Each time I visit Nicaragua, it is very special in its own way. Whether it’s because I’m seeing family members, or because I am reconnected with my roots, the food, the beautiful and kind people of Nicaragua. Traveling there this Spring as part of my work was a different experience, it gave me a better understanding of the importance of clean water and the commitment community members have to their children’s education and futures.
I was aware of how remote the communities where work were located on a map. I was aware of how hard life is in Nicaragua. Until I traveled to the very remote communities where Project Schoolhouse works, I couldn’t fully appreciate how remote, and the lack of any clean water anywhere. We traveled for hours by truck to one community; the roads stretched for miles in uneven ground to reach communities. Most community members travel by horse or walk. I saw how far away and how hard the people travel to go to their jobs, go to school. I spoke to community members and learned from them directly about their lives, how hard they worked on projects, what a difference having access to water in their homes makes, and their wish for their children to get an education.
It solidified how important it is for me, as a Nicaraguan-American, to be part of the Project Schoolhouse team and its work. Clean water and education are just the start for children in the communities where Project Schoolhouse works. It’s a starting chance to focus on their education. Being someone who is from Nicaragua who gets to work from the US to help those still in Nicaragua is a huge privilege, even more so now that life has gotten much harder in Nicaragua.
The days were long, the meals were delicious, but most importantly, I witnessed the commitment of the Nicaraguan people to better themselves and their futures. That’s what makes me proud to be a Nicaraguan.