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Reflexions on our first day in El Lagartillo

For the next two weeks the Dragons group will be staying in the town of El Lagartillo with homestay families.
We began our first day today with an introduction to the town’s history. We went to see a mural which commemorates six people who died in an attack on the town during the Contra Revolution in the 1980’s.
The Contra army came to this area and the only reason people in El Largatillo survived was because someone from a nearby town ran to warn them.
We listened to a survivor of the attack, Don Marcelino, talk about his experience defending his family and community.
He watched many of his friends die that day at the hands of an army funded by the US government.
This experience has made me think critically about the effects that America’s foreign policy has had overseas and whether or not my government’s actions are always warranted. We often don’t think about the human impact we have in other countries and this program is giving us a rare opportunity to hear the other side.
I am happy that these next two weeks will be eye opening and instructive as well as an opportunity to be more empathetic towards experiences different from my own.