Nicaragua Service Trip 2018

Hola Everyone-

Our adventure is quickly approaching and the planning team is working hard, being flexible and making great progress bringing many things together so that this journey can be as rewarding as possible.

We are looking forward to being all together on the 21st where we will give comprehensive and detailed information about our week in Nicaragua and answer any questions.  Please plan on attending that important gathering.  In the meantime, please find below some updates.  As always, know you can reach out to Dave (jefe) at any time with anything that may be on your mind.  Karen Weisgerber, Pastors Amy and Stacy are also ready to help.

Nicaragua 2018 Packing List (1):  Please note that there is often an opportunity to leave clothing/shoes in Nicaragua at the end of our trip as a donation if you would like to do so. 

Calendar

  • Jan 9 Tuesday – Pizza Night – Cancelled. Please come to the meeting on the 21st!
  • Jan 21 Sunday – Youth Bake Sale during Church
  • Jan 21 Sunday – Full Traveler Meeting @ 6PM @ Church
  • Feb 11 Sunday – Commissioning of Travelers during Church Service and brief meeting following Church
  • Feb 16 Friday – Off to Nicaragua
  • March 11 Sunday – Nicaragua Church Service led by the Travelers where we will share what we experienced and learned with our fellow congregants.

Project: We will be working in San Bernardino at the Jose Cecilio del Valle School which is about a 45 ride northeast of San Juan del Sur.

  • We will be completely rebuilding and putting back into operation the health center
  • We will be connecting 28 families to municipal water
  • We will be painting the school 
  • We will be working hand and hand with the community
  • We will be bringing hope and joy into this neglected but spirited community
  • We will be constructing a new type of latrine that promises to address the problem of ground water contamination

Other Activities

  • We will continue to support the Alpha y Omega Church by supplying and building desks/furniture for the classroom we helped build last trip
  • We will continue to support the Mobil Library by providing needed educational posters for classrooms and assist in delivering books and fun to rural schools that depend on the library 
  • We will have discussions related to work in Nicaragua and mission and opportunity to explore and connect more deeply with our spirituality and faith.
  • We will continue to support the Brugger Foundation by sponsoring and participating in a Baseball clinic which provides opportunities for underprivileged youth 
  • We will be making a new connection and provide help to Casa Materna which is an organization that provides housing and support to later term pregnant women who move there from their remote villages and would otherwise struggle or not receive the much needed services. This program saves lives. 
  • We will have fun, swim and even go on a scavenger hunt

Travel 

  • Hotel/Flights: The airline has given us some challenges by changing many peoples flights, dates, & times. If you have any questions about your flight or hotel, please contact Karen Weisgerber.  Also please be sure that Karen has your latest and most up to date flight information.  Keep an eye on your reservations and note any changes.
  • Please see the packing list attached.
  • Remember to check with your doctor about what shots are needed
  • Remember to check your passport: In addition, The U.S. Department of State recommends your passport have at least six months of validity—beyond your actual travel date—to avoid expensive and lengthy travel disruptions. The normal rule for most countries is that they require you to have three months from your actual travel date before your passport expires. ( I am unclear of the Nicaragua Rule)
  • American debit cards work in ATM only
  • ATM cards will work and there are ATM’s 
  • Credit cards accepted at most places.  Check with your credit card company to see if you have an international transaction fee.
  • Be sure to inform your bank and credit card company as to the dates of your travel.
  • You do not need a power adapter in Nicaragua.  The voltage and shape of the outlets is the same as in the U.S. (https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/us/nicaragua/)
  • There is cell phone coverage in Nicaragua, but again be sure to check with your carrier to see if your plan covers Nicaragua or if you need to purchase international coverage. Also, be clear from them on the data/phone and txt charges.

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The Union Church is headed to San Juan del Sur during the February school vacation week to work with our local partners on projects to improve the health and well being of the people of Nicaragua.  What follows is some history of our over a decade long partnership with San Juan del Sur as well as information about the upcoming trip.  

The City of Newton became a strong supporter of Nicaragua after the controversial US policy backing the Contra Rebels in the 1980’s. By 1988 the small fishing town of San Juan Del Sur became Newton’s Sister City. The Union Church spent many years in the late 1990’s supporting Nicaragua with donations of supplies and prayers of healing but we knew we wanted to do more.

The Union Church, as part of our mission work, completed its first service project in 2002 and we have never looked back.  Clean water, school uniforms and supplies, rehabilitation of schools have made up the 8 completed physical projects to date but that is only part of the story. The love, spirit, connections and hope that crossed intergenerationally between ourselves and by and between our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua has been truly amazing. Read on if you want to find out more.

WHY WE TRAVEL

  • We are called as partners in God’s service;
  • Faith in action helps us live more fully into the example of Jesus;
  • We want to deepen and sustain our relationships with each other & our Nicaraguan friends;
  • We value seeing another part of the world and gaining a different perspective on the world.

THE PROJECT

Although each trip’s project will vary in difficulty and intensity, the trip leaders try to plan to allow contribution from both kids and adults. The project will usually have a clean water component as well as an educational component. The details will be finalized in the Fall/Winter of 2018.

BEFORE THE TRIP – WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Attend some pre-trip formation meetings to: bond and plan together; engage in spiritual practices; team build; develop trust and openness; and learn to be flexible when the unexpected arises as it often does in Nicaragua.

DURING THE TRIP – WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Participate in group gatherings at various times to review, reflect, plan, and grow spiritually.
  • Engage in work and fun at the project site and enjoy some free time to rest, explore and take advantage of the rich intercultural experience with the locals.
  • Enjoy some optional activities which may include: mobile library, baseball camp, volcano/nature reserve hike, zip lining, past project visits, pool party, ice cream store, scavenger hunt, sunset swims, taco stop, game nights, sailing trip or more.

AFTER THE TRIP – WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Participate in a group-chosen activity to reflect on our trip, and share experiences with the church and the wider community. (photography, videos, singing, dancing, writing or reflecting).
  • Everyone can contribute in a way they feel comfortable as everyone has a unique talents.

AFTER THE TRIP – WHAT PAST TRAVELERS HAVE SAID

  • “I felt connected to the people of Nicaragua, they are warm and friendly.”
  • “We value them and they value us.”
  • “Everyone had special talents and gifts that had time to shine.”
  • “I thought that this trip was amazing, we got so much accomplished and we had a bunch of fun.”
  • “It was a great mix of kids and adults, and it felt like no one was left out, I had so much fun.”
  • “Fantastic, educational, spiritual, rewarding.”
  • “Wonderful! Great combination of people, service, reflection.”
  • “It expanded my sense of gratitude for everything that comes into my life.”

KEY INFORMATION

  • Dates: Friday Feb 16, 2018 to Sunday Feb 25th 2018 (Newton public school vacation week)
  • Airfare: Airfare is estimated to be $900-1100 per person.  Seats are limited so book early!
  • Other Costs:
    • Group Dinners with the church group and some that also include our Nicaraguan friends.
    • Water & Snack at the work site will be provided.
    • Round trip transportation to and from Managua with the group.
    • Project: Covered by the mission budget of the church.

EXPLORE OUR PREVIOUS TRIP VIDEOS:

Click here. 

What DO I need TO DO NOW