MEDA Blog - Stories from the Field

Chatting with Revolutionaries and Chilling on the Beach in León

I’m nearing the end of my third week here in Nicaragua and I just keep falling more and moreb2ap3_thumbnail_Revolutionary-Museum.gif in love with this country and my job. The people are wonderful and the landscapes are breathtaking!

I have been taking advantage of my weekends to travel as much as possible and learn as much as I can about Nicaragua. Last weekend I took a trip to visit my fellow MEDA intern Sarah French in León where she is currently also working on MEDA’s Techno-links project which seeks to increase access to markets and financial services in Nicaragua using technology.

León is a beautiful city full of history and beautiful beaches! I learned a lot about Nicaragua’s past during a visit to the Revolutionary Museum where I received a tour from Comandante Hugo who himself fought to remove the Somoza family from power in Nicaragua. It was amazing to hear about the revolution from someone who was actually there and to even see pictures of Hugo as a young man participating in the conflict.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Playa-Las-Penitas.gifAnd of course I had to spend an afternoon at the beach! I visited Playa las Peñitas, a beach located about 45 minutes outside of León, to watch the many surfers and eat some amazing seafood.  

I am also trying to use more Nicaraguan slang as this is one of my favorite things to pick up while living in different Spanish-speaking countries. So far I’ve lived in Spain and Mexico and my Spanish changed completely living in each place. I lived in Mexico last year so I still use tons of Mexican slang which has earned me the nickname “La Mexicana” from a few of my new friends here in Nicaragua. By the end of my time here I hope to speak like a real Nica.  

On the internship front, I am working on a number of really interesting projects here at MiCrédito including helping the organization start collecting more data regarding the social impact of its products and services. I am extremely happy to be a part of this project as I believe that MiCrédito is providing a lot of amazing services to its clients which really have a strong impact on their lives.

MiCrédito recently introduced a loan product for university students to help them finance their education or start a related business; it is also the first microfinance institution in Nicaragua to provide savings accounts and debit cards to its clients through a partnership with BAC (Banco America Central). Collecting data is extremely important to make sure that products like these are having a positive impact on clients and I am looking forward to contributing to this project.

I am also working on b2ap3_thumbnail_Historic-Center-in-Leon.gifsome gender-related programming, helping MiCrédito to continue the implementation of its Gender Policy to ensure that the needs of male and female clients and staff are being met. I am looking forward to helping out at the gender workshops which MiCrédito runs every few months and to help run some staff training sessions with one of MEDA’s Gender Specialists later in the year.

This weekend I’m off to Estelí to get my first taste of northern Nicaragua and then it’s back to the office to continue my work with MEDA and MiCrédito!

The sole Canadian at a Swahili church service
To the field: Oujda, by the Algerian border

Related Posts