Nicaragua Trip - January 9, 2016

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:


Paige and I arrived in Managua last night at 2:00 AM.  We woke up in the morning and decided to walk around to find breakfast. The hotel was in a residential area, and there were a lot of people sitting outside their houses and walking around. It was very hot and was not long before I started sweating! There was not much in the way of food in the neighborhood we were in, so we ended up stopping at a bunch of different corner type stores and picking up things at each. Our breakfast consisted of a stale pastry, orange juice, a very sweet banana, and some peanuts. Well rounded! 

We went back to the hotel after our walk and took a taxi to the airport to meet up with Luis, Bob and Marcus. We found Marcus, the head of Harvest Initiative, and met up with Luis and Bob, whose flights both got in today. Marcus is from the southern US and has been coming to Nica since 1991. He founded HI and now rotates so he and his family live 4 years in Nica and 1 year in the states. We went to lunch with Marcus at a local restaurant and ate rice and beans (a staple according to Marcus), chicken, banana chips, and fried plantains. Lots of ways to eat bananas here! 

We then went to the Harvest Initiative headquarters, a farm that Marcus owns. He is working to make the farm sustainable and uses solar and wind power. The kids from the school HI created take field trips often to learn about agriculture, the fastest growing industry in Nica. The farm had chickens, dogs, cows and horses roaming all around. The headquarters has tools, like a well drill and a brick maker, that the NGO uses in their community projects, along with boxes and boxes of foods to be distributed to communities. The main house has a nice porch overlooking the farm. We sat out on the porch and talked for a while about HI and their goals. It was great to hear Marcus's story and vision for our relationship with them. As the sun went down, it became nice and breezy.  We had a nice chat about ourselves, dogs, painting, and constellations. 

For dinner we went out to one of Marcus's favorite places. Paige and I learned our lesson from lunch and split a plate of red rice, vegetables and some kind of meatball, potatoes, guessed it plantains and banana chips. It was really good. The restaurant was right next to a fruit market and there was lots of activity - fun to watch as we ate. We drove back and settled in for bed- overall good first day!