Would you trust a 12 year old with a machete? If you live in Nicaragua, the answer is YES! Proof? When I visited the local high school this morning, Instituto Jonathan Gonzalez, one of the 7th grade classes was working on preparing the school huerta, or garden. All classes are expected to complete community service about once per week - sometimes they go out into the community and clean up garbage, for example.
This particular day, the students were working on the huerta, preparing the earth for planting. One step of this process meant cutting the monte, or all of the weeds that were growing. And what is the easiest way to accomplish this task? Clearly with a machete! And who is expected to do this? The students, of course. Take a look:
Other students were digging holes:
If I´m not mistaken, these girls are planting something:
So many students! The principal told us that each of the four 7th grade (primer año) classes has about 32 students!
I can't wait to see what it is that they're going to plant and grow in the huerta! And in the meantime, I will keep my distance from those 12 year olds bearing machetes...not that I don't trust them. In fact, I'm sure they are much safer in their hands than in mine!