Finding New Connections in Nicaragua

By Dylan Harris and Joey Propper, teen delegates ‘15

We became intrigued to go on a trip to Nicaragua because experiencing a new culture seemed essential to broadening our global horizons. The Dos Pueblos board talked about the strong connections they made with communities in Nicaragua, and how amazing it feels to immerse oneself in a foreign culture. We were sold. The minute we arrived in the capital Managua, we were thrown into speaking Spanish as soon as we unloaded our luggage. Our group mission was to have a meaningful cultural exchange with Nicaraguan teens and finish building a library in Tipitapa, a more rural town than the capital. We also went to visit Ometepe, a two-volcano island that featured something very amazing that we never experienced before—black sand. As New Yorkers, we were first struck by seeing only one-story buildings, but we soon observed how a more rustic and slower lifestyle made the Nicaraguans really value community and family. On this trip, our Spanish skills improved remarkably as we strived to connect with our new friends. We also learned something we did not know about ourselves living in New York—that we enjoy living and working as a group with a unified goal. What we most loved, and the reason we want to return, is the warmth and friendliness of the teens that we have gotten to know and now consider good friends.

Queremos volver pronto!