This past spring break, I had the amazing opportunity to go on a school trip with SCSRN. It was an extremely fun and rewarding experience. I loved how we did a nice mixture of touristy activities and community service. For example, we visited a cathedral, went to museums, and spent time at the eco-lodge “Finca Esperanza Verde.” For community service, we visited many groups of kids such as those from “Las Tías”, an organization based in León that gives after school support to children in the area to keep them off the streets. When visiting with different groups of kids, we would do art projects, play games, and just talk to them about their lives. We also provided service to the eco-lodge by helping with their coffee production.
I loved staying with a host family. That was when I truly got to experience the Nicaraguan culture. For example, my host mom gave us a cooking lesson and taught us how to make traditional Nicaraguan foods. Because we were there for Semana Santa (Holy Week) we got to experience their traditions for this holiday. This trip also allowed me to practice my Spanish.
My favorite part of the trip was visiting East Chapel Hill High School’s sister school “El Trentino.” Seeing the difference that this partnership makes in the lives of many was really inspiring. I love knowing that I have made the world a slightly better place. Seeing this small, one room school where the kids were so grateful to receive even the most basic school supplies made me realize all that I take for granted. It was so inspiring to me that my friend, Lena Cohen, and I have decided to start a sister school partnership at our own school, Chapel Hill High School.
This trip to Nicaragua was a very positive experience for me and I strongly recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to go.
– Gillie Weeks, NC high school student