On August 9th the nine members of the “Community, Education & Arts” Delegation returned from their 10-day visit to Nicaragua that offered memorable experiences in León and took them north and south of the city to a wide variety of sites from Esteli to Granada.
“The trip to Nicaragua was life changing,” says Sarah Titford, one of the participants, adding, “The opportunity to engage with the community and its people directly in an exchange of knowledge and creativity is exactly the type of diplomacy the world needs.”
Dottie Cairns, another participant, found similar inspiration. “For me, I was so inspired with the variety of humanity-centered projects and the many dedicated people that are involved with few resources but with huge hearts, generosity and commitment to the work that they value.”
The delegation consisted of group coordinator, Gina Robertson, along with Lynn and Dottie Cairns, Christine, Neil and Owen Ecker, Jessica Woodward, Bonnie Brunton and Sarah Titford. Leading the delegation in Nicaragua were PGL’s new In-Country Director, Steve Lewis, and Greg Bowles, PGL’s former In-Country Director who resides in Nicaragua.
Making reference to Steve while reflecting on his experience Lynn Cairns said, “I was very impressed with the depth, warmth and capability of all of the persons we met with, including our new director, Steve Lewis, who are part of our project and am motivated to continue or expand our support.”
After arriving in Managua and enjoying the scenic Lake Apoyo area the delegation headed north to Esteli, where among other things they toured the city’s murals, visited the school for deaf children and others with disabilities, and made the demanding hike into the mountains to see Don Alberto, the indigenous, stone-carving artist who attracts visitors from all over the world.
Then stopping in Santa Rosa the group had time to meet Javier and Eduardo, the agricultural interns from Talolinga whose training PGL has been supporting. Lynn Cairns commented, “It was also a treat to be with Javier, Eduardo and his horse when we met them in Santa Rosa.”
Particularly memorable activities for the delegation were at Taller Artistico Xuchialt, the school for the arts supported by PGL, where the delegation and members of the school held reciprocal workshops. Sarah Titford says, “I told the Xuchialt group (while holding back a few happy tears) that the delegation gained an enormous experience by their kind reception and exchange of creativity.”
More details about the experience of the delegation can be heard when it makes a full presentation about the trip at the monthly meeting of PGL in Gettysburg on Sunday, October 1.
PGL aims to run another Community Delegation to Nicaragua in July/August, 2018. If you would like to be kept informed of this trip please be sure that PGL has your email address and you will contacted early next year.