Granada and Laguna de Apoyo.
Trip Start Sep 30, 2011
34Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
On the Monday morning we had to set the alarm for a change, which was quiet nice actually. We were meeting Pauline, the director of La Esperanza Granada at 9:30, on the way we had a quick breakfast in a French bakery on La Calzada and bumped into a Danish man also having breakfast with his Guatemalan wife and son. We have met very few Scandis so far. The meeting with Pauline was very interesting and she told us a bit more about their project and what they need
In the end we were not able to see either on the Tuesday so we signed up for a day trip to Laguna de Apoyo through our hostel. It was only 6usd for return transport and free use of the hostel facilities at the sister hostel at Laguna de Apoyo, such as hammocks and beach area
The next morning we were busy, first we met with Empowerment International about 20 mins walk from the city centre of Granada. They work in a neighbourhood of Granada doing home visits to promote schooling of the children in the local school. They also work as support for the parents of the local children, being there to listen and give advised to abused mothers or parents that have problems with alcohol or drugs. This way they can build a closer relationship with the whole community and understand better if a child is not doing well at school and hopefully give him/ her the right support. The children all go to the local public school and can then go to the Empowerment International community centre to get extra classes in subjects they need help in, or help with home work or just additional adult support. They also have a photography and bicycle club. They need volunteers that can help out in any of their projects.
After that we were meeting with Donna from Building New Hope in the centre of Granada. They have two private free schools where the children attending public school can come for extra support and extra classes in subjects they need extra support in. In Nicaragua the children either goes to school in the morning or the afternoon, Building New Hope therefore offers classes in their private free school to complement the public school hours. They need volunteers to help out giving classes at the school and to lead discussion groups for the teenagers in the evenings. After our two meetings we were heading for León via Managua. Unfortunately we didn’t research the transport well enough and ended up on a chicken bus taking over 2 hours and arriving at the wrong terminal in Managua, meaning we had to get a taxi to go to the right terminal for a microbus to León. Had we checked beforehand we would have been able to get a direct microbus straight to the same terminal as the microbus to León. After a good few hours of travelling and changing buses in Managua we arrived to a crazy León! It was the last day of 9 days of processions of la purisíma (similar to the ones in Sevilla for Easter but smaller) culminating in the “gritería”, the big shout. The locals celebrate with fireworks and the virgin Mary is on display in the cathedral all night long. They serve street food and have little stands everywhere giving candies to the children. The locals shout “Quien nos causa tanta alegría?” and the answer is “La concepción de María”. Which would literally be “What brings us so much happiness?”, “Marias conception!!”.