Dear Wildland Adventures,
I wanted to personally thank you for helping us plan our trip to Nicaragua. Our family has done many amazing trips but this trip really stands out. My boys, 14 and 16, said it was their favorite trip ever. They really enjoyed being in a completely different culture. The Nicaraguan people were amazing-- nice, friendly and generous about sharing their knowledge. I also think my kids enjoyed being in a place that wasn't saturated with material things. They learned, explored, adventured and also practiced their Spanish which motivated them to work hard in their Spanish classes to be able to come back.
Thank you for making the donation to the school children. It was absolutely one of my favorite days in Nicaragua. The people of the Islands of Lake Nicaragua - Islets of Granada were so fascinating. Our tour guide, a 9th generation native, was an outstanding young man. We picked mangos and had a great lunch. We arrived at the school about an hour before dismissal. We organized all the school supplies and distributed them to each age group. It was so amazing sweet as we shook their hands and handed them their supplies. They were all very thankful and sweet. We were greeted by the head of the school who was so grateful to have us there and very warm. We all left with tears in our eyes-- including David, our tour guide. We watched the kids leave school and board their colorful row boats and begin rowing back home- the older ones rowing the younger ones. It was really amazing.
We were met by the director of the facility. He was so grateful and said our timing was perfect-- they had just busted their last soccer ball. The sports complex is called The Granada Sports College and was started by a Swedish business man as a way to give back to the Nicaraguan people because he believes Nicaragua is paradise. His organization is called "Happy Face". The sports complex was built in a very poor part of Granada in hopes to keep the young kids busy and out of trouble. It's a huge success. Upon our arrival there were about 50 kids crowded around the TV watching a professional soccer game in Spain. At the sports complex, kids are being trained in martial arts, soccer, baseball, boxing and basketball. They even had a child win silver at the Olympics! As we pulled the soccer gear out of the duffel bags, all the kids gathered around. They pumped the balls up and suddenly the complex was full of kids bouncing and kicking and heading the soccer balls. They were very happy and very grateful for the gift. The coach in particular couldn't believe that there was a uniform even for him. He immediately took off his shirt and replaced it with the uniform.
For our own kids I think they could relate a little better to giving something to older kids-- especially around sports. We were continuously struck by how little there was to purchase in Nicaragua. I'm honestly not sure where they would go to buy another soccer ball. It was a very rewarding part of our trip!
We left with Nicaragua in our hearts and hope to return one day!
Judy Tallerman and Family