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“You could have gone anywhere, but instead you chose to come here and help”. That’s what our guides and leaders, Clelia, Eliett and Juan told us on a seemingly daily basis. They were speaking of our choice to choose Nicaragua over another vacation, something all of us would gladly choose to do again. Our group of 12 students committed to this trip, and we stuck with it - through the heat, the labor, and through the eventual aching we felt when we parted with those we bonded with. We met so many strong and fearless individuals, such as Doña Leyla who instituted a school for the children in her community. Her strength and love for the children of her community allowed her to bring something so influential to her fellow neighbors. Our interaction with Doña Leyla was at the beginning of our adventure and set us up for the wonderous trip yet to come. It has taken me a while to truly comprehend everything we all went through, all the sights we’d seen, the feelings we felt. Now that I’m back home, I realize that Nicaragua and the time we spent was some of the most real and meaningful time I have ever lived. From the children at Los Campos, the school we worked at, to the people in the market squares we shopped at, it was all part of life we momentarily lived, but one that some live for their whole lives. The meaning behind our trip surpasses so much farther than only a service trip, it’s a piece of us. Perhaps with the knowledge gained, we can bring new ideas to the table and influence future decisions as members of a better world.

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