Photo of the Day: Completed Project in El Trapiche, Nicaragua!

El Trapiche Preschool Classrom

Photo sent by Free the Children staff. Thank you!

Today I received a delightful email from Menlo School’s representative at Free the Children. If you haven’t been following the saga, back in February, I went with a group of 16 Menlo high schoolers down to Nicaragua on their “Knight School” trip– a week off each year from regular classes to pursue extracurricular interests– in this case, a community service project in El Trapiche, about an hour outside of Granada, in Nicaragua.

This particular group of students undertook the particularly daunting task of breaking ground for a one-room cinderblock preschool in a village with no running water. The students toiled in the hot humid sun for a week, removing tree stumps from the earth with basic tools, and outlining and preparing the ground for the next arriving group, who would lay the foundation.

I commend the Menlo students, because their particular group faced a very common, yet very daunting challenge found in community service work in developing countries. Service groups come and go to areas, and they very often do not get to see the fruits of their labor– certainly not this group, who dug in the hot dirt for a week and then had to go home without seeing a single brick laid down.

The trip was nonetheless gratifying for our group– they were mature in finding great value within the relationships they forged while interacting with the children in the preexisting school on the worksite. They played games with the kids, sang to them, and received similar treatment in the form of song and dance.

I was thrilled to forward this photo on to the group today– it is a rare opportunity to see a community service project when it is completed! Kudos and thank you also to Free the Children– that they are an organization who cares enough to keep every volunteer in the loop– and that they take the time to follow up AND maintain the relationships they make! This I greatly appreciate.

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5 Comments on “Photo of the Day: Completed Project in El Trapiche, Nicaragua!”

  1. Lisa September 18, 2013 at 07:30 #

    Congratulations! You and the students have much to be proud of!

    • Marisa LaValette September 18, 2013 at 08:38 #

      Thanks for reading! Yes, all the Menlo students were really happy to see the photo.

  2. Shay Patel February 1, 2016 at 16:28 #

    Are you only aloud to do this in High-School.

  3. Shay Patel February 1, 2016 at 16:39 #

    When are we allowed to go on field trips like this? What grade is what I meant if my question wasn’t specific enough.

  4. Noah Kornfeld February 1, 2016 at 17:14 #

    It’s for high schoolers and you choose your top three or something and first the Seniors choose, then Juniors, then Sophmores, the Freshmen.

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