Nicaragua Service Trip

Our next profile focuses on a few members of this past Winter Term’s service trip in Nicaragua. A group of 18 students, in partnership with a non-profit called CoCoDa, traveled to Nicaragua and built a school 20 miles off of Honduras in a town called Zacataloza. Along with service, they had the opportunity to stay with host families, visit museums and famous historic locations! Not only were they able to help and learn more about the culture, but they also developed a deep bond with the people from Nicaragua and amongst themselves. Let’s hear about the experiences from a couple of people from the group!
 
 
Her Campus: What’s up, guys? Okay, let’s get to know you a little more. Can you tell me your major, where you’re from and your favorite part about DePauw?
 
Maddie Allen:  Sure! I’m a first-year from Indianapolis, Indiana. I’m hoping to double major in Spanish and communications and minor in English. My favorite part about DePauw is the infinite amount of opportunities that the community of teachers, faculty, classmates and coaches make it so easy to to take advantage of. 
 
Izabelle Bystrowicz: I’m a first-year as well, but I am from Chicago, Illinois. My intention is to double major in Spanish and computer science. My favorite part about DePauw is how many resources the Hubbard Center has to offer. 
 
Annie Grujanac: I’m also a first-year! I am from Lincolnshire, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. I’m majoring in conflict studies and Spanish. My favorite part about DePauw is all the opportunities it gives its students during their time at school and after we graduate.
 
Andrew Norris: Hello! I am a first-year from Denver, Colorado. I am planning on majoring in economics and minoring in Spanish. My favorite part about DePauw is the inclusive environment that the school offers.
 
Her Campus: Awesome! So your trip to Nicaragua…what were your favorite parts about it? Izabelle and Maddie?
 
IB: My favorite part about the trip was being able to practice my Spanish! I learned through a completely new culture and lifestyle, being emersed in the environment for three weeks.
 
MA: Yeah, I completely agree, but I think my absolute favorite part about the trip were the friendships I made with the other students. I feel like traveling to a foreign country forces you to get to know people in a completely different way, and for me, I know that some of the friendships I made will last a lifetime.
 
HC: I can only imagine how incredible it is to experience something so great with so many great DePauw students…Andrew and Annie, what about you guys?
 
AN: Totally! My favorite part about the trip was interacting with the community and getting to know the natives of the country. After the trip, I am definitely more appreciative of the amenities that we take for granted. In communities like the one we visited, the personal relationships that people have are very strong and I admire that.
 
AG: I would agree, but also during the three week period we all had home-stays, which was my favorite aspect of the trip. I got to know my host family on a personal level and had a new understanding of what Nicaraguan culture meant to them. 
 
 
HC: Cool, those are all great things to hear! One last question for you all…what did you learn from this service trip?
 
AG: I learned a lot from the trip, but most importantly I think it has given me a new outlook on the importance of cultural immersion and what it can do for your global perspective. Not to mention all the help in language fluency.
 
AN: Same. Like I said earlier, after the trip, I am much more appreciative of the amenities that we take for granted. 
 
MA: I feel like traveling to a foreign country forces you to get to know people in a completely different way, so for me, it was the importance of friendships.
 
IB: Yeah, and because of how much we have learned from the trip, we are trying to form a club to raise money for future projects and promote awareness of Winter Term service trips!
 
HC: Wow, well that’s great to hear! We’re so glad you could share your experiences with us. Thank you!