The sun kissed our skin as we took our first steps out of the airport. Palm trees waved hello as the wind pushed up against their leaves. The color green dominated the skyline as different forms of greenery lined the roads. Buildings painted the town with vibrant colors. The smell of the air was strangely reminiscent of Nigeria. But this time I was in Nicaragua (Managua specifically) with a purpose. We immediately got started with our day; we visited a non-profit called Fabretto. Working to empower both children and their parents through training ranging from education to health to business, Fabretto is a laudable organization to say the least. I was especially impressed with the fact that while educating and enriching children through programming, Fabretto also enriches and improves the lives of their parents through financial literacy and business training programs. Indeed, the service Fabretto gives to the community goes full circle. But it didn't stop there. Fabretto also assists women in rural Nicaragua sell handmade goods (baskets and jewelry) from pinewood that they scavenge in their communities by expanding their market.
After gaining insight from Jennifer (Fabretto's coordinator in Managua), we went to Nica HOPE. Nica HOPE, one of Fabretto's co-ops works with people living near the trash dump in Managua. The co-op helps these people earn an income by selling products made from recycled items found in the dump. Beautiful bracelets made from aluminum soda can tops, purses made from intricately woven chip bags, and earrings made of rolled magazine paper were just a few of the amazing items sold through Nica HOPE. I gladly spent money there because I knew just the impact even one dollar had on the community. As I reflect, I am awed at just how innovative, tenacious, pioneering the people involved with Fabretto are. I think the name "Nica HOPE" is very fitting; for in a world marked by trials and tribulations, these people have the audacity to hope.