Macrocosm | Teen Ink


July 24, 2013
By rachelchace DIAMOND, Stratford, Connecticut
rachelchace DIAMOND, Stratford, Connecticut
65 articles 9 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If everyone were perfect, Individuality would be extinct." -Rachel Chace (me)

Experience has led me to understand the extent of world poverty. As a sophomore, I had the opportunity to build a school for children in a third world country. I remember the: dirt floors, tin bucket showers and outdoor latrines. I stood in La Chimpanilla, Nicaragua, a microcosm of the truth about worldwide poverty – a village with beautiful faces, anxious smiles, and welcoming arms. Each moment assimilated in my eyes: mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, elders, children, and babies; a family and a community as one. Hundreds of eyes looked up to me, and I knew I could not disappoint them.

Cerulean skies down to mountain peaks, banana trees to sugar cane, coffee plants and black beans; vast beauty swallowed me whole, as one small village became an entire new world to me. I had come to La Chimpanilla with my fellow “buildOn” members to give a future for those children – a future each and every one of them rightfully deserves regardless of gender or age. A future no amount of money can buy; a priceless education. This community was now my family, no matter the color of their skin or the language they spoke, I adapted. A family of assorted colors, accents, and origins – yet a family all the same. Together we put forth our most astounding effort to build La Chimpanilla a school.

Love introduced me to an intrinsic source of passion, pleasure, and valued work. In return that love challenged my strength and perseverance; but soon it granted me the power to change lives. This school held the key that unlocked the poverty that chained them, and I had to help set them free.

La Chimpanilla transformed my outlook on the world, to a place outside the boundaries of the USA. Acculturation overcame my limitations– a place that had once been a dot on the map became an entire macrocosm.

Nicaragua gave me a second mother, another grandmother, and three brothers who loved me unconditionally as their own. I can only wonder how they’re doing now: Mama cooking handmade tortillas, or grinding coffee beans by the counter. Maybe Brayan, the oldest, is going off to get married– he’s fourteen now. Diedier, the middle child, practicing his times tables or graciously playing the accordion I brought him. Jener, the youngest still playfully cheating during his favorite card games, “Rapido” and “Voy a Pescar” – We taught him how to play, not how to cheat. No matter how often I wonder, at heart I know the school we built is building their futures one day at a time.

Nicaragua is a piece of me that no one can ever take away; the value of love. Love that formed its own entity, and allowed me to understand that no matter the language, communication is beyond words. Nicaragua became a second home to me. Today, an airplane ride separates me from that home, but my heart has never left.

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