It has been a very eventful three days, visiting projects supported by the Oxford Leon Association in this University town of Nicaragua. Here is a summary of what I have seen:
I have visited a run-down medical post in La Sabre, in need of running water to improve its cleanliness. (It was very dirty, with medical waste incinerated in open air at the rear of the property.) Oxford may be able to help fund a water pipe to supply water across the community.
In the afternoon I saw a Mini-library funded to help children´s literacy and enjoyment of books. Also, a performance by children including a “Hegontona” (a traditional puppet of a giant woman) was given.
Nicaragua is a machismo country; it places value on macho attitudes and behaviors which I´m told is common in Latin-America. We visited a feminist group, who are researching peoples´ attitude to sexual harassment towards women. We heard of a controversial case of a University lecturer being let off of a rape allegation despite strong supporting evidence.
Schools, nurseries, educational projects
We helped to serve at a breakfast/lunch club run by Mums´ at a local school, played with children at a nursery and saw the Mini-biblioteca deliver an educational volcano firework display to another school.
As you may know this is the area of my interest! I was able to see a Taiwanese production of music, dance and knife-play. Women were figures of grace and beauty and the men as roosters. Once these strong gender types were established they gave way to dances depicting “guy gets girl.” The performance standard was fantastic.