Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday, February 26th, Leon


 Nicaragua is currently telling the story of its rise from the oppression of the rich and powerful, whose corruption and exploitation of the resources of Nicaragua has many good examples in its past political and historical leadership.

As in most Central American countries, the role of foreign powers has usually been at the heart of this abuse, and the United States has played a huge role.  It has not been surprising to be reminded of this many times daily, and to be taken to monuments which celebrate the heroes who have fought against my country's excess.
While traveling in Europe brings most Americans a sense of pride for our participation in overcoming the advance of Germany in the cities we visit, our visits to Central American countries can easily bring a bit of shame and embarrassment.  How could we be so blatantly self-interested in acquiring cheap resources, and so callous in our disregard for human rights?  Those who we supported in their domination of the peoples of Central America were generally among the least concerned with building the kind of democracy which we love so much.

 San Jacinto is a small community outside of Granada, which contains a beautiful collection of  volcanic, sulfur-spewing mud-vents.  The villagers nearby collect the mud, and supply tourists for health-improving facials.

I only wish there were really some earthy potion that my country could take to save its own face from its past transgressions.

For all of the lessons which one could learn from visits like these, it's still apparent to me we have not learned that the strongest motivation on earth is to improve the conditions under which one's family survives.  And any government which does not allow a fair chance for its people to pursue such ambitions - will not itself survive.

These towering volcanos should remind us how explosive life can be when something is oppressed and restricted.  Freedom and great hopes are the power which builds great nations, and any leader which ignores or prevents this energy is just sitting on dangerous ground.

How often do you get to climb up onto the roof of a church?  If you want a better view of the Avenue of volcanos in Nicaragua,  why not?

Below us sits an 18th century-built cedar columned church, only one of 14th churches in Leon, Nicaragua.  Enrique tells us that Leon is his country's church factory.

And here are some workers happily cleaning this one.
Central markets are good places to practice photography.  My friend Emilienne probably has a photograph just like this one, because I encouraged her to see that a good balance in a photograph is important.   The viewer's eye is drawn into the center of a shot easier if there are closer objects in the corners of the photo.
The streets of Nicaragua are filled with reminders of the revolution, and no one is shy to blame either the U.S. or it's corporations for the troubles which occurred before 1979.

But children everywhere aspire for better, and Barbies, coloring books, rulers, and school lessons inspire Nicaraguans to reach higher.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on: Wednesday, February 26th, Leon.

No comments: