[mk_page_section attachment=”scroll” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” enable_3d=”false” speed_factor=”4″ bg_video=”no” video_mask=”false” video_opacity=”0.6″ top_shadow=”false” section_layout=”full” min_height=”100″ full_height=”false” padding_top=”10″ padding_bottom=”10″ margin_bottom=”0″ first_page=”true” last_page=”true”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]My time working for La Isla Foundation is coming to an end. I have been working here for almost two and a half months and have only a couple of weeks left. I came down to Nicaragua with a group of students from McMaster University as part of our Global Health program, which has allowed us to intern with La Isla Foundation for a semester and earn credits while doing so. I have had the opportunity to become involved with various aspects of La Isla Foundation’s work as part of the Community Development, Public Health, and Human Rights teams. Most recently, I have been working with one other volunteer on the construction of a new Community Development initiative, the community garden.

My experience with La Isla Foundation has been amazing not only because of my work here, but also because of the wonderful city of León and country of Nicaragua. There are many opportunities for adventure and to explore the beauty of Nicaragua not far from León. The sense of community in León has been incredible to become a part of. Spending time here as an intern makes you feel not only like a part of La Isla Foundation, but also the city.

León is a city of academics, proud of their rich cultural history. It was a source of famed Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío’s inspiration and the location of his first love. The Nicaraguan Revolution has also left a significant impression on León physically and culturally. Bullet holes seen in many of the city’s buildings represent the fighting that so many remember and wish to never see again.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]

[mk_page_section attachment=”scroll” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” enable_3d=”false” speed_factor=”4″ bg_video=”no” video_mask=”false” video_opacity=”0.6″ top_shadow=”false” section_layout=”full” min_height=”100″ full_height=”false” padding_top=”10″ padding_bottom=”10″ margin_bottom=”0″ first_page=”true” last_page=”true”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][mk_image_slideshow images=”4363,4364,4365″ image_width=”770″ image_height=”578″ effect=”fade” animation_speed=”700″ slideshow_speed=”7000″ pause_on_hover=”false” smooth_height=”true” direction_nav=”true”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]
[mk_page_section attachment=”scroll” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” enable_3d=”false” speed_factor=”4″ bg_video=”no” video_mask=”false” video_opacity=”0.6″ top_shadow=”false” section_layout=”full” min_height=”100″ full_height=”false” padding_top=”10″ padding_bottom=”10″ margin_bottom=”0″ first_page=”true” last_page=”true”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”20″]The city today is youthful and cosmopolitan in part because it is a university town. La Isla Foundation has formed relationships with students and institutions in León, resulting in strong partnerships benefiting all parties and embedding LIF in the fabric of León. Locals have significant respect for LIF, and when they learn of my involvement in the organization they are supportive and encouraging. They understand the significance of our work and are receptive to our message, offering compassion and support.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”http://laislanetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/IMG_3348_v21.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

In my last two weeks in León I will begin to say my goodbyes to the people I have only just begun to know. The city will continue to be as welcoming to the new La Isla Foundation volunteers as it was to me.

Louise Chong is an undergraduate student specializing in Global Health in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Outside of her studies, she enjoys food, photography, and fun!

To support La Isla Foundation’s work, please click here.

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