The IPS Education Foundation handled the funds for this trip, which was made possible from generous donations. The group started planning fundraisers in July 2013 and kept raising money up to the trip, including large donations from Lilly, Ingredion and Citizen’s Energy.
Five students out of nine in Key Learning Community’s senior class went on the trip. The school leaves it entirely up to the students if they decide to participate.
“We wanted to focus our trip on helping students in Central America and felt that La Esperanza has had a very positive impact on the students in Granada,” said Justin Musgrove, a math teacher at Key Learning Community and the trip coordinator.
Students spent their time teaching Nicaraguan students English, playing with them and helping paint the building they use for La Esperanza activities. Students also had the opportunity to participate in more traditional Nicaragua activities, like hiking through beautiful foliage and visiting Laguna Apoya, a lake that used to be a volcano. They also visited a butterfly reserve in Granada to learn about how people are trying to keep some species of butterflies alive in Nicaragua and got a chance to make their own chocolate.
Through the students’ photos and short posts on the trip’s blog, it seems clear that they got more than the standard classroom experience from the trip. They were able to grow personally, grow closer as a group and better understand the meaning of serving others overseas.
“We all fit together perfectly!” said student Khira Miller. “We have come to Nicaragua to help them, but little do they know, they’re helping us. We are all growing and noticing that we need to start looking at situations through another being’s lens.”
With the help of the IPS Education Foundation managing the funds for the trip, these seniors were able to have a unique experience. Some of them had never been on a plane or traveled out of state before their spring break experience.
You can read posts the group wrote while they were on their trip and view more photos on their blog here.