Bright and early this morning we headed toward San Juan de Oriente, a small community outside of Masaya where we will set up our next clinic. Just like La Concha, poverty in San Juan is endemic. The communities themselves, however, are very different. Although the people in La Concha are poor, their production and sale of fruits leaves them with a relatively steady income. The people of San Juan do not have such fertile land. Rather, the majority must depend on the sale of ceramics and other unique crafts. I have never experienced poverty like this.
As we walked the streets of San Juan, one of the other students and I noticed several small children playing soccer. We split off from our group when we weren’t needed to talk with them. They immediately welcomed us into their game with smiling faces and asked us a plethora of questions as to what we were doing in their community. A little girl standing on the sidelines with her small dog waived to me, so I decided I should let the boys have their fun and went over to her. Within minutes, a few of her brothers and sisters came up beside me. Her twelve-year old brother, realizing we were on some sort of mission trip, asked me if we were Christians. After responding with yes, his face lit up and he reached for the small wooden cross he carried in his pocket. He begged me to meet his mother, a woman of Christ.