by thomascoons
Jan 26

The following was written by Hannah Conroy, one of the travel team members for the EWB Latin America Chapter, during their January assessment trip to Nicaragua:

Rice and Beans and Beans and Rice

This morning I was woken up to a symphony of animals noises at around 4 in the morning: roosters, cows, dogs, and pigs. I got some sleep until 6:30 when we all woke up for an early start. We ate breakfast at the farm prepared by the wife of the farm manager. Rice and beans, of course, with eggs and bananas. It was a big breakfast. We set out with Pedro for Waslala in a pickup truck with the three students in the back, Bob in the front, and our bags in the bed if the truck. 

We left for Waslala at 7:30 and arrived at 1:00. When we were 50 km away the road turned into a dirt road, and it was very bumpy. I was in the bucket seat and got tossed around! As we travelled further east, we saw more and more vegetation. We were traveling into the mountains so it got cooler as well. Lots of green with colorful orange and pink flowers. We went through some smaller villages as well and could tell they were poorer than in and outside of Managua. 

When we arrived in Waslala we were greeted by Cesar, the mayor's water representative. He led us to a group of neighborhood leaders representing 4 of the neighborhoods who want to work with us. The neighborhoods are higher than the rest of Waslala and only receive about 30 minutes of water a day from a polluted source. After quick introductions (by the Spanish speakers) we decided to go and see the source where the community wants to get there water from. We were told it was a couple km but it was more like a couple miles and very steep! The views were pretty great though and I didn't mind moving my legs after sitting in the car. 

Paige and Luis talked to the people to get a sense of what they wanted and more about their community. We arrived at the spring after a muddy trek. It definitely was a lot of water but quite far from the town. We are thinking money might be the key issue but are excited by the community's enthusiasm. 

When we got back, we drove to our hotel for the night. It is really nice and connected to a pizzeria. After a much needed shower we debriefed on the day and ate pizza (we skipped lunch so we indulged!) We will have an early start again tomorrow to look at the community more and hike up to the spring they currently use. 

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