From The Marietta Times, writer Kate York tells us how 20 year old Ellen Schott was changed by a trip to Nicaragua.
"I've always wanted to go abroad and do service work, but this is the first opportunity where I could without it interfering with classes or a job," Schott said. "Once I was there, I definitely saw a greater need and it made me realize everything we have here in our country."
Residents in the community of Papayal would wake up, listen to Latin music and start impromptu soccer games and be happy with those simple activities, Schott said.
But they also lived in areas with trash everywhere, sleeping under bug nets to prevent malaria and having latrines and bucket showers as bathrooms.
"They definitely live in poverty," Schott said. "They even fill the potholes there with trash because they have nowhere to put it."
The homes Schott and her friends built, along with masons from the organization Bridges to Communities, will help, but they're far smaller than the size to which most Americans are accustomed.
"The houses were really small with the entire families sleeping in one room," Schott said. "We couldn't get over that a family of six would be living in a house that's the size of one of our dorm rooms."