The gardens of Boaco

Caroline Brock
Student California Teachers Association

BOACO, NICARAGUA – During Humboldt State Spring break, Humboldt State’s Student California Teachers Association (SCTA) Vice President Savannah Pascucci-Luevano and Communication Editor Caroline Brock with SCTA member Shannon Fowler, along with a group of 19 students, traveled to Boaco, Nicaragua to build gardens in local elementary schools. The students traveled with an organization called Global Student Embassy (GSE). GSE is committed to environmental leadership and cultural exchange.  The students departed from San Francisco Airport for their week-long trip Saturday, March 10. Students returned to the United States in the beginning minutes of Sunday March 18, eager to share what they learned. All students gained a new perspective on life and many were humbled.

LEARNING AND DOING CHSU SCTA VP Savannah Pascucci-Luevano Communications Editor Caroline Brock, and member Shannon Fowler helped create flower beds. Submitted photo

While visiting the first of two schools in Teustepe, HSU’s SCTA members had the opportunity to meet two long time professors, one of them being an agricultural engineer who spearheaded their community garden and brought an eco-club to the elementary school level. SCTA members also had the opportunity to see classroom set ups and the school library, as well as observe teachers at work teaching their students. After learning the basics of their garden practices, it was off to work. All 19 students worked until the sun went down, with a play-filled lunch break with the local students. The second school was in a rural community in El Balsamo. Students lived with host families and were completely immersed in the community. Local students worked alongside the visiting students to create 20 planter beds at the local school and prepare composted dirt as part of a reforestation project in the area. The work was not easy, but the joy and perseverance of the local students and community pushed the visiting students to finish out strong. Students also had the opportunity to learn about crops that are traditionally grown in Nicaragua and how to practice sustainable farming techniques. Savannah, Caroline, and Shannon are all extremely grateful to have had this opportunity. They all came home with new ideas about how to implement sustainable school gardens and classrooms.    

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