Back to WhereThereBeDragons.com

El Bolivariano en El Lagartillo

A month has passed so quickly and a Nicaragua that looked so unfamiliar at the beginning of this trip, now plays an important role in my life. I cannot expressed how much I have learned from the people I’ve met in every place we have been in. The community I will miss the most is definitely El  Lagartillo. This beautiful village will stay with me for the rest of my life because of all the good memories I am carrying with me. I feel so connected to the homestay family I stayed there with, Lizbeth, Chema and their 12 year old son, Gabriel. I already miss them a lot. I miss hearing Lizbeth saying, ‘Buen día Bolivariano time for breakfast’. After a couple of days  she knew that I like Queso or Cuajada, even though there is a different between them that I still can not tell, Chema and Lizbeth would offer the Cuajada to me at every meal. I miss playing cards with Gabriel or trying to play some Nica music with him. I remember one night while I was playing the guitar he  started playing his Cajón drum. I was very impressed by his talent. I will miss all the laughter in the house with me playing the guitar and trying to get the Nicaraguan SonNica rhythm right but sometimes changing the lyrics of the song by mistake, and suddenly everybody in the house starts laughing and then Lizbeth keeps singing the song with the new lyrics I made. I will miss a lot all the conversations while lying in the hammock or sitting down at the table after every meal and having endless conversations with Chema about his life and his strong opinions about Sandinistas and the importance of being part of a cooperative in order to live a sustainable life with nature and people. Time flew so rapidly and every single minute I spent in the community was hermoso because I was able to see the beauty of resistance while being part of their daily routines. I truly appreciate every single interaction I had with the  family I stayed with and the community members, specially David, my guitar mentor who put a lot of patience into teaching me the SonNica rhythm. We left Lagartillo listening to the new friends I made there, saying, ‘come back we will wait for you, you know that you have a place to stay’. Those words made the place even more special for me. All I can say now is, Nos vemos pronto familia de Lagartillo.

After El Lagartillo we went to CEN (Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturaleza). I have to say that all the information we got from Alan Bolt and his crew was very powerful. I recognized that I am also part of the problem of why we have less and less water in the world. This past week has been very intense for everybody in the group, and realizing that climate change is happening so fast is very scary. I remember from Alan’s Bolt talk that people make stupid decisions constantly, those decisions harm the environment and even though we know it we still do it. I’ve been talking to my co-instructors and students about how much we travel and how many planes we take in order to visit different countries. I have to say now that more than any other time I am very conscious of the big impact of flying and what it destroys. During our time in the CEN cloud forest we were very lucky to appreciate the beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, trees, fertile soil, and beautiful rivers. Thinking that one day all that beauty will disappear because of our actions, is not fair for the Mother Earth. Now, the question I am asking myself is, how much is enough? Should I stop traveling and stay at home with my family and start planting trees? Should I keep traveling as an educator because I also see the value and feel the responsibility in taking students to places where we can learn about the importance of environmental issues and spread the word to live in a more sustainable ways? At the same time I travel personaly to keep exploring new places, but how much is enough?

Sustainable life is a process and I appreciate my time at El Lagartillo.  People there live a very responsible and sustainable life, respecting nature and producing their own food as Lizbeth, Chema and all the people in the community showed me.