Day 2 in Managua
For our first full day here in Nicaragua we got a chance to tour and learn more about its capital city, Managua. A member of the Jubilee House Community, Becca, graciously took our brigade around the city sharing pertinent history, along with interesting personal experiences. Standing atop a ridge overlooking Lake Managua the Samosa cruelty against the Sandanistas. Below is a picture of the lake's memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives. From there, Becca and our leaders led us single-file through Managua's local marketplace which was an eye-opening experience for us all. The market is filled with everything from produce, to shoes, to iguanas for dinner. Some of us within the group felt a bit of discomfort as we snaked through the narrow pathways, feeling somewhat intrusive of the native people's everyday living and working atmosphere.
We then continued on to the Revolution Plaza where Becca highlighted the political revolution and liberation of the Nicaraguan people. In the plaza is the Palacio Nacional, the perished cathedral, and el museo, which we got to tour.
Our awesome bus driver, Luis, then carted us off to an awesome and small local restuarante. There we got an opportunity to try some authentic papusas. Papusas are fried corn tortillas filled with either beans, cheese, vegetables, or "chicken".
After lunch the group headed to Managua's mall, which provided a stark contrast against the marketplace visited earlier in the day. The mall consists of a lot of American brands which only the richest can afford. Crossing the overpass, we then walked down to Mangua's new cathedral which surprisingly was gifted by our very own Domino's pizza company owner. While the old cathedral mimicked Spanish architecture, this new cathedral situated across from the mall, is quite modern and surprising in appearance.
To get a bit of air conditioning and a look at Nicaragua's nicer spots to grocery shop, we got a chance to shop in the local grocery store. There we got to finally try our hand at the cordoba exchange rate and buy some local snacks and drinks. Refreshed, we headed to a small community culture center where we got to learn about the community's efforts in education, religion, and influential figures. We then got to take part in what is called a "peasant's mass", which was entirely in Spanish and very similar to a Christian mass. After our long day, we finally hopped back in the van and headed back to JHC for yet another incredible meal.
We covered a lot of Managua's grounds, history, and culture today and after reflection have come to the conclusion that gaining knowledge and information will much enhance the work we have planned for the remainder of our stay here in Nicaragua.
Jen Gerard and Erin Jankowski