As we were driving to and from Managua yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice the increasing amount of blue and white painted poles alongside the road. Blue and white are the colors of the Nicaraguan flag and have become the symbol of the April 18 Movement. I don’t want to go into all that has happened in the previous weeks but here is a great blogpost that describes the events and what lead up to them as well as a follow up post here. We are not affiliated with them but they are another missionary family living here in Nicaragua.
Our small town has been very peaceful during this crisis. Life has gone on as normal as possible with increasing gas prices. We have felt very fortunate as neighboring towns have not been as peaceful. However, driving around and seeing the contrast of the neighboring towns with their blue and white colors painted everywhere, we noticed that in our town the amount of red and black, the colors of the Sandinista party, is still very prevalent and is a little unsettling.
While marches have continued all over Nicaragua, over that last three weeks and while it looked hopeful that they would continue peacefully and open dialogue would happen, I am feeling less certain. This country has been turned on its head and is struggling to get back on its feet. The people have been marching under their flag and demanding justice while the government has continued to not just turn a deaf ear but has been pointing blame of certain acts of violence back on the people. While the country continues to unite under their flag, even painting over the red and black, I am noticing which towns are blue and white and which are red and black shows us that the country really is divided.
We heard that there would be another planned march today in Managua, so that is why we made a quick trip into PriceSmart (the Costco of Central America) to stock up on some groceries and avoid Managua for the rest of the week. As we approached Managua, we saw a growing group of people around a statue of Our Lady of Cuapa (a Marian statue) that had been smashed. Then we heard the news that a new group, the May 8th Movement, had destroyed with glass and tar a memorial place for thirty of the over 45 people were killed during the initial march.
As of right now, we are going to continue to stay here. We are not in any danger in our town and we can continue to build the mission. Some things are being delayed but for right now we are living life as normal.