The second half of the week we spent more time focusing on the Natural World. On Thursday afternoon, Roamir Manzanares, an environmental rights activist since the early 1980’s, met with our students. He shared of the current environmental concerns of Nicaragua as well as the hopes and positives that are happening. Roamir noted that though there are laws regarding environment, they are not always enforced. He also talked about some of the potential effects to the environment should the canal be built, connecting Pacific with Atlantic oceans via nature reserves, Lake Nicaragua, and other lands and rivers.
On Friday we went to the tops of two volcanoes! In the morning we traveled to Vulcan Mombacho. This dormant volcano has a cloud forest at the top filled with all kinds of plants, animals, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds, etc., along with its cool temperatures. After the 1 1/2 hour hike to the top, we were guided around the top taking in the flora and fauna. We descended halfway down the volcano to where our microbuses picked us up and took us to the city of Masaya for lunch, shopping, and strolling around the streets.
Then it was off to Vulcan Masaya. After some time in the interpretative center at the base, our microbuses took us to the lip of the crater…quite a change from the morning! The cloudy weather at the top mixed in with the heat of the open-crater left some of us coughing a bit as we breathed in the sulfuric fumes emitted from this mixture. We heard dozens and dozens of green parakeets that live on the walls of the crater…some of us caught glimpses of them. They are somehow able to tolerate the sulfuric air! After that, it was back to Carazo to our respective homes and a weekend with our families.