A ‘walk in my shoes’ experience
Each year, the Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Islands Association takes a delegation of high school students from Bainbridge to Ometepe for about two weeks. Ometepe families open their homes to the students and help them experience life in a different culture. For many Bainbridge students, it is a life-changing experience. Many of the students and their host families develop deep, long-lasting friendships.
Students prepare for the trip by learning about our organization, participating in cultural-awareness activities, and exchanging letters with their soon-to-be host families. Students also participate in a service project on Bainbridge. And for the past two years, they have sponsored a fund-raising dinner and auction.
The 2010 delegation pulled ivy and cleaned trails for their community service project, contributing 75 volunteer hours to the Bainbridge Island Recreational Department. The delegation’s fund-raiser succeeded far beyond what students had expected. They set out to raise $1,500 and took in 10 times that amount. All of the proceeds from the event are going to projects or scholarships on Ometepe, except for seed money the students set aside for a project by next year’s delegates.
On Ometepe, the 2010 student delegates in Tichana formed an assembly line with local students and brought rocks from the beach to fill in an area where the community proposed a sports court. The student delegates also got to climb the back side of Maderas, the island’s dormant volcano. That side is little known to most tourists. The students were also invited to the inauguration of the Maderas Recreational League Soccer season in El Corozal.
Another group of Bainbridge students stayed with families in San Jose del Sur. Delegates helped clean and paint the school—with a few breaks for occasional water wars. The students met up with another Bainbridge group staying in San Jose del Norte and were able to climb up Maderas as well as spend a day at playa Santo Domingo. The del Norte group worked on window renovation at the local school.
Find application forms and other delegate resources here.
If you live on Bainbridge, please remember the Sister Islands Association when you respond to One Call for All. We use our share to support delegate travel to and from Ometepe.