As part of my oral history project for LACS 20, I had the opportunity to interview Ana Pongrac, the 2013 CCESP Community Health officer. Ana and I have been involved in the Dickey Center’s International Development Forum (IDF). I took this opportunity to speak to Ana as a chance to learn about how we can connect our experience in Nicaragua back to campus including IDF. Additionally, Ana gave me a brief description of Rosa Grande, the community that the CH team went to last year, so that I could get a better understanding of Choco Trim’s size and market that is serves.
- “Coming into the country I was very pleasantly surprised I didn’t experience any big culture shocks. The community was very welcoming…very less intimidating that I had expected.”
- “It was a very touching and personal moment when the lady I was cooking with took my hands and showed a lot of patience with my lack of understanding of Spanish.”
- “There is a lot of use of horses and cattle to transfer goods from town to town…There is a lot of markets in Siuna for creating goods for day to day use…including agriculture.”
- “We took a sneak peak at the chocolate production process and got to taste the product right off of the assembly line…they have been exporting to other countries…There aren’t many workers employed in the factory…it is essentially the size of a house. It is not manned as much as other chocolate firms…The chocolate factory is fairly far off and inaccessible for tourists by Western country standards.”
- “Important to go on trips that are guided by people who have a knowledge and background of the area…it is important to contextualize ourselves and to see how our actions affect the community. Having Professor Moody helped break the ice and we weren’t seen as strangers in the community”.