Natalie is serving in the northern colonial city of Leon at La Colectiva Casa De Los Colores.
JOURNAL EXCERPTS BY NATALIE THORNE:
“I am in a unique situation for service. I actually live and work with the same four women at the same house. Each [of my housemates] has a degree in social work and everybody seems to be here for similar reasons. They all have a passion for justice and equality within Nicaragua.”
“Leon is a relatively large colonial city that is littered with beautiful, rustic, stone architecture. Occasionally there is a tree here or there and we do have a grass plot in one of the local parks, but the ‘natural world’ is almost non-existent here. In this way, it’s somewhat similar to Carazo. However, there was much more open space and many more trees in Jinotepe and the surrounding area.
I have not gotten much opportunity to explore the area just outside the city. However, in the distance I can see at least one volcano. Based on my experience from driving between here and Managua, the volcano is surrounded by the flat lowlands that is used for mono-agriculture farming. Only about 20 minutes to the east of the city is one of the nicer, well-renowned beaches on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua.
Because I have not visited many of the nearby natural attractions, I can’t speak with any authority about the ecological concerns. I am aware that mono-crop farming is not ideal for the soil. Also, beaches that are high-traffic areas often have a fair amount of land pollution. However, here in the city, there seems to be less land pollution. Because this is a tourist area and the government holds stock in keeping it clean, there are more street cleaning services. However, the air pollution is at least comparable, if not greater, than in Jinotepe.”