Some of the former cotton fields, lying fallow for decades, have been converted to residential neighborhoods for poor people. These lands have been divided into lots about 15 per acre, and people moved onto the plots into shacks made of scrap metal, plastic, sticks, cardboard and other materials improvised into houses. Electricity was supplied through pirated connections on the edge of the neighborhood, using uncoated barbed wire instead of real electrical cables. Water mains were inexistent initially, and people were subjected to purchasing water from trucks, filling open barrels they maintained on their properties. Little by little, these people invested in construction materials to build walls and roofs, piece by piece.
|A former cotton field has become home for many people living in marginal conditions in the Ruben Dario neighborhood in Leon. Beyond the residences, peanuts are cultivated.|
|Staff and members of the board of directors of Nicaragua Christian School.|
|Children and parents are assembling in the auditorium at Nicaragua Christian School, for the 2015 graduation ceremony.|
|Murals with inspiring messages have been placed in several classrooms with the help of volunteers from the United States.|
|Many happy children (and parents) could be found on graduation day.|
In this neighborhood, the mayor of Leon and the board of directors of Nicaragua Christian School agreed to place a school. The people living in this neighborhood can find work these days in a variety of sweatshops, where clothing and other light assembling industries are found in free trade zones. The salaries start at around 88 dollars per month, and do not include any benefit such as lunch, coffee, or even transport to the workplace. The more fortunate people in this neighborhood, the ones who can get and keep jobs in factories, have hard lives. Other folks have harder lives.