The reason I started this blog a year ago was to document my participation in "The Hunger Challenge," an awareness campaign through the SF Food Bank. Rather than excite you with details of my week of living on $4/day, you can check out last year's blog posts.
Now that I am living in Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the free world (to Haiti), I feel very aware of the poverty line, food availability and nutrition. I don't know a lot of stats or percentages, but I do have a few observations.
Some things I've noticed here;
-street food is not 8 dollar curries, creme brulees, or chili burgers, but instead, carts that serve what people who don't have enough money (to eat in legit restaurants that serve items such as above) can actually afford
-instead of a decaf latte no whip double foam, people here can get coffee in the morning from a street vendor for about 15 cents
-food pyramid is not a priority at all, but getting a full belly is
-husbands and wives (with kids in tow on the bike, of course) bring each other hot food at lunch time (no microwaves or break rooms)
-most of the best foods are homemade (cajuada cheese, beet fresco, fresh fruits)
-there is not the American Dream to get ahead, save money or compete with the neighbors. In fact, entrepreneurship is often explored as a first or even second job, leaving many families without a day off. But, maybe it's the weather, the town, or the fun gossip to hear about, no one seems to mind.
My biggest obstacle last year was eating out and being social in SF during the week of hunger challenge. In Nicaragua this is not a problem: First are outdoor, streetside "Frittangas" that serve meats, gallo pinto, cabbage salads, plantains, and a variety of beverages. You can also grab a Quesillo for 50 cents, by the Merced Church, a local hangout. But, most popular, and most economic, is the rural feel of Granada around dusk, when every family fills the sidewalk outside their door with rocking chairs, to rock and pass the night away, seeing old friends and meeting new.
I recommend to anyone to do the SF hunger challenge for even a day! For more information on this year's challenge, check out:
A little information on poverty in Nicaragua (as well as skewed politics):