Earlier this 12 months, we introduced our newest FLYTE partnership, with the Victor College from rural Montana. Our purpose was to ship a bunch of its highschool college students to Guatemala for per week and a half of studying, service, and journey.
Fast facet notice: For those who’re new to this web site, FLYTE (Basis for Studying and Youth Journey Training) is the nonprofit basis we created simply over three years in the past to ship highschool courses on academic and repair journeys abroad. Our mission at FLYTE is to empower college students by means of transformative journey experiences.
We all know the facility of journey can change you – and so do the lecturers we companion with. Sadly, numerous faculties simply don’t have the sources and funding to ship courses abroad. That’s the place FLYTE is available in. We serve underserved communities round the US that don’t have the sources to ship their college students on class journeys overseas. To this point we now have despatched total courses to Mexico, Ecuador, and Cuba.
And along with your assist, we did it once more. We raised over $18,000 to assist these college students go on their college journey to Guatemala!
The scholars, the college, the mother and father, me — all of us thanks for being a part of this!
In late June, they landed again in Montana, so in the present day I needed to provide you an replace on their journey so the place your assist went. (I do know, I do know. It took some time for this replace to occur. I’m a gradual author.)
Bear in mind, Victor College is positioned within the small rural city of Victor, Montana that serves a complete pupil inhabitants of 300 the place 100% of the scholars obtain free or reduced-price college lunch. The poverty price is excessive on this group and plenty of households wrestle to make ends meet. Their instructor Lindsey was excited to companion with us to ensure her college students had the chance to see part of the world they’d by no means gotten to see earlier than.
After three flights and practically 20 hours of journey, the youngsters made it to Guatemala. For many, this was their first time leaving the US, visiting a growing nation, being in a spot the place the tradition and language are starkly totally different than that of their hometown, and for some, it was their first trip of Montana!
FLYTE journeys should not simply holidays for teenagers. The itineraries are crafted to incorporate numerous types of studying, instructing, adventuring, interacting with native communities, and collaborating in actions that push themselves out of their consolation zones.
The scholars spent the primary a part of their journey within the metropolis of Antigua, the place they took Spanish classes (which introduced their language research from Montana to life) and climbed the Pacaya volcano. That journey impacted the scholars and what they thought they have been able to a lot that they stopped on their method down and journaled to doc their exhilaration and acknowledge themselves for what they’d completed.
On the shores of Lake Atitlán, they skilled residing communally. A part of their service studying passed off on the Amigos de Santa Cruz, a neighborhood NGO, the place they made genuine Mayan delicacies, realized about vocational coaching packages, and donated books they collected in Montana for the NGO’s preschool library. In addition they spent a day connecting, taking part in soccer and hacky sack with the neighborhood children.
They hung out volunteering with Konojel, a nonprofit whose mission is to scale back persistent malnutrition and endemic poverty. They helped out on the group middle the place undernourished kids obtain wholesome meals and academic enrichment.
The journey to Guatemala in the end modified their perceptions in regards to the world exterior the US (and small-town Montana) — and what they needed to create with their very own life.
As the scholars mirrored on their journey, we heard just a few widespread themes.
The primary was the conclusion that what they heard on the information just isn’t at all times truly correct. They now perceive how highly effective and essential it’s to see and expertise matters for your self. It’s a tragic actuality that we see on the information just isn’t the entire image and that each one too typically if it bleeds, it leads. Simply try what the scholars needed to say about their shift in how they seen Guatemala as soon as they skilled it first-hand:
“I wasn’t going to go to Guatemala due to all of the stuff I heard others saying about it, like that I might be kidnapped, or that it was poor, or that I might get misplaced. However I’m very blissful I did, as a result of that wasn’t true in any respect,” mentioned Zoe. “I’ve by no means had folks smile at me randomly, however these folks in Guatemala did.”
Or as Sam R. mentioned, “A number of [my] household mentioned Guatemala was a harmful place and gave it a foul status with out ever being there, however once I went, everybody was tremendous pleasant and I used to be comfy.”
And despite the fact that these college students come from an economically-deprived, extra rural a part of the US, touring abroad made lots of them notice how fortunate they’ve it in comparison with others. This is among the key matters I spotted once I went on my first journey abroad. It’s what received me out of my head and made me notice that I had much more alternatives that I believed once I was residing again at house.
Sam thought that “(being from a household with no cash) I had nothing, but there are locations with even lower than us. It makes me extra grateful for the entire little matters we now have, like scorching water.”
Ellyse couldn’t imagine that “little matters to us — like college and clear water and bathroom paper — are such a privilege and we abuse it” after seeing how uncommon these have been on the journey. “I believed Victor wanted plenty of work and that it was rural, nevertheless it’s not [that] dangerous.” A lot of the college students got here again from Guatemala way more grateful teenagers. They shifted their perspective in a method that had them taking a look at what number of alternatives they really have, relatively than specializing in what they don’t have.
This was additionally echoed by Sophie, who mentioned, “We realized how a lot we take without any consideration, like rest room paper, clear water, and free schooling.” For Emma, “it made me extra grateful for what we now have, like good water, rubbish/recycling companies, and so forth. I’m so fortunate to dwell the place I do and I’m so grateful for all I’ve.”
Sam desires to work more durable in class “as a result of I now know what sort of alternative I’ve.”
Summer season noticed, “We’re so spoiled. We’ve got a lot greater than some folks in Guatemala may even dream of.” Sam S. mentioned, “that though Victor is taken into account poor by American requirements, we nonetheless have it very simple.” Madison felt that she had “a private expertise of how the actual world works, how totally different nations are really so totally different. It made me admire my house a lot extra.”
The scholars had different epiphanies as effectively. Gracie realized that “everybody has their very own way of life, and mine isn’t any higher than anybody else’s.” Emma mentioned, “It’s simple to neglect that there’s a lot exterior of your little bubble and larger points on the earth that we don’t see or expertise within the U.S.”
Many realized they might push themselves past their consolation zone and do matters that they by no means thought they might do.
Sadie “tried many alternative meals and tried to take pleasure in matters that might usually scare me,” and Emma mentioned “I achieved my targets by placing myself actually out of my consolation zone. I realized that even in tough instances, I can do what I must make myself really feel higher.” Gracie actually favored the shared hostels (two thumbs up from me!) despite the fact that she had by no means skilled something like that earlier than.
This journey impressed them to journey extra too!
Zoe desires to go to Hawaii and in addition presumably again to Guatemala (“and convey my household with me to allow them to see it’s not harmful, simply adventurous”). Ellyse want to go to Sydney, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Summer season additionally desires to go to Australia. Julia desires to check overseas in Spain. Audrey desires to go to Greece, Norway, France, Spain, “and so many extra nations.” Sam would like to go to Guatemala once more to see different areas. Madison has been impressed to journey “all over the place!”
Sophie plans on touring, and this journey “helped train me to not have any presumptions about a spot I’m going and to only enable myself to study there.”
These classes that the scholars realized are why I created FLYTE — and why it’s so nice that so lots of you help the mission too.
With the division, lack of expertise, and worry of the opposite that’s permeating our tradition in the present day, that is precisely what makes the fundraising, the coordinating of group journey logistics, and the challenges of operating a nonprofit — all price it. These college students left their consolation zones and had experiences that created a shift of their perspective.
Will this single journey of Guatemala change the world? Perhaps, possibly not. However what it does is put these children on a path towards success, towards development, and towards pondering larger! And we by no means know the ripple impact that happens as soon as we’ve thrown that first single pebble. By cracking open the door, we enable different matters to get by means of that can solely widen it with time.
Thanks once more for serving to us increase cash for the college and making an influence on these teenagers and the long run technology of globally-minded residents!
***Three remaining ideas:
First, if you happen to or somebody is an educator in an under-resourced college and desires to have an expertise like Victor College’s, you possibly can tell us right here and we will contact you when purposes are open once more.
Second, simply because it takes a village to boost a toddler, it took a complete group to ship these college students to Guatemala. Thanks to all our companions for making it attainable for college students to expertise new cultures and nations and to broaden their worldviews! We’re eternally grateful to those sponsors:
- World Nomads, our journey insurance coverage supplier, which donated protection for all our college students and chaperones. A really large thanks to them for serving to out and making certain our college students have been protected!
- MYGHT Journey, which managed all our airline bookings and donated eye masks so the scholars may get some shut-eye on their flights.
- Om the Go, which donated Asana pillows for the whole group. The children practiced yoga each day and beloved that all of them had their very own private yoga mats to stretch out and sweat on.
- Our group of FLYTE Champion blogger fundraisers, who created their very own fundraising pages and helped us fund this journey: Carol (Wayfaring Views), Kristen (Children Are a Journey), Gabi (Dream of Journey Writing), Anisa (Two Touring Texans), Nicole (Wandering with a Dromomaniac), Amelia (Passports from the Coronary heart), and Maggie (The World Was Right here First).
- Path’s Crossing, a journey card recreation that prompted questions that made the group each chortle hysterically and cry with gratitude. The corporate donated a recreation to Victor College and a proportion of all its gross sales to FLYTE.
- Mahadevi Ashram, which housed the group at Lake Atitlán and supplied them with each day yoga and meditation at a reduced price.
Lastly, infinite due to our particular person donors. We all know that there are a lot of worthy organizations on the market, and we’re honored that you simply selected to donate to FLYTE. You made this journey occur and we will’t thanks sufficient!
The submit The College students from the Victor College Return from Guatemala. Right here’s the Recap! appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Journey Website.