The beautiful image is of San Juan del Sur at sunset. After our first two days in Mangua, we headed to San Juan del Sur where we were able to see the poverty beyond the picturesque image displayed below. The city is a tourist destination but beyond the tourist attractions is a city where people are in need of clean water and their children struggle to gain an education past the 6th grade.
We took a moment to get settled then made our way to meet with Communidad Connect and Fundacion A. Jean Brugger shortly after. At Communidad Connect we learned of the various programs being implemented simultaneously to fight poverty and the many challenges that come along with it. Their programs include Campo Verde, Parque Deportivo, Sustainable Tourism, a Health Clinic, and last but certainly not least, Nica Agua. Nica Agua was our focus during the trip and we were given very detailed information about how the filters work, their distribution, and how routine check-ups to family ensure the filtration systems' proper use. I found this interesting because it seems so simple to gather the funds to supply the filters then give them to the community. Problem solved right? Wrong. The persistence that the staff has incredible because they are tackling so many issues head on. Through Nica Agua, Communidad Connect is able to educate the community on the importance of clean water and also able to provide them with clean water.
After Communidad Connect we visited with Priscilla, the Executive Director of Fundacion A. Jean Brugger. The hotel where we met with Priscilla was directly beside what appeared to be a slum in stark contrast with the very well put together hotel we were meeting her in. Priscilla shared with us information about the many programs offered by the foundation but what was of most interest for us was the Sponsorship Program and the potential for successful graduates to participate in a course geared towards social entrepreneurship. Priscilla was so engaging but also genuinely interested in the GLOBE Program because she saw how social entrepreneurship could be a way out of poverty for the students involved in her programs. The idea was that there could potentially be collaboration with a nearby university called Rivas to develop an educational program for students to help them develop and implement their entrepreneurial endeavors. I think it would be beautiful if we could have some role in that as our program has successfully not only educated GLOBE managers about social entrepreneurship but the program has created social entrepreneurs. Dr. Sama's lectures could be of great use to instructors who may head their social entrepreneurship program once they have gotten it off the ground. A few of the current GLOBE Fellows may even be able to provide feedback to give students' perspective about what we gained from our experience and ultimately how to build on it.