This week students from the College of New Jersey's Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement are in Nicaragua with a Witness for Peace delegation. This is a direct account from those students.
I can not believe that this trip is already coming to an end. It seems like just yesterday I was packing up the car to head to Newark airport. I know I have not written too much since the beginning of the trip, but that is not to say that what I have been experiencing has not impacted me. On Monday we got back from the campo (the country side) where we each stayed with different families. After experiencing a glimpse of what it is like to live in Ramon Garcia, an impoverished agricultural-based village, I have come to realize on a more personal level how macro-level policies and decisions have negatively impacted the lower-class of a society. On the other hand, I was exposed to the hard working and persistent mentality of the Ramon Garcia peoples who are determined to do better for themselves, but have limited resources to do so. Although Daniel Ortega seems to be making an effort to help and advocate for the poor, I can not help but be skeptical about the work he is doing. Overall, I left the community with mixed feelings of both anger and frustration. Mainly because of the fact that the children have to pay to go to secondary school and college is not even an option for most if not, all of them. To think it only takes $300 per year to send a child through college. In the back of my mind I feel I can not help but want to just pull that money out of my savings account to give those children a chance to get out, but at the same time, I feel it is more important to address the root causes of the problems.
This post was originally published here.