Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

San Benito

Contributed by Natalie Frontera

Description

Last summer I went to Nicaragua for two weeks on a service trip. On the tenth day, I went to a small village 30 minutes outside of Managua called San Benito. I went there to build a bridge across a river.
While I was there, I also got to observe their lifestyle and living conditions. The houses were built from scraps, and were each about the size of my pantry or closet. There were dirty chickens and pigs covered in dirt, being swarmed by bugs. Everyone had only two sets of clothes they could call their own. They practically lived in the outdoors and had no air conditioning. They were thin and constantly doing manual labor. They created their village from the ground up.
This image of poverty was not depressing or sad. San Benito was a true community. Every person in there helped each other, relied on each other, and loved each other. They worked together to build what was necessary to continue moving forward. For example, I was down there to help build a bridge for them. I was supposed to be giving them a break from the hard work they do everyday. But they STILL got up to help carry and move wood with me and build the bridge. Even young kids stepped up to help. I'd be carrying two heavy wood planks on my shoulders, and then I'd look over to see this little 5-year-old carrying four on his shoulders.

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Why is this a Humanities Moment?

My experience in the village of San Benito helped me gain a better understanding of poverty in third-world countries. I feel we are taught the negative effects and conditions that people in poverty struggle with, yet we never learn from the few positive aspects they gain. My eyes only saw their harsh living conditions at first, but with a second glance I saw the beauty within poverty. The people of San Benito were a true family, filled with more love and compassion than I've ever seen or experienced.

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About this Moment

Title

San Benito

Subject

My experience in the village of San Benito helped me gain a better understanding of poverty in third-world countries. I feel we are taught the negative effects and conditions that people in poverty struggle with, yet we never learn from the few positive aspects they gain. My eyes only saw their harsh living conditions at first, but with a second glance I saw the beauty within poverty. The people of San Benito were a true family, filled with more love and compassion than I've ever seen or experienced.

Description

Last summer I went to Nicaragua for two weeks on a service trip. On the tenth day, I went to a small village 30 minutes outside of Managua called San Benito. I went there to build a bridge across a river.
While I was there, I also got to observe their lifestyle and living conditions. The houses were built from scraps, and were each about the size of my pantry or closet. There were dirty chickens and pigs covered in dirt, being swarmed by bugs. Everyone had only two sets of clothes they could call their own. They practically lived in the outdoors and had no air conditioning. They were thin and constantly doing manual labor. They created their village from the ground up.
This image of poverty was not depressing or sad. San Benito was a true community. Every person in there helped each other, relied on each other, and loved each other. They worked together to build what was necessary to continue moving forward. For example, I was down there to help build a bridge for them. I was supposed to be giving them a break from the hard work they do everyday. But they STILL got up to help carry and move wood with me and build the bridge. Even young kids stepped up to help. I'd be carrying two heavy wood planks on my shoulders, and then I'd look over to see this little 5-year-old carrying four on his shoulders.

Date

July 2016

Contributor

Natalie Frontera

Identifier

san-benito

Location

Collection

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