Our Daily Itinerary in Nicaragua
Each day of our trip to Nicaragua was filled with sites both interesting and moving. After dinner each evening we "unpacked" our experiences together, sharing our responses to what what we had seen and learned that day. Throughout the trip, Ann McSweeney of the Center for Global Education served as our guide and interpreter, providing invaluable expertise. We stayed at the same hotel for the entire week, which was very nice and reasonably priced. Also, the meals were plentiful; the food was tasty; and no one had any traveler's indigestion!
After arriving in Managua, we had lunch, heard a brief history of the country, and then visited historic Loma Tiscapa Park and Hogar Belen, a home for children with disabilities. In the evening we had dinner with an alumna living in Nicaragua and met an Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) exchange student who attended Fairfield in fall 2009.
We visited a farmer and craftsperson who have grown their businesses with microloan financing. We met a social work professor from UCA who oriented us to the Ayapal neighborhood on the outskirts of Managua, followed by a meeting with community leaders at a local preschool.
After Ash Wednesday Mass at the UCA chapel, we had a tour of the campus and met some UCA staff. In the afternoon we toured a local beekeeping cooperative, and later strolled the streets of historic Granada and a festival craft market.
The day was spent at the annual AAPLAC Conference, hosted this year by UCA. Several of the panels included Fairfield University staff and students.
We met with a representative from an organization working to improve living conditions for families who live in the Managua City Dump, La Chureca. We toured the dump, including a visit to the onsite clinic. In the afternoon, we visited the Masaya Volcano, ate lunch in Masaya and shopped in its famous craft marked. We then returned to the UCA campus for the conference’s inspiring keynote speaker, Rev. Fernando Cardenal, S.J.