Nestled deep in the vast green desolate mountains lay a well hidden community which borders Honduras, which at first sight seemed to only consist of one small white house with a silver road, which sat at the side of the American highway.
Most of the houses were hidden behind the arrangement of juxtaposing trees. Arriving at our host families we were greeted by friendly faces who showed us our homes which we would be staying in for the next 10 weeks.
Our first objective was to make ourselves known to the community; therefore we held a presentation where we introduced ourselves and told the community about Progressio, we spoke about what our aim was within the community, and asked if anyone had any opinions on what we could do to improve their community.
One of the main issues that arose was the installation of a new library. Previously, the attempt to build a library was made, but no outcome occurred. Hopefully with the help of the local community, and volunteers it’s something we can make possible. We also thought it may be a good idea to train some people basic I.T skills, if the library were to be a success, these people can then pass the skills on to the others within the community.
We spoke about our stove project, where we aim to help build 24 stoves for families in the local community. Firstly, we need to create a survey to select which houses are a priority and will receive the stoves. Included in the survey will be the number of children in the house, if they have respiratory problems and if the family has an income.
We also mentioned our aim to build a playground from recycled materials for the local school, and the many workshops and classes planned on subjects such as gender, environment, health and hygiene.
After the presentation we held a games event for the local young people, to introduce ourselves. We had a great turn out, and the young people seemed to enjoy themselves. We had a piñata for the kids, and played a lot of games, had a movie on the projector, and had lots of face painting, which the young people loved!
We also attended two church services; both churches were very welcoming, and it was nice to meet more of the people, and integrate within the community. Each of us introduced ourselves in Spanish, and the people of the church said we were welcome to attend church whenever we wanted.
We have been to Dipilto for presentations this week with the most common problems Nicaragua face such as security, gender, health and environment. It has become clear that a lot of problems hide beneath the leafy green trees.
We have a short time of 10 weeks here, but with such a warm welcome from the community, and a positive response to us being here, I am sure we can do a lot to help the local community in such a short period of time.
Photo: Volunteer homestay