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Hillside Service Learning in Nicaragua!

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A contingent of steward and adventure-minded students set out from Hillside Jr/Sr High School last month on an excursion they will never forget. The group of Grade 9 to 12 students, along with their teachers, recently visited Nicaragua on a service learning excursion that built much more than the physical structures and walkways that they worked on and completed during their stay.

Understanding, perspective, awareness, an openness and appreciation for other cultures, independence and self-confidence, were also being built within the hearts and minds of the students as they assisted a village with needed improvements.

We learned how much of a privilege education is for kids in the region - how not everyone gets to go to school - how school only goes from preschool to Grade 6 and anything beyond that is optional and only offered in larger farther way towns, so are not as easy or as quick to get to.

We learned how far many students have to walk just to get to and from school and it was eye-opening to see how other people live without the many conveniences that we completely take for granted.

- Hillside students

As part of their mission, students built a staircase to the village well out of old tires. The staircase will help the villagers to ascend the hill on top of which the well sits much more easily.

Teacher, Craig Lawson noted the opportunity the students had to interact with each other while working. "Grade 9 students don't normally hang out with Grade 11 students at home; during the trip, that range of ages and grades came together with their common purpose and learned more about themselves and each other as a result."

Students also took in the history and economics of Nicaragua and its ties to the US while touring the area, learning up close from villagers about the culture and food and also about how people make money and alternative income projects for women like beading and jewelry making. 

An amazing learning and growth experience for all!!

Hillside Service Learning in Nicaragua!

Photos courtesy of Mary Colleen Photography.

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