“Inspirational” is one of the many words I can think of to describe my third day in Nicaragua. After arriving in San Juan Del Sur day before, I had a chance to meet with Alanna and Jennifer Tynan, two sisters who founded the Latitude Project, briefly in the Hotel. When I saw them at first, I had a very little knowledge about their work with the Latitude Project. After a minute or two conversation(s) with both of them, they told me and Dr. Sama that they are taking us to a community tour next morning.
While we were on our way to the community tour, Sally (GLOBE Fellow), my Spanish teachers in this trip, told us how these two sisters would spend half of the year in Canada working in two or three jobs to fund their projects in Nicaragua. As Sally was telling us about their story, I saw both sisters picking up people in their van from the road and dropping them off to their destinations, as people in that community lacked adequate transportation. When we arrived in the village, Alanna and Jennifer first took us to a pre-school that they built couple of years ago. It did not take me a long time to see the strong attachment of these two sisters to this particular community. While we had tough time interacting with the kids in the school, it seemed like most of the kids embraced both sisters as if they were their own family members. From the visit to pre-school to our last visit at a small house in that village, Alanna and Jennifer Tynan’s strong bond with the villagers were on full display, as they were checking up on their roof projects, and making arraignment to bring government funded lunch for students from another town. In one instance, for example, they stopped by a house to see how a new born baby and mom were doing.
As we were walking around the village, we saw the positive impacts of these two sisters on this particular community. They not only had the roof projects to protect villagers during the rainy seasons, but they have been working tirelessly to improve the health and education in that village. The Latitude Projected invested money on sanitation, especially building latrines, to reduce the chances of preventable diseases, such as diarrhea. Not only are they are building those things, they coming back to these villages on their own to follow up. If I recall correctly, Dr. Sama asked them how secure they feel doing such projects around different communities in Nicaragua on their own. In reply, one of the sisters said that they feel very secure and the people in the community would never let anything happen to them. It was really amazing to see how these two young women from Canada connected with the people in a rural village in Nicaragua so well.
It was really inspiring to see the commitment and dedication of these two sisters to make a difference in the lives of many Nicaraguan. They could be anything they want to be in Canada, yet they chose to come to a rural village in Nicaragua, which is very much disconnected from the outside world, and help underprivileged people. I don’t think anything other than the word “Inspiration” would be a right to describe my third day in Nicaragua.