My experience with GIVE started last year when I was originally supposed to go to Africa. I now truly understand the meaning of everything happens for a reason, because I was meant to be in Jiquilillo, Nicaragua. When I left for this trip, my goal was to go out into the world and help others. It was very quickly that I realized how much this community has actually helped me.
I witnessed first hand how climate change is drastically affecting this small fishing village. Just 12 years ago, the ocean was 100 meters farther out then it is now. This isn’t future generations problems, the people in this community are being displaced because their homes are being destroyed.
I had powerful conversations with Sarah and her family about how she started a women’s support group in order to educate girls about their bodies and the choices they can make.
I learned about the fisherman, who used to be able to catch hundreds of pounds of fish in a night. But now due to over harvesting around the world, they leave on their boats every night at 6 pm, and stay out as late as 10 am in hopes of catching at least some fish to feed their families.
I worked at reversing mangrove destruction and focused on rehabilitation of endangered species from the ever inspiring Ramon, who has dedicated his life to bringing back the sustainability of the environment in his community.
I saw the passion in the teachers of this community, Taylor and Blanca, who do everything they can to give the children of Jiquilillo the best education they can. Who inspire me to be half the teacher that they are for their students.
I was a part of the power of this community. The power to be there for others, to love the Earth, and most importantly, I saw the beauty of life. I came here in hopes of helping others, when in reality, Jiquilillo helped me.
What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go, unplug from your life back home, and fully immerse yourself in the culture and lives of these people. Open your heart to the love they have to give