This week there are some pretty big celebrations going down in Nicaragua. In Estelí it began yesterday with what we were told was non-political celebration of the “Liberation of Estelí” (however number of red and black Sandinista flags outnumbered the blue and white of Nicaragua 10 to 1). In Estelí on July 16th, 1979 the Sandinistas ousted the troops of the dictator Somoza from the city. Every year since the people of Estelí have celebrated with parades and gatherings in the park.
July 19th marks the official “Triumph of the Revolution.” The festivities in Managua on the 19th will be exponentially more intense and politically charged, as the government pays all the bus companies in the country to stop their normally scheduled routes and instead bus people to and from the capital.
As Peace Corps Volunteers we work with people from all political backgrounds. We’re thankful for the opportunity to observe, to listen, and to learn regardless of who is in power and who is not. One of the problems we see in our own country is that the lines are so darkly drawn, that the art of listening has been lost. May the chance to hone this skill make us not only better PCVs, but better citizens of the US upon our return.