Yesterday we met with Peder Kolind of Carita Feliz in Granada. He told us about his projects, including an innovative housing project. In order to live in the community of houses that Peder built, residents had to follow five rules. The first was that they cannot beat their wives. He said that wife beating could sometimes be a bragging point in poor communities, and he will evict any residents who partake in this practice. The other rules were that you cannot mistreat your children, you cannot keep pigs, chickens, or other unsanitary animals, you have to pay your mortgage on time, and you can’t throw trash on the ground. He found that when residents follow these rules, the people end up much happier and have a better sense of community. Another project was a kindergarten. This school welcomes any child regardless of family income, and offers resources to help them succeed. We visited the school, and were very impressed with it. The students were taking a computer class and learning to type from age three. Others were doing zumba and practicing for a dance show they would be presenting to their parents the next week. The students here were so excited to see us and wanted to talk and take pictures with us. We gave them school supplies and they presented us with a poster of 250 of the children. One of the most impressive things that Peder told us is that he tells students starting in kindergarten that he will support them all the way until they are doctors or lawyers or whatever they wanted to be as long as they studied. This gives students motivation to study as they see a real means to change their lives and become successful.
There are so many good people doing so many good things in Nicaragua. It is inspiring to see their dedication to helping others working to better the lives of others.
We spent the rest of the day looking around the beautiful colonial city of Granada. We actually ran into Peder again on the street later, and he recommended a great restaurant to us. We saw the Cathedral, where there was a celebration going on with fireworks and music. We ended our day with a swim in the hotel pool, a perfect ending to a perfect day.