Blog Post : Hola! NYUBronfman Center in Nicaragua

Hola! NYUBronfman Center in Nicaragua | tfigueroa | Jan 11, 2013

Earlier today, we spoke with Rachel, who is one of the group leaders with our volunteers in Santa Rosa, Nicaragua. We are happy to report that the group has had an exciting week, full of new experiences, hands-on work and lively conversations with community members.

The students have spent the week working with local members of COOPAD, a diversified cooperative of small agricultural producers and artisans. COOPAD works with over 500 families in the region and promotes ecological agriculture, economic development and advocacy initiatives. The students have helped to dig a hole to build a water pump, and have been filling sandbags that will be used to construct a small dam to enable water to be pumped from a local river to a nearby farm. They have also been working at the farm to clear brush to create more space for crops. The work has been hard, but rewarding.

Through the immersive experience, the students are getting first-hand accounts of Nicaragua's social issues, while exploring how the pursuit of global justice is informed by teachings of Jewish tradition. Throughout the week the students have had some unique experiences. They have had several opportunities to meet with COOPAD staff and members to understand the scope of their work in the community. They took a walk through Santa Rosa, visiting local residents in their homes, and talking with them about their lives. The students have been regularly eating at a local community member’s house where they have also gotten the opportunity to play games and teach impromptu English lessons to some of the children who visit. These experiences have sparked meaningful conversations throughout the week. They look forward to concluding the week with a Shabbat that they’ve planned as a group. (Rumor has it that they’ll even get to bake challah in community ovens built by a past AJWS group!)