driven to do our best for people who, like us, support a cause.