aventurero

this is a collection of images and stories from my school year abroad in nicaragua. I am interning with AsoFenix, a Nicaraguan NGO, and Green Empowerment, a partnering NGO based in Portland, Oregon. My internship is through IE3 global Internships and the University of Washington. It was made possible in part by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, the GO! Global Scholarship, and the IE3-OUS Chancellor Scholarship. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these progams or scholarship opportunities.
home sweet home
I have a bunch of videos and more photos to sort through that I will continue to post, but the Central America adventure is over. For now…
I really want to give a HUGE thank you to all my teachers and advisors who were an incredible help and source of support for this time abroad.
AsoFénix and Green Empowerment, two organizations that are doing incredible work in Nicaragua. Thank you for your dedication to the families and thank you for supporting me and allowing me to feel like I was a useful part of your organizations!
The University of Washington, Oregon State University and IE3 Global Internships, thank you for giving me this opportunity to expand my educational, professional and cultural horizons while working towards my academic degree.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, The GO! Global Scholarship and the IE3-OUS Chancellor Scholarship, without your financial support, this trip would not have been possible. Thank you so much!
Last but definitely not least, my dear family and friends. Thank you for your love and endless support. I would have been lost without you. I don’t know what else to say.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

home sweet home

I have a bunch of videos and more photos to sort through that I will continue to post, but the Central America adventure is over. For now…

I really want to give a HUGE thank you to all my teachers and advisors who were an incredible help and source of support for this time abroad.

AsoFénix and Green Empowerment, two organizations that are doing incredible work in Nicaragua. Thank you for your dedication to the families and thank you for supporting me and allowing me to feel like I was a useful part of your organizations!

The University of Washington, Oregon State University and IE3 Global Internships, thank you for giving me this opportunity to expand my educational, professional and cultural horizons while working towards my academic degree.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, The GO! Global Scholarship and the IE3-OUS Chancellor Scholarship, without your financial support, this trip would not have been possible. Thank you so much!

Last but definitely not least, my dear family and friends. Thank you for your love and endless support. I would have been lost without you. I don’t know what else to say.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I came across this scene while looking for the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City.

Getting to see Mexico City was one of the highlights of my 11 months in Central America.
Mexico City is incredibly rich in culture, architecture and art, all of which seem to jump to life before your very eyes. If I could compare it to something familiar to me, it would be New York City, but with a bit nicer subway that you can take across the seemingly ever expansive city for only 3 pesos- roughly 25 cents.
In Mexico City, and Central America in general, people are so willing to have a conversation with you. There is an openness and ease to speaking and sharing that has been a great source of comfort for me over these last 11 months.
These are some of my favorite pictures from Mexico City, a city I have dreamt of visiting for as long as I can remember.

Oaxaca!

I stayed with my friend Edwin in Oaxaca for nearly a week. Edwin worked for AsoFénix before he earned an incredible scholarship to study in Oaxaca for two years. On my bus trip through Central America, my longest stop was with him. We explored Oaxaca together visiting Monte Albán, Hierve el Agua, Árbol del Tule (the widest tree trunk in the world!), and more.

During my bus trip through Central America, I spent three nights in Guatemala, spending two days on Lake Atitlan. The scenery was stunning, and it was an incredible feeling hearing the indigenous Mayan languages being spoken and seeing the beautiful traditional dresses. Guatemala blew my mind. I would really like to go back and spend more time there.

While in Guatemala, I visited a permaculture farm called IMAP. They have some incredible projects that assist local farmers and communities. One of my favorite projects was their seed bank. Here they are preserving ancient varieties of corn and other crops. They also sow and harvest using the Mayan calender, one of the many strategies employed by IMAP to preserve their Mayan cultural heritage.

This visit was inspired by a blog post from friends of mine I met in Nicaragua. They are traveling through Central and South America and volunteering with permaculture farms and community projects. They are keeping an incredible blog filled with great information and stories. I would encourage everyone to take a look at it!

I left Nicaragua in late July and made my way up through Central America by bus until finally flying home from Mexico City a couple days ago. These are not the last photos from Nicaragua that I will post. They just summed up my last couple of months so well…More to come!

Last weekend I went to visit a small wind turbine installed by AsoFénix and the community of Cuajinicuil. This is where my friend Bryam grew up. Back in April, I made a post about Bryam and his bicycle and briefly described how AsoFénix trained him as an electrical technician who would have the technical skills necessary to maintain the wind turbine and the community’s electrical system.

Last weekend, I got to see him in action as he led his community in taking down the wind turbine to perform the routine maintenance required every 6 months.

Bryam is only twenty years old, but he is clearly a leader in his community. The energy that powers the lights, radios and televisions in his village is due to Bryam’s strong practical skills in electrical engineering and his ability to organizing and teach his peers.

It was also inspiring to see the entire community working together to take ownership of this wind energy project. AsoFénix and Green Empowerment were critical in supplying the technical assistance, trainings and financial credit, allowing the community to purchase all the materials for the project over time. AsoFénix was particularly involved in organizing the community to set up leaders and technicians to maintain the project and collect money from residents that is dedicated to the project’s upkeep.

But now it is up to the community to work collectively to keep wind energy powering their homes. And they do, and it’s amazing to see. I came away from this experience knowing one thing for sure:

The community of Cuajinicuil powers their own homes.

Community members in Cuajinicuil pull up their wind turbine after taking it down and taking it apart for routine maintenance.

The change in landscape from dry to rainy season is quite stunning.

Two months ago, I got a very special visit from two loved ones and we adventured around Nicaragua. These are pictures from Little Corn Island, an island off the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.