Don’t Forget Nicaragua

I arrived in Granada, Nicaragua in September 2014 via chicken bus. Walking those beautiful, oppressively hot streets in the middle of the day with all of my worldly belongings on my back, I had a feeling this place would change me.

I can say with certainty now that it did. It was there that I met and fell in love with my now husband, and made friends that have become family. It was there that I grew confident in my practice of travel and teaching. It was there that I faced down some of the ugliest realities of white privilege and the legacy of colonization; where I had the experience of being the visible minority; where I fought tooth and nail with deeply ingrained and overt sexism, struggling with my place and role in it all.

It’s there that I first took the stance of activist teacher; and of the importance of instilling self-esteem in students; in helping them to know and understand that they have power and that they can make a difference.

So who would I be if I didn’t use what space I have to make you aware, single reader, that the city hall in Granada has burned down, that the country is in chaos, and that as a result, hundreds have lost their lives and tens of thousands have lost their jobs?

There are a lot of scary things happening in our world right now, but Nicaragua hasn’t received the international news coverage it deserves. To all those who followed my journey on this blog, who enjoyed my writing about my time in that beautiful place, I urge you – please don’t forget Nicaragua.

How we can help

I owe so much to this place, so this is my attempt at paying it back. I have started a GoFundMe page. The organization I moved to Granada to work with – La Esperanza Granada – will be the full beneficiary. They have lost nearly all of their volunteers and are low on funds. Yet their work is more important then ever. They are doing all they can to keep the learning centers they operate open for the children of Granada. Even better, they are attempting to put in place a program where adults who have lost their jobs due to this crisis can work in the learning centers in exchange for basic necessities. Please consider donating to and sharing the campaign. You can do so here.

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Granada as I knew it, in more peaceful times.

My Advice to Future Volunteers of La Esperanza Granada

IMG_20141120_133102 So you’re thinking of volunteering abroad, and you’ve decided that Nicaragua – as one of the cheapest and safest countries in Central America – is looking like a pretty good option. Continue reading “My Advice to Future Volunteers of La Esperanza Granada”

Photos of Life at Escuela Pablo Antonio Cuadra

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Growing up in Florida, I didn’t get snow days. Continue reading “Photos of Life at Escuela Pablo Antonio Cuadra”

Floating in a Volcanic Crater: Laguna de Apoyo

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It was difficult, as I lay floating in the crystal blue water, to imagine such a violent event had created such a peaceful place. Continue reading “Floating in a Volcanic Crater: Laguna de Apoyo”