People begin to gather in the shade of the Central Park in front of the iconic Cathedral of León as the afternoon cools off.
Isabel Schneider, A20, reviews her list of expenses on the bus ride from her home-stay to Las Tías, the afterschool program where she volunteers five days a week.
Schneider plays Monopoly with children in the juegoteca, a game room she helped create for Las Tías.
Isi, Schneider’s little host sister, enjoys playing in the living room as her family members watch. In a short time, Schneider has become part of the family.
Emerson Wenzel, A20, works one-on-one with a student at La Salle Technical High School, where he helps teach English classes.
Wenzel reacts to a joke from Isidro Vargas, a teacher he assists. Wenzel is often called upon to evaluate his pupils’ English pronunciation.
Abigail Barton, A20, laughs as she reviews a Spanish lesson at the kitchen table with her host mother, Juanita Francisca Gonzales.
Barton teaches a before-school English class to high school students at Las Tías. In León, elementary students attend school in the morning, while older students go in the afternoon.
On her walk to work, Barton makes her way past homes painted in the colorful León style. She likes to peek into open doorways, to catch a glimpse of the lives inside.
When Barton isn’t helping the students with their English or math homework, she chats with them about pop music, movies or whatever is on their minds.
Elaine Harris, A20, gulps down water after a workout at a non-air-conditioned gym in León. Getting back to a regular exercise routine helped her adjust to life in Nicaragua.
Harris and her host mother, Ana Cecilia Mendoza, share a moment together at the dinner table. After a hesitant start, she now calls Mendoza one of the most important people in her bridge-year experience.
Schneider and Barton survey the progress of the sawdust carpets, created by locals on the streets of León’s Sutiava neighborhood for Holy Week.
Barton and Harris buy an ice cream treat from a street vendor.
The streets of the Sutiava neighborhood teem with the hustle and bustle of residents, tourists and vendors taking in the artworks, which are made from colored wood shavings.
Watch a slideshow of scenes of Tufts students taking part in the 1 + 4 Bridge-Year Service Learning Program in Leon, Nicaragua. Photos: Alonso Nichols.
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