Nicaragua has been afftected by natural disasters, war, and exploitation. This has resulted in death, poverty, and struggle for its people. The beauty lies in the peoples' ability to muster up the energy to stand up and attempt to fly time and time again. Here exists the land of hope.
I have been lucky to live and work in Nicaragua for four summers doing a series of internships. Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere; it is a country of hope and progress. I have to learned immense amounts from the hardworking, friendly Nicaraguan people I have come to know and love. I hope to continue my work in Nicaragua for the entirety of my life, returning every year I am able.
2012: After teaching in Richmond, California for two years, I am able to bring my teaching experiences to one of the countries I love the most. This summer will be similar to 2011, bringing 50 pounds of books to add to the Yahoska library, delivering pen pal letters, running reading workshop, teaching literacy, and working with the Yahoskas on self-esteem, women's rights, and writing!
2011: In between my first and second years of teaching 4th grade in the Bay Area (Teach for America), I was lucky enough to have the ability to return to Nicaragua in order to intern with the Quinchos for a third summer. I did a series of guided reading circles and pointed reading workshops with books I purchased and that were donated as additions to the Yahoska library I started in 2009. My 4th grade students engaged in a philanthropy unit, in which they developed and executed a classroom philanthropic goal. They filled a suit case full of useful donations for the street children in Nicaragua. They also wrote pen pal letters, describing what life is like living in Richmond, California. The Yahoska girls responded to the "pen-pal" letters that my 4th grade students sent to them.
2009: The Center for Peace & Global Citizenship of Haverford has funded me to "continue my connections" with the Quinchos. The continuation of my work includes the construction of a library at the Yahoska complex, a poetry workshop and final showcase (open-mic night), as well as a series of sexual education workshops.
2008: The Center for Peace & Global Citizenship of Haverford College sponsored my summer internship in Nicaragua. After a three week "delegation" with seven other Haverford and Bryn Mawr students, my internship takes me to San Marcos to work with Los Quinchos, a multifaceted program for former street children. The delegation serves to integrate our group into Nicaraguan culture and to visit the various volunteer sites of our peers.
One of the Los Quinchos projects is a girls residence program in San Marcos, entitled the Yahoskas, which houses about thirty girls. Los Qunichos serves more than 200 children in residential programs and even more in street outreach programs. I worked with the girls residence in San Marcos, helping with school work, water safety skills, and doing various activities with the girls (animal rescue sessions, reading activities, and self-esteem building projects). I raised over $2000 for the organization's main library, and worked with the librarian to re-organize the library's structure.
"To Roosevelt" by Rubén Darío, a famous Nicaraguan Poet. 1904
You think that life is fire and progress eruption. That the future is where Your bullet strikes. No. The United States is powerful and great... You are rich... You join the cults of Mammon and Hercules Liberty raises her torch in New York To light the way for easy conquest. But our America, that has poets from the ancient days of Netzahualcoyotl... lives in light and fire and perfume and love... this America lives and dreams-you men with Saxon eyes and barbarous souls-it loves, it trembles, it is daughter of the Sun. Be careful...
From the book "The Best of What We Are," by John Brentlinger, this poem is referenced to help explain the feelings of the Nicaraguan perspective during the revolution.
Informational Sites About Nicaragua and Los Quinchos