I first came to Nicaragua for one month in 2015 with the SUNY Geneseo Humanities II trip. Though I was only here for a small short amount of time, I was able to travel a little bit and learn a little bit about the culture and people of Nicaragua. Though my experience has made returning to Nicaragua and El Sauce a little easier, However, there has been a large amount of change since I was last here and not everything is the same as I remembered it.
I spent my first two weeks in Managua to take a Spanish class. While there, I was able to spot many differences and changes that had been made between 2015 and now. First, the Trees of Life throughout the city had grown in number and an assortment of new colors had been added, making the city look vibrant day and night. Every day I passed by two large construction projects underway. The first is a baseball stadium and the second is an Olympic size pool/arena. Across from the soon to be Olympic pool arena, is a completed public recreational park that was completed a year and a half ago. The park has basketball courts, baseball fields, and playgrounds available for public use. I was told that this was the first park of its kind in Nicaragua. I was overwhelmed by these changes, coming from a small town in New York made all of the activity in Managua overwhelming. But it was a good overwhelming, one more of excitement than nervousness.
After my stay in Managua, I left for El Sauce, my home for the next year and the place I stayed the
longest in 2015. I came back to find most of the same people I met two years ago, but the places in El Sauce had undergone a period of development. The main Church in front of the Mayor’s office got a fresh new coat of yellow paint, making it even easier to spot. A park was built in the area between the Mayor’s office and the Church, which includes free public wifi. On the weekends and weeknights, people can now be found hanging out with their friends in the Park. There are many new businesses, new restaurants, a new coffee shop, and many more.
Most importantly, though, the Enlace Project has moved. During my first three weeks here we packed up the old office and moved around the block. The new space is larger and more open than the previous office and now sits in front of the Casa de Cultura. Meaning we can frequently hear music and see dance lessons occurring during the night. Perhaps the most important part though, is that we have more space for our English classes and a more productive space for students to learn. As Nicaragua and El Sauce as have grown, so has the Enlace Project. I look forward to being able to watch changes occur during my next year here.