I arrived in Nicaragua last week and have begun to settle into my new home – a friendly and lively house on a shady and quiet street in Managua. My new family for the next 6 months has been incredibly welcoming and I’ve quickly become friends with their sweet 3 year old daughter who calls me “Auntie Sarah” and their two dogs and two cats. The heat is sweltering, but there is reprieve in the evening with cool breezes and tropical rainstorms. I have been reminded of how much I have missed Latin America – the colours, the sounds, the food, the music, the people, the language. It feels like being reunited with an old friend.
On my first day with the Colectivo I attended a national conference on gender equality and governance. Women’s rights organizations from around Nicaragua came together to discuss and share best practices on their work in areas such as ending violence against women, reproductive health rights and the economic empowerment of women. It was powerful to see these groups come together to champion the rights of women and to speak passionately about the absolute necessity to continue in the fight for true gender equality. These organizations work with little resources and receive no funding from the government. Despite these limitations it seems they are having an impact – their voices are being heard. In the few days I have been here I have seen the Colectivo present a powerful workshop at the conference, give an hour long radio interview on their work and host a workshop on human rights and systems of oppression attended by nearly twenty young people.
Today begins my first official day on the job. I am excited to get to work and to myself be a part of the women’s rights movement in this country.