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This year’s Me to We trip was really something special. Our relatively small traveling group paired with Nicaragua’s vibrant energy made for one unforgettable trip! Our excursion began with a wonderful history lesson about the country’s recent political progressions and explained past turmoil between the Liberals and Conservatives. I was grateful to have received this information and tried to keep all of it in the back of mind for the duration of our stay.
Next, we made our way to El Trapiche, the small village we’d be working in for the next nine days. There, we were greeted with an endearing dance along with a national anthem performance and then taken on a tour around the community. One of the first things we saw was the route kids had to take in order to go to school prior to one being built in El Trapiche (thanks to Free The Children). Kids, some as young as seven years old, had to climb down the side of this massive gorge and then back up on the other side just to get a proper education. Our facilitators translated to us that the parents were worried for their children’s safety not only because of the steepness but also because of poisonous snakes! It was more than shocking to reach the side of that cliff and think “How on earth did they do this every day?! I couldn’t even do it once!” After seeing this first hand, it was such a joy to hear that they now had a schoolhouse in the heart of their community and that we would be a part of getting a new one ready for its opening.
The next few days were split between working within the community and touring around Nicaragua. We visited Lake Nicaragua, a coffee plantation, a pottery shop and an active volcano (yes I said active!). We also spent hours getting the school ready for the kids, which involved a lot of painting, digging and just the tiniest bit of singing. On the first day of working, we all dug trenches in order to bring fresh water to the school. Ricardo and I also worked on building a water fountain, which took some precision and patience. The next day we began painting the inside and outside of the school and that’s where all the singing came in. It started to pour rain while we were working and singing seemed to be our way of coping with all the thunder and lightning. That had to be my favorite day of the trip. This trip was incredible and inspiring in every way. Forming bonds with some of the kids within the community and also feeling like I had a small part in getting the school ready for its opening were both moving and rewarding. I couldn’t recommend trips like this more to youth around the globe. These experiences are 100% priceless.
Thank you to everyone within our group, including the Free The Children and Me to We staff, for making the journey so extraordinary.
Don’t miss the special broadcast of ‘Degrassi In Nicaragua’ Thursday, October 3 at 9:30e/6:30p immediately following the fall premiere on MTV!
#Chloe Rose#Degrassi#Degrassi Extras#Degrassi In Nicaragua#Degrassi's Katie Matlin