Nicaragua has a rich literary tradition, and the quality and influence of its poetic output has earned itself the nickname ‘Land of the Poets’. The country has been host to many important literary figures, including Rubén Dario, regarded as Nicaragua’s most famous poet. Many literary works have intersected with Nicaragua’s turbulent political history, meaning many of the poetry has been inspired by Nicaragua’s political history and poets have gone on to participate in its political and social life as revolutionaries and politicians. Many poets have gone on to be prominent political figures. Their poetry has had major influence in the political, cultural and social life of Nicaragua. 

We have been inspired by this creative connection between the history, culture and literature of Nicaragua and have decided to have a go at writing our own poems, based on our experiences of living in El Bramadero. 

If you could take three things to a desert island,
What would they be?
Maybe your friends and family,
Maybe a flat screen TV?
What would you miss most, 
When you went away?
Would it be your cat or dog, 
Or three square meals a day?
Here I’ve discovered what
I really would miss, 
The thing they lack here in
Tropical bliss, 
My friends and family 
Sure are great, 
But one thing I know I really
Would appreciate, 
Is the concept that
Here is much less known, 
The addition of plumbing to 
Your home.
The sound of the shower
As it starts to run,
And water warming you 
Up like your skin in the sun, 
A toilet and sink inside
So you can pee in comfort
Whatever the weather.
The scent of the bath
As it fills with bubbles, 
Is enough to fix
All of anyone’s troubles.
At home the standard
Is a lovely hot shower, 
With a range of 
Options in terms of power, 
And whilst the outdoor bucket
Does the job, 
I’m often left feeling like
A slob,
Since I’m too wimpy to 
Stand the cold water temperature, 
In fact the experience 
On the whole is quite an adventure,
And I know at the end of a long
Hard day, 
There is no price I would
Not pay, 
For the luxury of a 
Long, warm shower,
Of which I’d come out of 
Smelling sweet as a flower.
So next time you step into your humble bathroom, 
Remember how lucky you are, 
Because elsewhere in the world there are households
For whom plumbing is too expensive by far. 

Written by ICS volunteer Aimee-Mai De-La-Mare Reeves

I love Bramadero, the people are so kind
But goodness knows what they had on their mind
When designing their houses years ago
Who thought lighting progression would be so slow.

During daylight hours you can see outside
But head indoors if you wish to hide
Because building design puts you in gloom
No shutter opens enough to brighten the room.

The roofs and walls add to the dark
Not letting the sun in to leave its mark
The simplest tasks without light are hard
So during the day people sit in the front yard.

When I first got here I did wonder why 
Everyone sat outside their houses under the sky
I now know it’s because there they can see
Just one adequate window would make me happy!

The situation gets no better by night
You’d think things would improve with electric light
But I’m sure the light on my phone has more power
My vision gets worse hour by hour.

Some night’s dinner is a mystery
It would be nice to view my tea
Or to write my diary or have a book to read 
Without needing a torch would be good indeed. 

So while you are sat there with your dimmer switches
Think of El Bram with power cuts and electrical glitches
You should appreciate the gift of sight
Which comes from having adequate light.

Written by ICS volunteer Pluggy Wood

Whenever I travel, wherever I go, I’m hit by the wonder of seeing new places,
Of finding friends in unfamiliar faces,
Delighting in the sights and sounds that make each place its own,
I can’t help but be changed, I’ve grown. 
Doctors tell me I’m made up of flesh and bones, 
That if you cut me open you’ll find blood and chromosomes, 
But if you look inside you’ll find a patchwork of places, a scrapbook of faces, together, sewn, 
And if you shuffle them up and lay them down, there’s me, there’s home. 

Written by ICS volunteer Rachel Cole