Today, 53 Nicaraguan teenage girls came together for Camp GLOW. This is the third year that Peace Corps Nicaragua has organized this 5-day girls’ empowerment camp.

We had such an amazing event to look forward to for weeks! The girls were both nervous and excited for this week of gender empowerment. Here’s a rundown of the first day of camp.

Some girls were more nervous than others. Some of them have never left their communities until now. About 75% of our girls have never attended a camp before. Some girls, like Nicole (above, in the superman sweatshirt) came from as far as Pearl Lagoon, on Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast. They woke up at 5 AM, took a speed boat to Bluefields, took another speed boat to El Rama, slept overnight, then traveled another 8 hours to Esteli. Other girls took 10 minute taxi rides to the Esteli bus station, where the girls turned in their permission forms to the volunteers.

Read the rest of my Camp GLOW post on the Peace Corps Gender and Development Committee’s blog!

A year ago, I would have just wanted to plan and lead workshops, but this year, I had a lot of fun acting as an observer. I’ve realized that as a travel blogger, I’ve been doing advocacy work for my entire Peace Corps service because I enjoy giving people and experiences a voice and a chance to be noticed.

I didn’t have internet at the camp GLOW, so I wrote 10 pages onto a single word document, recording as many of the girls’ questions and surprising moments that I noticed during the gender empowerent camp. This time reminded me of how wonderful it is to be in a safe, inclusive learning environment for women. I’ll soon write about what it was like coming out to 53 girls, and how they responded!

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