Kelson Leads Nicaragua Service Experience


Jaime Brown, Staff Writer

The Global Student Embassy (GSE) will travel to Nicaragua during spring break to learn about agriculture, develop critical thinking skills, and be engaged citizens. About 25 students will participate, according to AP Environmental Science and Geology teacher Jane Kelson.

GSE’s goal is to teach students about leadership, empowerment, and problem solving through hands-on projects focusing on agriculture and environmental restoration. “I wanted to go for the opportunity and the experience,” junior Alanah Buyce said.

Kelson and social studies teacher Caron Brownlee will chaperone the trip. “I will be working alongside the students as we build the gardens for the schools,” Kelson said. “We’ll be digging beds, using intensive bio agriculture, and putting in irrigation systems so that they can grow much-needed fruits and vegetables in areas where they don’t otherwise have access to that food.”

The trip won’t be all work: students will swim in hot springs and climb a volcano. “I think that will be the most fun part,” Buyce said.

According to Kelson, who chaperoned the same trip last year, it is an eye opening experience to be in a third world country where people don’t have access to basic needs such as transportation and food. “They don’t know where their next meal is going to come from,” Kelson said.

Kelson said that the people in Nicaragua still value the gardens Campolindo visitors built last year. “We get pictures back showing all of the food that they’re growing,” she said.

Kelson is hoping that students will develop a connection to the culture and an understanding of what living conditions are like in Nicaragua. She is also hoping students learn about the agriculture. “The people down there are very happy with very little, which is also good to experience,” she said.

Sophomore Sophiya Malvo is looking forward to meeting new people and practicing her Spanish.  “I think it’s a good experience for a high school student to see something different,” she said.