Following the Fellows: Meredith Adamo in Nicaragua


By meredithadamo

The journey up to the northern mountains of Nicaragua has an inexplicable charm.

Taking the bus from the coast, the temperature seems to drop a few degrees with every kilometer, so much so that one can depart from the capital Managua, decorated in sweat, and arrive two hours later donning a light sweater.

The retired American school bus will undoubtedly contain dozens of passengers (and occasionally animals) over its official capacity, along with kilos of beans, rice, maize and other products strapped tightly to the top of the vehicle.

Young men climb on and off the roof to secure the burlap bags so frequently while the bus is in motion that the verdant views accompanying the journey are often obstructed by a large leather shoe in the window.

There is never a lack of activity; the hums of conversation and constant movement of passengers provide much more stimulation than an iPad ever could.

The destination is Matagalpa, the city that has become my home this year as a sixth generation Minerva Fellow.

It has, at first glance, a raw and rugged beauty, but its streets and the people who frequent them have truly captured my heart.

While this is the city where I sleep at night, the majority of my work is conducted about an hour and a half further up in the mountains. My daily commute entails a much rougher yet no less exciting bus ride, where I join my 15 extraordinary Nicaraguan colleagues at the Save the Children field office in La Dalia for morning café before we get down to business.

Although I am the only Anglophone in the office as well as the youngest member by at least 15 years, I have felt nothing but welcomed with open arms since my very first day.

Recently, my energies have been focused on helping to design the newborn health section of the existing national program for rural pediatric healthcare.

This program trains and equips certain individuals living in remote regions to be community health workers, enabling them to provide immediate care for sick children in their respective communities.

Given the lack of health facilities in these regions and compounded by the geographical barriers that are present, this program has true life-saving potential. It is a privilege to play even a small part.


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