One of my latest photograph assignments was with Fabretto Children’s Foundation - NGO I've been working with for a while now. We decided to visit Fabretto's newest region of influence: Southern Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (abbreviated as RACCS, for its acronym in Spanish). We travelled all the way from Managua to El Rama, and had the opportunity to visit two rural communities along Rama River. The goal was to spend some time with the locals to have a firsthand account of their reality, while witnessing the impact of Fabretto’s education programs in the area.
To reach our destination, we took a 5-hour drive to Rama city, and an overcrowded "panga" for 3 and a half hours (depending on weather) down the Rama river. Later (once on land), we horsebacked for an hour through muddy terrain – not so much for a beginner horse-riding lesson (find out why below).
The Rama City is something like a connecting bridge between the Caribbean and Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. Both sides could easily be two separate countries, considering how different they are. It’s a place where you switch means of transport. When traveling both ways, it certainly is a ‘chicken bus – panga’ transport hub.
For those of you who don’t know what a ‘panga’ looks like, here a photo of the one we took.
To ride a panga across the Rama river can ensure some amazing views (see below), but the ride in the rain can be quite challenging.
Finally getting to the destination. Views are breathtaking.
Yep. That's how we’re sleeping tonight..
Night stories about revolution times, ancient indian habitants, and hidden ruins.
5 AM in the morning. It’s time to wake up!
For breakfast: homemade cheese, rise, beans and salty eggs.
The morning bath in the nearby stream was a surprisingly pleasant experience. Really enjoyed the fresh water flowing from the mountains.
On the left: distant view of one of the 175 rural schools Fabretto supports in the region.
Water peach, known as "pera del agua" in Nicaragua. Its taste was pretty bland but refreshing.
Time to get ready to school.
Antonio needs to overcome strong current of Rama river in order to reach school, regardless of weather. This timeit was raining really hard.
Before entering the school building, students need to clean their rubber boots.
Beans are not only nutritious seeds, but also of great help during math class!
It's raining hard again. Tropical rain can get you soaked within 10 seconds.
If you gonna ride, ride in style!
Based on my horseback riding skill level (none), this little friend was assigned to help me cross the muddy terrain.