The Realities of Adults

Photos & Text by Lindsay Pytel

Everyone has dreams about their future professions and in Nicaragua most of those dreams don’t become a reality. Even though that happens, the people here find happiness elsewhere in other professions.  Most say they want to do everything they can to help their children and the future generations of Nicaragua achieve their dreams.

Flor de Maria Cisnero, 54, is a mother of four children. Three of them are over the age of 20 and have finished college, and her youngest is 12. The 12-year-old dreams of being either a doctor or teacher and Cisnero says she is very supportive of her young daughter’s dream and knows she will achieve it. When Cisnero was growing up, she dreamed of becoming a doctor. She even went to medical school for two years, but an unplanned pregnancy forced her to give up that career path. However, when looking for work later she found an NGO (non-governmental organization) that was hiring individuals with a background in health services. She began working for Save the Children USA and that eventually led her to a career in social work. She ended up working there for 15 years.

When Catalina Munguia, 54, was growing up she dreamed of getting on a plane, going to another country and becoming a ballerina. This dream she could not pursue, however, because she grew up in the country and didn’t have the opportunities. There were not any dance schools near where she lived and thus she had to give up on that dream. Instead she worked building houses in a cooperative and eventually started her own T-shirt printing company. Her shirts are even printed for Quinnipiac students who travel to Nicaragua with the school during the year.

José Acevedo, 63, grew up in the country and one day saw a factory where they made fireworks. He became so intrigued by it that he decided right then and there that he wanted to pursue that as a career. Unlike most, Acevedo’s dream eventually came true and he worked making fireworks for 44 years. Acevedo thinks his profession was too dangerous; it eventually led him to creating bombs during the Nicaraguan Revolution. He grew very afraid that they would explode and he would get hurt. Acevedo says he hopes that the children of Nicaragua continue to study in schools and not pursue his career path.


Walarao García, 27, inherited his mother’s business--a stall in the central market--about seven years ago. His mother began getting sick of all the stress her job caused and couldn’t find a way out of debt, so García took over. He used to work as a customs administrator and studied business in college, but gave both up when his mother couldn’t run the business anymore. He says that when he was in school, he didn’t want to study what everyone else did, such as medicine, and that’s why he pursued business. However, he never had a specific vision of what he wanted to be. He says taking over the business has been worth it because he now has a house and car, two things he didn’t have beforehand. García says he works hard so that he won’t end up in the same situation as his mother.