One of the benefits of an ongoing relationship with a non profit, or any other client for that matter, is the ability to visit past work and learn from it. Stephanie Ingram, Court Harris and myself, Geoff Piper, had the opportunity to do just that when we were in Nicaragua this past month.
In 2006, Matthew Sullivan and myself took 10 students down to Nicaragua to help Agros plan the first of their villages in Matagalpa, named El Eden. This was our first abroad studio as instructors and our first partnership with Agros. As with many projects in developing nations, our information going in was a little bit sketchy, and we didn’t know exactly what to expect.
It turned out that we had a great bunch of students and the project went smoothly…. Well, smoothly for a development project. We also had the good fortune to be working on a project right down the road from a beautiful ecolodge where we could stay. Since that trip, we have looked back on those accommodations fondly, as we tried to figure out how to keep the rats, rather than merely insects, out of our beds (tip... you can't).