310After lunch, of which I ate every last morsel while doña Carmen stood watchfully beside my chair, I took the family’s photograph in front of the plastic-covered picture of the Last Supper. I also snapped Oscar and his pet duck, which he clasped proudly and tightly under his arm. The adults in this warm, hospitable family of campesino background have had no formal education and have had to struggle to make a living for themselves and their children.

Son-in-law Mauricio, a former bartender and now a sometime mixer of drinks for neighborhood parties, and mother-in-law doña Carmen, who takes in washing and ironing for a living, share with seven other family members a modest two-room house on the outskirts of Managua at the end of the bus line.

Here, Mauricio and doña Carmen relate life experiences as varied as Mauricio’ s long battle against an alcohol dependency, a common problem in Nicaragua today, and doña Carmen’s appearance before President Daniel Ortega at a De Cara al Pueblo, or Face the People, forum, to request a medical discharge from the army for her son Oscar. In the course of their narratives, these two verbal campesinos offer some valuable and perceptive insights on life before and since the Revolution.