June 11th, 2017

Last Day in Nicaragua

Today was our last full day in Nicaragua. We were able to sleep in an extra 45 minutes before traveling to the Masaya Crafts Market. Navigating through the maze of the market made shopping an adventure. We were able to buy souvenirs for ourselves and gifts for friends and family. The vendors of the market sold homemade crafts such as jewelry, clothing, hammocks, paintings, and knickknacks. After eating ice cream from the Eskimo stand in the market, we departed for Laguna de Apoyo. We arrived at about noon and ate a delicious lunch in the outdoor hostel dining area. We […]

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June 9th, 2017

Goodbye, Nueva Vida

Our final day working at the clinic was bittersweet. The morning was filled with painting metal beams for the roof, along with substantial advancements to the walls of the x-ray room. In the afternoon we worked together to mix and pour concrete into wooden molds on the top of the walls. Working with the concrete as a group was a great way to come together for our last time at the clinic. As everyone was taking pictures to remember the work we’ve done it was easy to see the progress we had made in our short three weeks here. When we […]

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June 7th, 2017

Adventures in Granada

Today was packed with adventures outside the clinic. We started the morning at Rancho Ebenezer, where the owner talked to us about his mission to share knowledge about sustainable farming with people across the country. We then received a tour of the 1.6 acre farm and were treated to a generous lunch before heading into Granada. Granada is a colonial city with a lot of history surrounding it. At one point in history, Granada was the capital of Nicaragua, and traces of colonial architecture and influence are still evident. While in the city, we visited a cultural museum located in […]

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June 6th, 2017

Thundering Hammers and Thundering Clouds

The day began early with an interesting lecture by Fausto Torrez, who is the International Relations secretary for the Association of Rural Farmers (ATC). He illustrated the power of agroecology and its sustainable impacts. We then ventured to the clinic to continue our escapade. Some people worked on putting up wooden structures for future concrete pouring, cemented cinderblocks into the X-Ray room, worked in the pharmacy, and others went out into the community with Marion for house calls. We went back to the dorms for lunch with the company of the JHC staff. They highlighted their key view points on […]

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June 5th, 2017

Selva Negra: The Forest (and Abode) in the Clouds

As a break from the heat of Managua and the work at the clinic, the group headed out Friday on a four hour drive up to Selva Negra, a sustainable coffee plantation that doubled as a hotel. Shortly after arriving, we were taken on a tour throughout the establishment which accentuated the sustainable workings of the coffee facility and the lives that the permanent workers lead with provided benefits. Afterwards, we were finally able to relax in the cabins for the night, spending time to enjoy the surrounding vistas and each other’s company. The fresh food at the hotel dining […]

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June 1st, 2017

Cuanto Cuesta?

This morning started off differently than usual, with a tour of the Hospitalito in Ciudad Sandino. We saw the maternity ward, emergency room, and various other parts of the very busy hospital. The whole group felt a little uncomfortable at times, walking as a large group past patients who often stared, but we were reassured that tours happen there all the time. From the Hospitalito, we went to the Ciudad Sandino market. We were tasked with buying the most nutritious food possible with just 200 cordobas. Some groups did better than others, but we were able to practice our Spanish […]

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May 31st, 2017

Working at the JHC

So far this week, we’ve been working at JHC in our usual positions: construction, pharmacy, and shadowing our new doctor, Marion. In shadowing, we visited pregnant women in their homes to check up on them. We even got to measure their bellies and find the heartbeats of the babies! We also checked on current patients with HIV and made sure they were following their medications. In the pharmacy, we’ve been filling prescriptions and doing inventory. In construction, we have been filling wooden frames with concrete that we mixed ourselves to create the structure of the clinic. Some of us have […]

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May 29th, 2017

Sunday: Trip to Managua

We were lucky enough to enjoy an air conditioned bus tour around Managua. First, we visited a cliffside monument where the National Guard under the Somoza regime would throw the bodies of their perceived resistors. Becca, our tour guide, told us how many people in the resistance would tattoo their initials on their forearms so their families could identify them in the event that they were killed. It was very moving and sad to actually be standing on grounds where just decades ago people would come to find their loved ones. We also visited the Palacio de la Cultura, where […]

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May 27th, 2017

Letting Loose

Working in the clinic Friday morning was very productive as the group painted an entire room, the last of the rebar squares were bent into form and the remaining squad deconstructed the wood paneling to provide a more complete look of the third clinic building we are in the midst of constructing. Many blisters, bug bites and stains later the group was treated to shortcake and Tampico juice that the maternity party was grateful enough to provide to us after a day of hard work. As we returned back to JHC we started preparing for an amazing night to be […]

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May 25th, 2017

Rocky Road to El Porvenir

The birds chirped a little louder this morning, as we all naturally woke up before Paul walked in with his typical “Wake up! It is a beautiful day!..” The next thing we knew we all loaded up on the bus for a long ride to the remote cooperative, El Porvenir. It is an organic coffee co-op on the side of a remote mountain. Once owned by a very wealthy landowner during the Somoza reign, the land was passed down to his workers who formed a co-op still in operation about 40 years later. The road up to El Porvenir was […]

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