“I came back better and with a full heart,” volunteer Itze Pavón explained. After years of volunteering her talents as a graphic designer, she was invited to travel to Nicaragua to see firsthand the impact that Project Schoolhouse is making in rural communities. “It just made sense to go,” she stated.
Being an international volunteer is more about what you take away than what you give at Project Schoolhouse. The community members are responsible for building the infrastructure, and a volunteer’s job is to build and maintain the lasting relationships with the school, the students, and the entire community.
“The relationships are really what set Project Schoolhouse apart from all the other organizations. You see organizations come in with what seems like a checklist of tasks. They come and they don’t truly integrate themselves into the community. But Project Schoolhouse is different. We’re an organization that has been around for 10 years, and even in this trip, we keep going back to that first school and saying, ‘We’re here. And I know we’ve already come and met your most basic needs, but we’re still here to do whatever we can. We’re still here to support and motivate this community.’ ”
Project Schoolhouse is continuing to grow and expand its programs into more than just school infrastructure and water systems. This year, Project Schoolhouse is building its first bridge in the San Antonio region of Nicaragua.
Ms. Pavón talks about her experience as a volunteer and being a part of that, saying, “The kids have to cross a river to get to the school, but when the rainy season comes, the water gets so high that the kids can’t cross. They go months without going to school.” Project Schoolhouse saw an obstacle and is building a bridge to a better future in San Antonio.
Building and maintaining relationships is what sets us apart from other organizations, but changing lives is what makes Project Schoolhouse the transformative and innovative solution to the problems these rural communities face. Without generous donations and hard-working volunteers, like you and Itze, we would not be able to support such open-hearted, driven students and communities in Nicaragua.
Thank you for continuing to change lives with your generous donations.
Project Schoolhouse will be recruiting volunteers for our 2017 trip to Nicaragua. For all those who are interested, please visit our Adventure Service Travel webpage.