"After a long 15 hours of traveling, I arrived at La Mariposa Sunday afternoon. La Mariposa is a Spanish school located near San Juan de La Concepcion, Nicaragua. While I am here, I am staying with a host family, volunteering at a primary school in the morning, and taking Spanish classes in the afternoons. While I am only three days in, my days have been long and full of Spanish, great people and many smiles. My host family, the teacher I am working with, and my Spanish teachers have been very welcoming and are helping me improve my Spanish and begin to know the people of Nicaragua. What to tell you all about...I will start with my home stay. I am staying with Nila and Chico Alama Lopez, two of their four children, a son-in-law, two grandchildren, six chickens, three dogs, one cat, and a backyard full of fruit trees. Dona Nila and Don Chico have a very large family and have welcomed me into their house with open arms. They have a very interesting story and I am just now beginning to understand the complexities behind it. Things in the house are very different than the US, the most noticeable is how most of my house, minus the actual bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen, are outside. The weather here permits much of life to be lived outdoors. There are only two seasons in Nicaragua: Inverano and Verano, the wet season and the dry season. It is currently the dry season and the average temperature where I am at does not exceed 70 degrees, but with the strong wind, it feels like a nice 60. However, El Limon, where I am going, is supposed to be much hotter because it is further south."
To read more and view pictures, click here.
The internet has been abuzz recently with a new report on inequality released by Oxfam. Timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the report contains findings such as these:
• Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
• The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.
• The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
• Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
• The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.
• In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.
Source: Oxfam briefing paper "Working for the Few," January 2014
Among the internet commentary on the report is this post from Humanosphere, which contains links to several other articles in the media in relation to inequality and the Oxfam report.
The whole Oxfam report is definitely worth checking out if you're interested in analysis of current trends in inequality.
On May 11th, the Poverty Education Center hosted "Jesuit Universities Engaging Poverty: Perspectives from Seattle and Managua." The event brought together students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear from Seattle University and la Universidad Centroamericana about how they were engaging poverty in their communities.
Poverty Education Center