Situated just 70 kilometers east of Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, Big and Little Corn Islands have become a mandatory stop for travelers making their way across Central America. Deserted stretches of white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, lush jungle and abundant sea life make it almost irresistible to anyone passing through the region. And many people overstay. Some never leave.
Nicaragua is a land of extremes: a deeply scarred paradise with placid lakes and active volcanoes; warm, welcoming people, divided by class and polarized by politics. Yet, in this divisive environment, Canadian-assisted co-ops are a unifying force, bringing people together to work for the common good.
The last thing we needed was a roadblock. I feel exposed -- I am a white woman in the passenger seat of a car in Nicaragua. The people of Barrio Nuevo Amanecer, in Esteli, Nicaragua, are protesting against violence in their community. Their grief is fresh because last week, a 23-year-old mother of three was murdered. Forced into prostitution by her husband, her life was taken by a john.