Last semester, I was browsing Facebook and procrastinating studying for finals when I stumbled upon an event page. An Emerson fraternity, Phi Alpha Tau, was sponsoring a trip to Nicaragua that was open to the entire student body. I'm not sure why, but I felt like I needed to take advantage of this unique opportunity. I was immediately sold on the trip after the information session. I was excited about traveling to a foreign country with my fellow Emersonians, doing community service and taking in the amazing sights.I went with a group called Friends for 60,000 and there is a New England branch located right here in Boston.
The trip was ten days long and we traveled all over Nicaragua. We visited four different schools and played with the children. I was surprised by how much Spanish I remembered from high school and was grateful that I could communicate with the natives. Our food was cooked by community women and we quickly learned what it was like to live modestly. It is hard to complain about your own problems when you see what most Nicaraguans have to deal with on a daily basis. Many of them don't know when they will get their next meal or what their options are when a loved one falls ill. Our main project was building a house for a family of four, who expressed their gratitude for our selflessness. The whole experience really opened my eyes and made me thankful for the little things in life.
I have become so attached to the people in Nicaragua that not going back just isn't an option for me. From the beautiful culture to the friendly faces I encountered during those ten days, I feel so at home there. Nicaragua is one of the poorest nations in our hemisphere and it is often overlooked by first-world countries. These people deserve a chance because they are ambitious and motivated to better themselves. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Nicaragua and finding more ways to make a different in a country I've grown to love.
If anyone wants to donate to this worthy cause please visit www.fsf60k.org , every bit counts!