05 Dec 2013

CHS/SJA Students Visit Schools in Nicaragua

Students from Catholic High School and St. Josephí´s Academy visited Nicaragua over the Thanksgiving Holidays.  Five CHS Students making the trip from November 24 í November 30 were Chris Ferachi í´14, Davis Richardson í´14, Parker Caulfield í´15, Kean Jones í´14 and Madison Dillard í´14.

Students visited mostly in the city of Managua.  They also had the opportunity to visit the surrounding cities of Mateare (a town about 15 miles northeast of Managua), Ciudad, a rural school called Los Planes and Volcäóçn Masaya (Volcano not a town).

The city of Ciudad Sandino is a municipality created in 1969 after waters from Lake Managua rose and flooded rural areas northeast of Managua. People were displaced and the government purchased property to relocate them to where the town currently is located. After the 1972 earthquake, which decimated most of Managua, many people were moved there as well. The town currently has 74,000 inhabitants.

In each of the cities, CHS/SJA students had the opportunity to visit local schools. They were able to get to know the kids there, play with them (soccer mostly) and get an understanding of what life is like for them. The group of students also visited peopleí´s homes where they were íÍtreated like family.íñ Students were served íÍunbelievably delicious mealsíñ and were indirectly given an excellent picture of what living minimally can be like.

“The week we spent in Nicaragua was definitely an eye opening experience. We had the opportunity to meet numerous influential people and I even got to practice my Spanish. Not only did we get to enjoy the hospitality of the people there, but I also gained a new perspective of life that I hope to spread to others in the future,” commented Richardson.

“Overall, the experience was something I will never forget. Through playing soccer and games with the kids, climbing an active volcano, farming honey from beehives, or building a sustainable water purification system for a garden, we had the opportunity to help people yet still experience the culture and way of life of the locals,” commented Ferachi.

íÍThe purpose of the trip is/was to expose ourselves to a culture totally different from our own, to get to know the people, hear their stories, understand their day-to-day struggles and to spread the word about what weí´ve learned. Nicaraguans are a proud people and do not simply want donations from people more fortunate than them. They want information to spread. They want people to know the history of their country, the injustices that exist, what life is like for them. This trip is a great exposure to a reality in a part of the world that most people in the United States might not ever know or experience. The kids are impacted immediately upon leaving Managuaí´s airport and that reality is constantly present throughout our time there. The students come home, hopefully with a different perception of their world along with a greater appreciation of what they have and an awareness of luxuries that they could easily do without,íñ commented trip chaperone and CHS Faculty Member Chad Dupuy í´00.