We returned yesterday from our four-day family stay in the rural community of El Limon, Esteli, Nicaragua. The community of about 55 households has been a host of Washburn groups for the past nine years. The residents of El Limon are engaging and gracious as we learn and share together.
This year’s group includes two native Spanish speakers, one Spanish minor and a handful of students with some working vocabulary. In spite of the oral language barrier, students were able to communicate through universal language. As described by one of those students with only working Spanish vocabulary, those universal languages are smiles, laughter and dancing.
On Sunday night, we danced with the community to Nicaraguan music, including bachata, cumbia and reggaeton. It was a welcome respite after days of leveling more than 100 meters of dirt and rock road. On Monday, the work continued. Alongside men, teens and children of the community, the group dug a drainage trench to keep the road from washing out during the rainy season.When we said our goodbyes on Tuesday morning, many of us had sore legs, arms and shoulders. There were some tears, some smiles and lots of thoughtfulness. We left El Limon and visited the home of our guide, Aldo Marcel, who is an Origami artist and botanist. Today, we will visit two children’s homes and a large market.