Monday, January 20, 2014

Impressions of a Week in Nicaragua

Every January Professor Jackie Brennan from Worcester State University brings her occupational therapy students to Nicaragua as part of her Learning and Service in Nicaragua course. They volunteer with special needs children and visit our programs. This past week we hosted 7 volunteers and asked them to reflect on their experience.

We came to Nicaragua for the week to work with the children at Tesoros de Dios, a school for children with disabilities in Managua. We collaborated with the physical therapists, teachers, and other staff at the school to assist them in providing the best care for the children there. Both the staff and the families were very welcoming and appreciative of our presence. Not only was this an educational experience it was rewarding to volunteer our time with the children at Tesoros de Dios.

Our stay at the Manna house was comfortable and the staff was welcoming and accommodating. They went above and beyond, assisting us with travel and translations. Not only did they assist us with our scheduled activities, they invited us to accompany them in their community based activities. This gave us a chance to experience the local culture and speak with families in the community. It was an amazing experience to see first hand the impact the group of Program Directors has on the community. Whether it be allowing kids to explore their creative ways at Camp J.A.M., provide medical care to those in need, or supporting the children of Villa Guadalupe by providing milk, iron, or food; the people of Manna give their all and better the lives of everyone they serve.

Overall, our week in Nicaragua is one we will never forget. We have all taken away much more than we gave and learned so much from the students and staff at Tesoros de Dios, the Manna PDs, and each and every community member we had the chance of meeting. It is with great pleasure that we return to the US to share with our families, friends, and classmates what a life changing experience this week in Nicaragua has been.

Click here for more pictures from their week in Nicaragua.

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