THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
After a much needed good nights sleep at our first hostel, Lost Inn Managua, we set out for our next destination: La Garnacha. Our first stop on our journey as we left the city behind and entered picturesque Estelí was to try a local dish. Güirilas are a sweet corn tortilla with traditional Nicaraguan cheese on top. Shortly after our snack we stopped again for lunch at a garden cafe called La Casita. Immersed in beautiful flora we enjoyed homemade yoghur con miel and pan con marmalada (yogurt with honey and bread with marmalade). We eventually arrived at La Garnacha: a town in the mountains.
On our first day in La Garnacha we started group orientation. We learned Dragons philosophy through various games and presentations. After a delicious meal of chicken on a bed of fresh vegetables and avocado we started our tour through the town. The tour was lead by prominent town leader Don Pablo who explained that La Garnacha is a sustainable community.
Our first stop on the tour was an artisan shop run by a man named Carmello who carves beautiful, intricate sculptures out of wood and marmolina stone. He showed us the tools he used to carve his sculptures, which were modified spoons and knives that he had changed in order to make his carvings more intricate. Next we learned to make our own tortillas with Doña Angela and her grandson José Alonso. She told us she has been making tortillas for 25 years and usually makes 20-30 per day, but on special occasions Don Pablo asks her to make close to 300. Our next stop was Doña Victoria’s natural medicine pharmacy. She showed us her lush garden where she grows all her herbs and plants to make her medicines. We also saw the Fabrica de Queso where the town stores all the cheese they make. Don Pablo brought Swiss style cheese making to the community and they have been manufacturing goat and cow’s milk cheese since the 80’s. Our last stop on the tour was to the livestock area where the 34 goats are kept as well as the town’s worm composting system. Our first few days on this course have been really wonderful and we can’t wait for the next 3 months!