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Estelí Adventure

By Hillary G.T.

On February 25th, the Jatzibe ladies safely arrived to Estelí, one of the largest cities here in Nicaragua. The ride to Estelí was a very interesting experience, if you ask me. This was the first time that the Jatzibe ladies and I got to ride on a¨chicken bus.¨ Chicken buses are old school buses transported from North America to Central America which are then altered with a lot of different colors and sometimes decorated and put to use as public transportation buses. Unlike buses in the U.S., chicken buses never tend to get ¨too full.¨ People will continue to hop on the buses whether there is room or not. Overall, it was a very unique experience which we will continue to encounter throughout the duration on this trip. After we finally arrived to our hostel we found that Estelí is a beautiful city containing a beautiful white cathedral, colorful murals, museums and beautiful parks surrounded by perfectly green palm trees and other nature.

 On our first chicken bus, a retired school bus.

On our first chicken bus, a retired school bus.

On the second day in Estelí, we headed to Miraflor which is a natural reserve about 30 kilometers outside Estelí.  We stayed with host families for about three days and two nights. The hike up to the homes took about 30 minutes of walking but as we walked up, we got too see more nature and animals such as dogs, cows and horses. The pathway to the home was a trail of palm trees on both sides which felt like you were walking into paradise. In addition, the vista from the homes in Miraflor were lovely, containing full views of sunrises and sunsets surrounded by nature.

 Sunset hike to learn about the zones of the land, see Honduras, and watch the sun set. 

Sunset hike to learn about the zones of the land, see Honduras, and watch the sun set. 

During the first day in Miraflor, we enjoyed relaxing for a few hours before a short hike (1-2 hours) to a viewpoint up the mountains of Miraflor. Standing up at the top of the mountain made me realize how great it feels to be in a completely different environment than I am used to. From the top, we got a complete view of Miraflor and could even see the mountains which belonged to Honduras. We also got to witness a first-class view to the bright orange sunset.

 Suzannah and her animal obsession, the donkey. 

Suzannah and her animal obsession, the donkey. 

 Kate tries out a new hair-do potential thanks to the trees covered in Spanish Moss. 

Kate tries out a new hair-do potential thanks to the trees covered in Spanish Moss. 

The next day, we all woke up at 5am, and headed to another home to have a delicious breakfast and then guess what? We went on another hike! This hike took about 5 hours in total and was definitely worth it. Our goal for this hike was a beautiful waterfall where we got to enjoy the nature surrounding it and also got to jump in and swim in the cold water. After this relaxing break from the hike, we walked back to the home where we had breakfast to have lunch. After lunch, we headed back to our host family´s home.

 Swimming in a waterfall for the first time! 

Swimming in a waterfall for the first time! 

 A beautiful swimming spot during our hike. 

A beautiful swimming spot during our hike. 

Today, February 28th, we returned to Estelí early in the morning and are staying in the same hostel we stayed in when we first arrived. It has been a very restful day where we all got to go out and explore Estelí´s beauty and go shopping.

 Happy Birthday, Natali! 

Happy Birthday, Natali! 

 One of beautiful Esteli's many murals. 

One of beautiful Esteli's many murals. 

The Jatzibe cohort and I are very excited for our next adventure in Peñas Blancas.

New blog coming soon!