Wake up at dawn; make tortillas; cook beans and rice; hand-wash your clothes and those of your younger siblings; go to class; go home; help prepare dinner while your brothers play soccer; get up the next day and do it all over again. This is the daily schedule of teenage girls throughout Nicaragua, and this is the life they can look forward to as they become women. Camp GLOW aims to bring together young women from across the country and encourage them to imagine a different kind of future for themselves and their peers. In Nicaragua, the prevalent machismo culture pressures women to give up opportunities for employment or education in order to fulfill responsibilities in the home.
In 1995 Peace Corps volunteers in Romania organized the first ever Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World)–a camp specifically designed to empower young women to face the challenges of their world. Since its creation the camp has been duplicated by Peace Corps volunteers all around the world, and Peace Corps Nicaragua is proud to be part of that legacy.
U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers in Nicaragua initiated the first annual Camp GLOW in February 2013 to encourage young women to challenge this norm and return to their communities as empowered leaders and prepared to pursue their goals for the future. Following the first year’s success, a second and third camp were held in 2014 and 2015. We plan to carry the tradition on for many years to come!