Last year, around this time I wrote an article about an experience I had when I traveled to Granada, Nicaragua in 2011. I remember the positive and negative feedback that I received from some of the readers. I wrote the article to inspired individuals to observe the similarities that some Americans have with some Nicaraguans. I thought that if I wrote the article and proved that there is poverty in America, and that are similarities, readers would have a different perspective about both countries. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to visit Nicaragua because the trip changed my views about poverty, and now I am always giving back no matter what affect it may or may not have on an individuals.
My naïve thoughts of why some of the locals and Americans were not doing anything to change their lifestyles, or how I thought that they have given up on life caused me to stop giving out donations. Now, reflecting on this journey, and thinking about the two Nicaraguans that I met, I now realized that they were doing something to improve their lives, and I should help in any way that I can.
The images of the little Nicaraguan boy who watch me eat my dinner at local restaurant in Granada, and then later fought over my leftovers with a group children will always stay with me…
One night a group of friends and I went to a restaurant where a group of Nicaraguan children were performing and selling goods to the tourists. One of the younger boys kept staring at me while I was eating. I told him to come over to my table. The little boy quickly came to the table, but as I placed the plate in front of him, all of the children gathered around us and began reaching for his food. A fight broke out between the little boy and another boy. My heart was pounding because I had never seen children fight over food in this way. There were cries, yells, and screams, and punches that filled the surrounding area. I got up to sit at another table with my friends. The little boy decided to come to the table where I was sitting, after he had finished fighting. I asked him “¿Porque estabas peleando? Why were you fighting?
He said, “Ellos llevaron mi comida entonces yo peleé con ellos porque yo no tengo comida. Por favor dame más comida. They took my food so I had to fight them because I don’t have food to eat. Please give me more food.
The lady who sat on the stairs affected me the most, and because she did not speak and only stared kept me wondering about what she was thinking…
The lady had stained clothes and dirt splotches on her body. The expression on her face drew pity from me. I immediately reached into my pockets to give her money. I still remember like yesterday the expression on her face: Her eyes stared into space, and they never moved even after I had emptied my pockets.
Though I can not go back in time and change my words, or even empty out my pockets to every homeless purpose that I met; however, I can think more wisely about my life and what I want to get out of it, and hopefully it will inspire others to do the same.
About the Author: My name is Andrea Scott and I am 23 years old. I am a Saint Louis native, and I work at an Immersion School in the city of Saint Louis. I have a BA in Journalism and Spanish. I am bilingual in English and Spanish, and I have studied in several parts of Central America. I love to read, travel, and write.