Young people today

17th August 2013

Young people today. They’d be lost without their phones, constant wi-fi and every luxury that the 21st century offers. Right?

Well X-Ray 6 have come to a humble Nicaraguan village and put that theory to the test. Fast food, hot showers, the internet, toilets that flush and five cups of tea a day have all been traded for the opportunity to work with and become part of a community.

We’re a rag-tag bunch of teens and twenty-somethings who, over the last three weeks, have helped build a community centre where locals can meet, socialise and plan for a better future together.

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As venturers we have learned about what can be achieved with limited resources. Construction has been done the old fashioned way. Ever wondered how to make cement without a mixer? Some spades, a few volunteers and some blaring heavy metal will usually do the trick.

The building has only been a small part of the experience though. Whilst here we’ve become part of the community. Its problems feel like our own and much time is spent thinking about how they can be overcome.  Daily English classes, for both men and women, are now a normal occurrence and every ‘hello’ or ‘how are you’ when passing in the street is celebrated together.

The community centre is only the beginning and there is still much to do to improve health and sanitation in La Colmena. Steps have been made but witnessing the sanitation problems first hand makes everyone more determined to push for future development.

During our phase we organised a litter pick. Some only watched as we swept the village for litter but it was the young ones who joined in. In the next phase, volunteers will be working with the community on a project to help keep the village clean.

In the evenings, music can always be heard in the village. Our families have taught us traditional Nicaraguan folk songs, and in turn we’ve introduced them to some of our tunes as including some European techno and a quite shameful selection of boy-bands.

Our final send off was an improvised rave in a local’s house. The lights off and speakers turned up was enough for a full on party. The villagers' joy for life was so infectious that it wasn’t long before we were all busting out our best moves.

Living here has reminded us of what is important. The people here are willing to share whatever they have, and it is this ethos for living life with such joy and generosity that we hope to take away with us.  Along with all the enthusiasm, creativity and good humour we’ve found in each other.