Author: Jessi Stafford

La Paz Centro, Nicaragua: In the “Weeds”

Photo: Germán Enrique Padilla Díaz (CC) Crook Fellow Jessi Stafford shares more of her experiences interning for Artists for Soup: Creating a life in Matagalpa has been lovely. I am surrounded by friends, my favorite restaurants, my favorite cafes, and work in the comfort of my office. But Artists for Soup did not begin in Matagalpa. The organization is a recent transplant from a much smaller (and hotter, insanely hotter) Nicaraguan town: La Paz Centro. Conducting an impact evaluation requires talking to participants in the program. This meant hopping on two buses, traveling to the small town, and spending a week with...

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Living amongst poverty: does it get easier?

Photo: elaine faith 2017 Crook Fellow Jessi Stafford shares her observations on the effects of poverty on daily living conditions in La Paz Centro, Nicaragua, seen as she works this summer for Artists for Soup: I’ve seen it many times. Volunteers come to help missionaries, non-profits, or other organizations working with the impoverished. They’re trying to do good but are overwhelmed by their surroundings. I’ve heard it many times. Missionaries, directors, and leaders urging volunteers that it gets easier, that as time passes they will grow accustomed to their surroundings. But is this the case? Does it get easier? Is time...

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