Thursday, February 15, 2018

A class field trip to Cafe de las Sonrisas

Cafe de las Sonrisas is a cafe slash hammock workshop that directly employs disadvantaged people. In this case, the majority of the employees are deaf. As a customer when you buy a hammock or a breakfast here, you directly give back to the people who need it most. I recommend visiting places like this while on vacation, for it is as close to a fair trade deal as it gets. 
    Our school chose to do a field trip here for obvious reasons, and in fact most of us who live in Granada visit this place a few times a year without fail. The field trip is similar to, and yet so different to something one would expect in North America. Similar in that there are chaperones, a bus ride, and demonstrations. And that's pretty much where the similarities end. The casualness and laid back attitudes of the adults allowing the kids to be kids cannot be ignored. I mean, if you want a blast to the past and experience 1970's parenting, in all of it's glory, then this was it. Kids were scaling wood pillars, walls, and horsed around and nobody minded not even the establishment. 
   Cafe de las Sonrises reportedly has the largest hammock in the world. What better way to observe the magnitude of such a grand hammock than with three classes of student romping around on it at the same time. Again, nobody cared. In fact, they encouraged the kids to have fun and like any good uncle, wound up the kids just before the kids had to leave. There are many things to like about Nicaragua and their easy going parenting style is one of them. 

How many kids can you stuff onto a hammock at the same time? 

Zoe and her favorite teacher learning how to weave.

The kids sat down for a presentation.

A tricked out school bus with a spoiler on the back.

Inside of the bus was equally tricked out with two wall mounted televisions and loud salsa music.

The kids learned how to spell their names in sign language.

Showing the youngsters how to make a hammock.

A great bathroom idea! This concept started because of the obvious question, how do you yell, "I need some more toilet paper!" to a deaf person down the hall? The owner explained, to the contractor that cafe needed more toilet paper holders than he had previously installed and that he had to come back to fix it. The contractor did not want to be called out again so he installed a few extra holders for the cafe. Afterwards, the owner of the cafe, saw the restrooms and laughed. And as history would have it, these restrooms have become quite popular with tourists as well.

Right now I am on a juicing diet so seeing this petal-powered blender was a welcome sight.

Plenty of room on this hammock.

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