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Back from Nicaragua

Monday evening at about 7 pm EST I arrived in NYC back from 2 weeks in Nicaragua. The Trip consisted of about 4 travel days and 10 days in the community of Gualacatu, North of the city of Jalapa, about a kilometer from Honduras. I come back to the United States with a collection of written, photographic, drawn, and video taped representations of Gualacatu, a community that opened their hearts and homes to a group of 10 high school students from New York and Philadelphia, 2 program coordinators from buildOn, 2 New York City High School teachers, 3 Nicaraguan translators, and 1 videographer. I begin now to put together the writting, drawings, interviews and 13 and a half hours of video footage into the final project, and I begin now to insert pieces of that process into this blog, starting with this excerpt from the journal I kept during the trip:

"What becomes apparent to me as I return to buildOn is that the organization serves 2 purposes. To empower youth and to empower communities" (7-10-09)

What I mean to say here is that there is a dual purpose to the work that buildOn does, which is to balance between the work of spreading education in a global sense community by community, but also to allow very specific youth who are involved with the program in the US to empower themselves through the Trek for Knowledge experience. I know that what I saw in the students who came on the trek at the end of the two weeks was students who were strong, and had been permanently changed by their experience, an experience that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

To the balance between the selfishness and imperialism of aid tourism and the benefit of the work of buildOn is something that I will continue to explore both in this blog and as I move into post-production on the documentary.

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Reader Comments (1)

MS. Horwitz,

It is a pleasure to watch New York buildOn students express their thoughts on global impact and other areas directly related to the work we do. We at the New York region are extremely proud of them and thank you for providing them the oppotunity to Shine, please keep in touch

Glenda Hernandez
New York Program Supervisor

July 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGlenda

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