This spring break I got the chance to apply what I’ve been taught in the classroom on my nine day trip to Nicaragua. As students we often forget the importance of what we learn as it gets lost in books, papers, and exams. Being able to learn through experiences is a liberating and rewarding way to appreciate what you learn while in school.
The class gave students the opportunity to get a clear perspective of health systems around the world.
Over the break, several students enrolled in a Global Health Class and took advantage of traveling abroad. The class, taught by Elizabeth Amaya-Fernandez and Dr. Tefera Gezmu, gave students the opportunity to get a clear perspective of health systems around the world.
Our days were filled with meeting bright and courageous children.
During the trip we visited maternal stations called Casa Maternas. Most first pregnancies are high risk and many women here lack direct access to hospitals. They are often housed in Casa Maternas until they are ready to deliver to avoid complications.
Our overall goal in Nicaragua was to see how a developing, country with limited resources, has implemented universal healthcare to really help its citizens as opposed to what we often see in the United States.
From my personal view, it was a great learning experience. We explored the beauty of Nicaragua as well as discovered the hardships people face in their daily lives.
Our days were filled with meeting bright and courageous children who finally found a place to belong after struggling with abuse and homelessness.
At the Los Quinchos project, a filter house and foster home for street children, we learned the stories of young boys and girls who were giving a second chance at eduation and safe homes after being rescued from the streets and drug addiction.
The people we met showed so much resilience, diligence and hope.
We also met heroes who strove to help women and families put food on their tables by teaching them to make crafts from recycling materials.
After losing their homes in the flood at Lake Managua, the ” Esperanza en Accion (Hope in Action)” project helped women become head of their household by starting their own recyclable craft businesses.
The people we met showed so much resilience, diligence and hope. We were encouraged to blog about our thoughts and experiences daily. The photos here depict the life-changing journey we encountered in only nine days.
So, if you ever get the chance to step away from a book and acquire knowledge through a hands-on experience, I would definitely recommend it. For me, this was a wonderful way to apply what I learned at Rutgers in real life.
Learn more about the Nicaragua Alternative Break!
Article & Pictures by: Omolara Animashaun