Monday, May 29, 2017

Surf's Up in San Juan Del Sur

We visited roughly 5 cities, but stayed overnight in 4 of them. San Juan del Sur being the last of the bunch was reminiscent of a Surfer culture as our hotel was steps away from the beach. Even though the town had a surfer's vibe, we did not see any surfers enjoying the waves. This could be due in part to the fact that the waves were not that spectacular and surfers were just waiting for the season when they can finally experience their thrill. Nonetheless, Hotel de Azul is where we stayed and it was quite peaceful. 

During our stay in San Juan, we were able to visit El Cristo de Misericordia statue, which translates to The Christ of Mercy. It is a colossal statue of Jesus Christ in the city of San Juan del Sur standing tall at 134 m. The statue is overlooks the city of San Juan. It was quite the view! We saw what appeared to be a deep cave from the mirador and of course, in true fellow fashion, we decided to take a walk and explore. We were denied access along one of our routes, but it was worth a shot. 

So what do order for dinner when you get the opportunity to feast on the beach? You order Langosta y tostones of course. The meal was delicious and everything seemed to be fresh. The culture of the city was youthful and full of energy. San Juan Del Sur is definitely a 'touristy' city if you ever plan on visiting Nicaragua. 

Oh- how could I forget the massive mansions up in the hills overlooking the town? I don't know, but they were beautiful homes with magnificent views. #goals

The markets in this town are also more expensive than other towns we visited. Given the opportunity to shop in Markets before you reach San Juan del Sur, I advise you to please do so. I think it is more expensive there because of the amount of tourist that frequent the city.  Lastly, be prepared for Sunday Funday. The GLOBE Fellows did not take part in the activities, but it is when college aged adults from around the world "Hostel-hop" and socially drink at each destination as they meet new people and explore different activities in a given area. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Loving Life the Nicaragua Way!

We are on the final stretch of our Nicaraguan adventure and all I can say is that it has been an absolutely amazing experience so far! It was heart touching meeting our borrowers and hearing their stories and seeing first hand how GLOBE has changed their lives for the better! We got a tour of Maria's house and she was soo proud to show us the store she started with GLOBE's micro loan. She even gifted us with some jewelry and cards! The following day we left Managua to head out to Granada, on the way we stopped at Laguna de Apoyo which had a beautiful overlook of a crater lake. I had the opportunity to dance with the locals and we all enjoyed a delicious lunch overlooking the lake.

Granada is an awesome colonial city with a ton of shops and a beautiful cathedral, we walked the town and took our dinner home to eat at our luxurious hotel, Hotel Colonial! Friday morning we left bright and early to climb to the top of Mombacho Volcano. I have to say it was a once and a lifetime experience, we took such a beautiful hike through the rainforest and saw monkeys and frogs. The icing on the cake however was zip lining through the jungle!

We are currently at San Juan Del Sur, a surfer filled beach town on the pacific. Our hotel is absolutely fabulous and I have made a lifelong friendship with the local iguana living next to the pool. All in all, Nicaragua has been a life changing experience, one of the biggest things I realized is the happiness that lies in the simple things. The people of Nicaragua don't have fancy cars, the newest technologies or even properly working air conditioning yet they are as happy as could be. It just goes to show that money doesn't buy happiness and we should be more appreciative of the non-material things like health, family, friendship, love and freedom. The things that money cannot buy. Im excited to see what the rest of the trip will hold for us!

Cuban Rolled Nicaragua Cigars

We are on day 6 of our trip and have visited 4 cities in this country. We started in Managua where we visited Matagalpa. Matagalpa gave us an idea of what poverty looks like in Nicaragua compared to where we were staying in Managua. I was actually standing in the middle of a shantytown, with broken homes and neglected infrastructure. There were steep muddy hills that children and the elderly had to climb daily to reach there homes. The most nerve wrecking were the homes that were literally at the edge of a cliff. All I could think was- it's a long way down should someone slip and fall. Despite my description, it was not a terrible experience. The people of Matagalpa were full of spirit. To them, this was merely home. I saw children in school uniform, which was a good sign that they have access to education, dozens of chickens indicating access to food, Guanaba trees and even a couple of baby pigs.

After Matagalpa- we moved our things to Hotel Colonial in Granada. WHAT A DAY!(the fellows and Dr. Sama know exactly what I mean through my expression). I liked the city of Granada, but it was full of tourist giving the town an artificial flavor since I was so enamored by the authenticity of the previous towns. At least I got to purchase my Cuban rolled Nicaraguan Cigars. 

But how could I forget the MAGNIFICENT view of Caterina. For Goodness sake! It was breathtaking. We were aimlessly walking through the market and all of a sudden, we turned the corner and VOILA- there was Laguna de Apoyo in the middle of Volcano Mamabacho and the city of Granada. It's something you have to see for yourself to believe.

Now we are in San Juan Del Sur...

Friday, May 26, 2017


On Wednesday we had the pleasure of meeting our Nicaraguan borrowers (, located in Managua. What a tremendous experience! We met with roughly 12 of our borrowers; most of whom are currently experiencing their second loan with GLOBE. We spent the entirety of the afternoon getting to know these amazing individuals. Each spoke about their experience; they discussed their personal businesses, challenges they were or had been facing, and gave praise and thanks to OUR organization. This moment, seeing the gratitude in these individuals eyes, brought GLOBE completely full-circle. Each borrower, was thankful, not specifically for the money we provide them with, but for the OPPORTUNITY that GLOBE has granted them. They were all thankful for the very assistance that we have contributed to aid them in stepping out of poverty. This specific experience of this trip, has completely changed my life. Seeing the gratitude in these individuals eyes, was so inspirational. As they thanked us for the opportunity we provide them, I thanked them for the opportunity they provide us. As Natali was our translator (shout out to Natali and how awesome she is), she translated my thanksgiving towards them. I thanked them for the opportunity that they provide the GLOBE community; the opportunity to learn, both in the classroom, and outside of the classroom. Without these motivated individuals, GLOBE wouldn't be possible. I truly feel completely humbled by this experience. 

A specific thing that touched my heart in meeting our borrowers was their smiles. Every single person in the building that day, was glowing with happiness. As I am not very good with my Spanish, it became evident that a smile was a universal form of language. The smiles on our borrowers faces, truly warmed my heart, and again, made me feel extremely blessed for my ability to be a member of this GLOBE family. 

We also were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit a few of our borrowers homes/shops, and those we didn't have the opportunity to see, showed us many pictures of their products. I was stunned with what these entrepreneurs had created. From machinery, to carpentry, to yummy breakfast food, these were true entrepreneurs. Their work was original and innovative, and boy were they excited to share! WE have and are changing these people's lives! This truly is something I will never be able to forget; the sincerity in their eyes, their warm smiles, and embracive hugs, truly has touched my heart. This is what GLOBE does, this is the impact ALL of you are having on the lives of real, beautiful people. 

Thank you GLOBE managers, family, and friends, for your hard work and dedication to helping those less fortunate stand proud for all that they are accomplishing! 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Borrowers & Mercado Fresco

Hello everyone!

As mentioned before the trip to Nicaragua has been a blast! We have been learning so much from different organizations and the different people we encounter. Yesterday we have the opportunity and the privilege to meet the borrowers. It was the best experience so far, for me personally. I loved hearing all the things that they had to share. As GLOBE managers, when we work in the classroom, we have an idea of the impact that we are having. However, here in Nicaragua we really have gotten the feel and get to see the impact that we have. We talked about this and we mentioned how authentic and real this experience has been. I got to really to talk the borrowers and they had so much to share with us. For example, I really got to talk with Maria, a second time borrower, who sells school supplies. She is expanding her business and her husband and herself are now selling cards. It was awesome, I really got to hear her story, what she is doing and what has been going on in her life. It was interesting because she talked about how she is having family problems. Her house is also not in the best condition. However, the whole time we were there she would smile and laugh with us, as if nothing was going on. I just loved seeing these men and women come together and meet with us. They were also very thankful for the work we do, it was a way to reassure me, as a GLOBE manager that the work that is being done in class is having an impact.

We also met with Supply Hope, specifically Mercado Fresco. We got to see the work that they do with micro franchising, which is something I had very little knowledge on. However, I was able to learn a lot. I remember talking earlier to parents about how countries such as Mexico, the people eat very unhealthy. They perfer to drink things such as Coca-Cola than water. This is somehing that happens with the people living in Nicaragua. It was interesting to me, because it was something that I had recently mentioned to my parents. To be able to see something like Mercado Fresco, trying to get people to change their eating habits, by selling things like eggs, beans, rice. And not the "traditional" thing that everyone eats, which are like chips and Coca-Cola. I thought it was great and I really enjoyed it.

Excited about what is in store next!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


We are not only having a blast in Nicaragua, but we are learning so much about microfinance. It is one thing to understand the concept theoretically, but a worthwhile experience to see it in practice. It is so important for social entrepreneurs to take a sincere interest in providing services in third world countries, otherwise, the government provided subsistence is not enough.

Before joining the fellows on this journey, I had not considered myself a Social Entrepreneur. I am not one who adopts titles for the sake of sounding important or for having social appeal, but one who genuinely values the process, sacrifice, and due diligence of this industry's work and then I'll decide if the title is befitting. I am glad to say, that after meeting various families in Nicaragua and understanding GLOBE from the front lines, I am a proud Social Entrepreneur.

My highlight thus far is being able to see, first hand, the Nicaraguan way of life. From a first world perspective, I would label the living conditions in Nicaragua a hardship, but honestly- there is huge sense of community and family in the air that my pity is unwarranted and unnecessary. I am glad to be a fellow on this trip and ready carry with me the story of every person I meet.

Access to Nicaragua Photos

Hello GLOBE family!

Due to some technical difficulties with our blog and phone service, at this time we are having difficulty logging photographs of our journey on this blog. In order to gain access to the photos of our trip please visit our other media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, which can be accessible through the links provided below.

Thank you! 

¡Hola from Nicaragua!

We're having a blast in Nicaragua! Highlights include visiting awesome organizations Fabretto, NicaHope, Rayo De Sol, Habitat for Humanity and Daighthers of Charity! One of my personal favorites was teaching skateboarding lessons to the children of Matagalpa, they absolutely loved the skateboard and were bobsledding on it down the dirt hills in their village. We made a ton of new friends who gave us a tour of their village. It was really astonishing the difference in structure quality between the homes in Nicaragua and the homes in the USA, here the walls are made of tin and the floors are dirt yet the residents are happier then ever and we're proud to give us tours of their home. This trip ha been such a humbling experience and has taught me to be be appreciative of everything I have!

You check out our photos and video recap on the GLOBE Facebook page!

And follow our Instagram accounts!


Hello all!

We are here in Nicaragua! It has been an amazing trip so far. The first day we arrived, we went down to business. We got to visit Fabretto and Nica Hope. In Fabretto, we were able to see the finish product of what some of the women were making. We were about to talk to Finn, who came all the way from Germany. He is in Nicaragua helping some students that were accepted into a robotic competition in Washington D.C. They will be competing against 140 countries all over the world. It was awesome to see a young person take an interest and out here helping teenagers fufill a dream.

On the second day, we got to visit Peter, he works with Rayo de Sol. They also have a collaboration with People Helping People Global, where we met Martha. I was able to talk to her and get insight as to what this organization is about. For example, Rayo de Sol has different groups, like sewing or cooking as well as computer classes. The women get to chose which group interest them they most and learn from teachers how to sew or cook properly. They may already know how to cook or sew, but they get taught different techniques. What People Helping People Global does is provide resources, so they have brought sewing machines for the sewing group to do their work more faster and efficiently. They also want to see the people they work with successful. Many of the people they work with are women and/or single mothers. Since the ultimate goal is to help these women become successful and sustainable, they don't want the next generation to fall into the same cycle of poverty. Therefore, it is a requirement for mothers to send their kids to school. If a child is taken out mid-year or misses classes People Helping People Global will personally go to the homes of these children and speak to their parents and remind them of the agreement, which is the kids must go to school and the parents have access to these different classes and resources. I thought this was awesome! It is not only an incentive to the families, but it is a way to make sure the next generation is being educated. That their mentality is being changed and that they will to continue what their parents have done so far. We also met with one of families that is under this program. We got to go into their home and see the business and their kids. I spoke to one of the daughters and she told me about her experience making jewelry and how it is a passion for her. She doesn't sell them, but on occasion her friends ask her to make some bracelets for them and she does. She is currently sixteen and in school. It was awesome to witness her passion. As well as once again see how the next generation is being impacted. I enjoyed getting to know their stories and hearing firsthand the benefits that come to all these families and how some of them have been successful. It has been an amazing experience so far!

Today is our third day here in Nicaragua and we got to visit Habitat for Humanity, where we met Frank. We got to learn so much about what they do in regards to microfinance. He has so many ideas that he wants to bring about and it was great meeting with someone that has the same amount of passion that we have! I think it will be great to work more with them since he has many ideas that can help us out as GLOBE. This trip has been amazing! I cannot wait to see what else day three has in store for us! We will keep you updated!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hola de Nicaragua¡!

The GLOBE fellows have officially begun exploring the beautiful country of Nicaragua!
The fellows accompanying Dr. Sama include; Evan Dittig, Travis King, Natali Macuil, and Shannon Seery. Mina Mustafa, GLOBE's graduate assistant, is also with us in Nicaragua.

So to briefly bring the GLOBE family up to date, today marks our first full day of adventure. After a long journey yesterday morning, from New York to Miami to Managua, we quickly got to work meeting with both Fabretto and Nica Hope; two cooperative programs who assist women. We were fortunate enough to learn about their organizations and see first hand some of their products (pine baskets and jewelry), that we hope to bring back and share with our GLOBE family.

Today, we had an early morning breakfast at The Pyramid hotel, before traveling roughly 3 hours to Matagalpa, to meet with Peter Schaller, of Rayo de Sol. Peter granted us keen insight into his non-profit initiatives that center on education and empowerment. Peter, originally from New Haven CT, has been living in Nicaragua for the last 21 years working with numerous organizations prior to his exceptional work with Rayo de Sol. Meeting with Peter was a fabulous experience. His knowledge of the economic development sector is renowned, and his insights prove beneficial to the mission of the  GLOBE community.  With Peter, we focused on learning about his work with educating women in trades such as, sewing and technical skills. We had the opportunity to meet some of the women Peter works with, and even a chance to explore the places in which these individuals reside. The children of these women, their laughter and smiles had to be some of the most amazing moments of this experience to date. Although they appeared shy at first, they quickly opened up to the excitement of skateboarding, due to Evan bringing a board along and teaching the children how to ride. Before any of us even realized we became one with the community. Peter guided us through the village, allowing us to see how and where the women work on their sewing products, which basically concern bags made of reusuable products, such as discarded clothing. I believe I can speak for the whole team, in saying that it was truly an inspirational moment seeing what a simple, beautiful, life these individuals live.

Next stop of our day was experiencing some local cuisine of Nicaragua, including a fresh sweet corn tortilla, with beans, cheese, and cream! This Nicaraguan dish was delicious and surprisingly filling.
We concluded our time in Matagalpa at a look out at the top of a mountain that Peter had suggested. We were looking for some adventure, and we sure found it. The view gave us exceptional views of the entire city of Matagalpa!

This broad overview presents an impeccable start to what will be an amazing, life-changing experience. We will be sure to incorporate a lot of photos into these posts, to better document our experiences, but currently due to lack of internet access the photo option is unavailable. We have no doubt that our experience will broaden the horizons of GLOBE and allow our organization to become more prosperous for both our borrowers and students.

Please stay tuned, and follow-us as we continue our fascinating adventure though Nicaragua. The fellows and I will be sharing our perspectives over the course of the next week, and try our best to give a detailed representation of our experiences to be shared with the entirety of the GLOBE community.

Adios mi amigo¡!