Julia, Yulissa, and Kenya are three sisters living on the east coast of Nicaragua, one of the world’s poorest countries. Every morning, these young girls climb into their dugout to row to school. Despite being only five and nine years old, they cross the Rio Escondido, one of the largest rivers in the country, via one of the most dangerous routes.
Their dugout has multiple holes and could sink at any moment. They must watch out for snakes lurking in the trees over the river and struggle against the current to keep the boat from tipping. The girls’ classmates deal with their own set of challenges. Greyven, an 11-year-old, walks through the so-called “snake field” daily, dodging venomous snakes to reach school. His classmates have to traverse the deep jungle to make their way to the classroom.
Every day, these children embark on an unimaginable adventure, exposing themselves to life-threatening situations, all in pursuit of a better future. This journey ashore and to water to San Mariano’s small village school is a stark reality faced by many children in the region who want an education.
This heart-wrenching story is brought to life in the documentary “Rowing in the Same Direction.” This film highlights the struggles of these children and the sacrifices they make to get an education. We cannot imagine the challenges they go through, but we can support them in their plight to succeed.
We encourage you to watch this documentary and learn about the extraordinary journey that these children embark upon daily to receive an education. Their tenacity and spirit in the face of such immense adversity will move and inspire you to make a difference.
Note: “Rowing in the Same Direction” is a documentary that tells the story of children going to school in remote parts of Nicaragua. The documentary was directed by Ichiro and aired on Japan’s NHK World-Japan.