So far, 2018 has proven to be busy, transformative, and FUN. Unearth the World has proudly planned programs for groups from Cornell University, Keene State, Providence College, Harper College and the company Centro. We have LOVED watching our trip participants engage in meaningful service and cross-cultural activities through these transformative global programs. Check out some of the highlights below! We hope this gets you thinking: “Where will I go next?!”
Cornell Commitment Students Visit Nicaragua for a third time
We are so proud that Cornell students have engaged with the same Unearth the World partner year after year. You can read blogs from the past two years here and here. This year’s group had such a meaningful experience that they returned home inspired to make local change on campus. One student is starting an Unearth the World Cornell chapter to promote global travel and inclusion. Another is planning to facilitate a true exchange by welcoming local Nicaraguans to campus next year. Stefana – the group’s leader told us a bit about their recent experience below.
“It’s been a joy volunteering with La Mariposa Spanish School in Nicaragua the past three years. The group study center continues to be a fantastic place for groups to stay. This past year’s highlights included participating in a local Nicaraguan cooking class, and volunteering with teachers and local children at Los Martinez Reading Center. Thanks to Unearth the World for facilitating these cross-cultural learning opportunities!”
Providence College Students Unearth Foreign Aid
Unearth the World really enjoyed planning this unique program focused on Foreign Aid for a Providence College Global Studies course. Students stayed with our local Nicaraguan partner and participated in several site visits to local NGOs/nonprofits. They also engaged in discussions with local PEACE CORPS volunteers and members of the US Embassy and USAID to truly get a well-rounded understanding of foreign aid in Nicaragua. The visit added a deeper dimension to their time in the classroom. Read more about their experience below from Dana, the Global Studies faculty member and trip leader.
“I just returned from a spring break immersion trip to Nicaragua with my Providence College students enrolled in a seminar on Foreign Aid. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the experience that Unearth The World offered my class. They helped make my vision for the trip, a learning tour to expose students to a variety of development organizations, a reality. UTW linked us to a wonderful local community partner and assisted with logistics and support for a trip that had very different objectives than a traditional community service trip. Kathryn listened carefully to my goals for the trip and facilitated connections with organizations throughout Nicaragua. I could not have lead this trip without the amazing support of UTW. Together with my students, we are extremely grateful for a fantastic experience.”
Here is the group’s itinerary: Providence College 2018 Foreign Aid Itinerary
Centro learns about the Global Coffee Trade in Guatemala
For the second year in a row, Unearth the World was thrilled to plan a international corporate volunteering trip for the socially minded professionals at Centro. This year, the group spent time volunteering with Unearth the World’s Guatemalan partner. The trip allowed the group to engage in hands-on service, learn about Guatemalan coffee and dine with local people in their homes. Read the thoughtful words from one trip participant, Nydia, below.
“Although we were surrounded by some serious natural beauty, the beautiful people that opened up their homes to us were by far the most memorable part of this incredible experience. From the service work, to long after dinner chats over cafecito, my heart was brimming from all that I learned and experienced in Guatemala. I’m forever grateful to Unearth the World and De La Gente for making this possible!”
Sound interesting? Click here for the daily itinerary: Centro 2018 Guatemala itinerary
Harper College Honors students transform
As part of a Harper College English Honors course called The Promise(s) of Revolution: Nicaragua, the U.S., and the Sandinistas, a group of 9 students spent their Spring Break traveling through Unearth the World to Nicaragua. Throughout the course – under the leadership of English professor and Director of International Education – Dr. Richard Johnson – students were asked to read and write about the history of Nicaragua and its contentious relationship with the United States. In the weeks leading up to travel, the group critiqued the very ideas of service learning and civic engagement. The students’ visit to Nicaragua was the perfect opportunity to apply what they learned throughout the semester and engage in a hands-on service learning project with Unearth the World’s local partner. This group was truly transformed from the class and subsequent international experience. Students improved their intercultural communication, demonstrated ability to analyze cross-cultural comparison, and were able to articulate a clear understanding of global perspectives. Read Dr. Johnson’s reflection about this experience below:
“Our days were full with three hours of service every morning followed by two hours of Spanish language instruction by local teachers after lunch. We closed out each day with an hour of composition coursework and guided reflection/discussion based on the days’ events. One of the advantages of working with Unearth the World is that they have strong collaborative relationships with their local partners and can enliven an itinerary with a variety of excursions and cultural experiences… All in all, and as I have freely admitted to the students, this 10-day experience with Unearth the World and their Nicaraguan partner has been one of the most rewarding of my 35-year teaching career!”
For a peek at their daily itinerary: Harper College 2018 Itinerary
Keene State students enjoy an Alternative Break
Keene State’s Community Service Office plans yearly domestic and international service-based trips for students with the stated vision: “We work with the community, not for the community”. Unearth the World was thrilled that Keene State chose to travel with us for their 2018 Winter Break. A group of 15 students – led by Jessica – the college’s Coordinator of Community Service – unearthed sustainable agriculture and food systems in an amazing program on the Isle of Ometepe in Nicaragua. Students got their hands dirty through hands-on volunteering on a local organic farm while also engaging in workshops and discussions about food security and global service-learning.
Check out their amazing itinerary: Keene State 2018 Sustainable Ag Itinerary