Rena Bernardini

Granada, Nicaragua: July 2018

Rena Bernardini traveled to Granada, Nicaragua to work with various communities including a girl’s foster home and a retirement home. Due to political conflict, Rena was unfortunately forced to leave the country shortly after her arrival. You may read the start to her blog below.

Welcome to Granada! 

I arrived in Managua yesterday afternoon and was greeted by Alfredo (the head of my homestay family and Fernne (an employee of Casa Xalteva). They escorted me back to Granada which took a little over an hour. Upon arrival most of the family was home and I was bombarded with a bunch of new names and faces… its going to take me a few day to remember them all. My homestay houses 3 generations of the family. Alfredo and Blanca are the grandparents and they have two daughters that are both married with children living in the house so we have 2 infants and a teenager running around at any given time. There is also another exchange student here from St. Louis named Colin. He is here for the sole purpose of learning Spanish so we are trying to communicate solely in Spanish … he is doing better than I am but everyone is being patient and helpful.

This morning Colin and I went for a walk around the city and saw most of the city center with the highlights being the cathedral, and the beach. Despite the fact that we spent 2 hours touring around I still have no idea how I’m going to navigate by myself. When we got back to the house Blanca had prepared a lovely lunch of chicken rice and salad. In the afternoon most of the families on the street went across the street to sit in the small park to listen to the impromptu concert. Two artists from Argentina performed for us for about 2 hours nonstop singing,  and playing guitar, harmonica and a particular kind of square drum. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing afternoon. Im spending the remainder of the day preparing for my first round of classes tomorrow!

Today marks the 2 day count down before I leave for my trip!

I will be traveling to Granada Nicaragua this June for 3 weeks to teach dance. I  will have the opportunity to work primarily with Casa Xalteva (a Spanish school that runs an after-school program for at risk kids. They provide homework help, school supplies, and extra curricular activities) and  Hogar de Niñas (a home for girls coming from difficult family situations and can no longer reside with their families). I will also be teaching some workshops for Hospicio de Ancianos Hermanas de la Caridad (a nursing home community), and La Casa de los Tres Mundos (a local community center).

Through sharing my love of dance my aim is to pass on the values this amazing art has given me: determination, confidence, creativity, and community.

More About Casa Xalteva

More About Hogar de Niñas