11 Ursuline students plan trip to Nicaragua
By Amanda Tonoli
Eleven Ursuline High School students accompanied by six adults are planning a trip to Nicaragua in April.
From April 2-8, during Ursuline’s spring break, students will travel to the Central American country to help the locals fulfill what some may say are basic needs.
“We help them find food and housing, do home visits and go into homes in a community where we do simple tasks like cooking with a mom and playing with children,” explained Maggie Mattune, Ursuline’s assistant principal of student affairs.
Parent volunteer Aimee Morrison said students also help build houses.
“There is really no classroom or textbook that can teach lessons in empathy and compassion students learn during the trip,” Mattune said. “It’s just invaluable.”
Mary Kate Kelty, 16, said she’s just excited for the upcoming adventure.
“We’ll be helping others,” Kelty said. “We’re young and happy to have the opportunity.”
“It’s awesome that we’ll get to have this experience and experience different cultures,” said fellow student Owen Lewis, 17.
Desirae Hariston said she just likes the service the group is going to be able to provide.
Hairston said being able to be a part of a group doing such a service is about more than feeling good and having something to put on a college application.
“It’s life giving,” she said. “You get to see the reality of what other people go through.”
“We’ll be seeing how other people live in developing communities, which really provides us with a new perspective,” said student Caroline Aey, 16.
And that is how the trip comes full circle, Mattune said.
“[Students] will be embracing other cultures and realizing there is so much more to work toward in other nations,” she said. “We are becoming and preparing new members of a global society.”
The cost to attend for each student is $2,500, but because Ursuline seeks to cut down on economic barriers, the school raises funds for part of the cost and asks student participants to pay $1,000.