Just over a week ago Cornell and U Penn completed our summer project with ATRAVES in Barrio San William Galeano, Managua, Nicaragua.
During our five weeks in the community, three focus groups made incredible impact and progress with their respective projects. The Health group taught sex education and health classes, walked with community health workers to patient homes, and further developed an existing community health assessment. The Computers group taught classes in computer literacy to students of all ages and worked with community and staff members in developing excel skills. Additionally, the Vivero group taught nutrition and environmental education classes along with creating multiple areas in the community for gardening and agricultural development. All together we taught almost 30 classes, planted over 100 seedlings and sprouts, and helped install an electrical system for the Casa de Salud, ATRAVES’ home base.
One of our group reflections during our time with ATRAVES was based on values, forcing participants to narrow down our most important values and choose what was most important to us. One of my top three was “Building Relationships”. During the five weeks that I spent in Nicaragua, I got to know a lot of amazing people. The students, families, and community members that I had the privilege of working with in the community made this project so meaningful to me. Don Fran and Don William, brothers from the community that are so dedicated to the work that ATRAVES is doing and hold so many talents to make every project possible. Yami and Griselda, the conductors of the prometoras (community health advisors) who found passion in their work and shared with us the secrets of maintaining that same happiness and passion. Leticia, one of the fearless leaders of ATRAVES that inspired us all with her brilliant orations and told us that we would forever be members of the ATRAVES family.
I will never forget the relationships I forged during my summer in Nicaragua, nor will I forget the love and openness our project team was received with. On our last day inthe community so many of our new friends and students would not tell us goodbye, only hasta luego, “see you later”. The appreciation that the community showed to us everyday along with the immense gratitude that I have towards the community for such kindness,truly represents the relationship that Nourish has formed with San William Galeano. A relationship that I hope to foster in the coming years through work with Nourish or on my own.
The Vivero team with their fearless leader Don William
Christina, Olivia, Jaime and Jean with their Nutrition students.
The whole ATRAVES family and students.
Christina with jack of all trades, Don Fran, and his children, Franklin and Diana.