My name is Daniela. I am a physiotherapist from Germany where I usually work for Reha Viersen. In the moment though, I’m volunteering in the project Mujeres Ambientalistas in Estelí, Nicaragua. This project is a recycling initiative of women and I help recycling paper and creating beautiful products like greeting cards and bookmarks with it. Revenue from a product goes to the woman who created it and the revenue of sold paper is shared between the women. As not many tourists come to Estelí most of our products are bought by students of one of the language schools.
My Monday with Mujeres Ambientalistas:
- At 7:30 a.m. I wake up in my host families house ($11.43)
- Take a shower and get dressed, looking forward to my exotic breakfast with fresh pressed juice from pitaya and lemon
- 8:30 a.m. all employees and volunteers meet to plan the work for the week
- After the team meeting we produce new paper. Here are the production steps:
- Chop donated, used paper and organic leftovers, e.g. banana plant parts, and mix everything together
- Soak the mixture in water for one day
- Add pigments to the soaking water to change the paper color
- After the dying process skim the water from the basin
- Hang the wet pulp on large boards
- Place the boards with pulp outdoors in the sun till it’s dry
- Carefully peel the new, organic paper from the boards when it is completely dry
- 11 a.m. I use the lunch break to email my friends in Germany and have delicious banana cake (12 córdobas / $0,50 ) at the cafe La Casita south of Estelí. Once in a while I cook for my host family.
- At 2 p.m. I’m back to work. We create animals, flowers and beautiful patterns with the new paper and decorate books, bookmarks and gift-wraps.
- I work till 5 p.m.
- And take an aerobics class afterwards (10 córdobas per hour / $0,40 ) and enjoy a refreshing cold shower.
- For dinner I’ve got a fresh fruit salad.
- Hang out and relax with my host family and watch a Telenovela on TV. It’s called ‘Una Maid en Manhattan’.
- Around 9 p.m. I cuddle up in my bed.
In total I paid 295.18 Nicaraguan córdobas (12.33 USD). If you are interested in volunteering in Nicaragua stop by at Projecto Mosaico.