This week PWB Nicaragua continued working with kids at Sierra Maestra in the afternoons, and started work with a new organization called Casa Alianza in the mornings. Casa Alianza is a social service organization, provides residency and rehabilitation to kids ages 13-17. The kids usually come from backgrounds of addiction, exploitation, and trafficking, and go through a one year program that provides them with tools to be healthy, succeed in recovery, and thrive in a nurturing environment.

Casa Alianza has three levels to their program, separating kids into group according to the amount of time and work they have done so far in the program. We are working with about 25  kids in the first level, which means they are the newest kids to the program and have been there for about one to three months. Part of our agreement with Casa Alianza is that we will not take any pictures or video during our time here because of the fragile nature of their work and to protect the identities of the children… So you’ll just have to take my word for it, the property is absolutely beautiful. They provide separate housing for the boys and girls, and separate bedrooms depending on which level of the program they are in. There are lots of gardens and beautiful shaded spaces for the kids to have activities, and the whole property is kept well manicured and super clean.

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Acrobatics with kids at Sierra Maestra

We will meet with the kids every Monday – Thursday for two weeks, and then put on a show with them to celebrate at the end of our sessions. Thursday happens to be family day, so many of the kids get visits from their families on Thursday, and hopefully their families will be able to attend our show as well.

Working with the kids at Casa Alianza has been an absolute treat. The kids are a bit older then those we normally work with, and they are all super bright and eager to learn from us. Our team was surprised to see that daily, kids engage in a morning Tai Chi, Yoga, or Meditation session before we arrive. Casa Alianza runs lots of activities that contribute to the kids being super tuned in to their bodies and understanding the mindset of openly engaging with new activities.

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Performing our show at Barrio Mateare

We had four shows this week, and spent quite a bit of time in transit, traveling all over Managua in Kairos truck. Monday we did our show for Casa Alianza, and Tuesday we performed at Sierra Maestra (the school we teach at in the afternoons). Wednesday we did an evening street show in Barrio Mateare, and Friday we did another evening show in Barrio Dimitrov. This show was particularly crazy because there was no light to work with in the community center, so we positioned Kairos truck strategically and used the headlights as our main source of light for the show. It was a truly successful week of shows, and I’m left thinking of countless giggling and delighted children we encountered throughout the week, a reward well worth the efforts put into all the travel for the shows.

Friday we had our second trip to Los Ampies, a small community built along an old decommissioned railroad line. We meet kids on a dusty farm owned by a nice man who lets the kids of the community gather on his property every week. The area is shaded with mango trees and the kids start each session by hanging up signs they call “living agreements”, which they’ve created for when they come to the space. Reminders like ‘don’t pick fruit from the Don’s trees’, ‘No Fighting’, and ‘Listen to each other’, sprinkle the property before we begin our sessions.

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A “living agreements” sign the kids at Los Ampies created

On a personal note, Sara and I spent our weekend off in Granada, and found a local to take us out on a tour of the islets. We bought little cakes before we left, and when the boat stopped at a small island about 10 minutes offshore, we got to feed a spider monkey that hopped onto the boat! We also ran into a St. Patricks Day parade travelling through the Parque Central, and Sara got to jump into the parade and do some juggling!

We only have one week left here at Kairos, and as the tour is coming to an end, I’m happy to report the team is going strong and making the most of the time we have left. Podemos Hacerlo!!

Until Next Time… Ivy 🙂

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