My name is Milton Antonio Mejía López. I am a forest engineer and I’m 25 years old. I was born in El Sauce, in the department of León, Nicaragua. I am currently working on my uncle’s farm, assisting with technical and administrative jobs. I have been studying Enlgish for almost 2 years with Enlace Project and I’m in the second level, although almost finished with the level.
My primary reason for traveling to New York was to practice the knowledge that I acquired in English class. I also wanted to learn more about the culture of the United States and to share my own culture, as an exchange. I was very excited to visit one of the most prestigious public universities in New York and reconnect with my friends who are studying there. I had met them when they came to El Sauce through the Enlace Project study abroad programs. It was also exciting to see different sights around New York State.
I spent 12 days in New York. In New York City, I had the privilege of visiting Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, Wall Street, and Main Street, as well as some others. I also visited the area where the twin towers were, and where there are now two large fountains. I also saw a tree in that area that had survived the attacks.
Next we moved to Waterville, the hometown of Enlace Project Director Kellan Morgan. There I met his family, for whom I’ll always be grateful. Here we played many sports like soccer, bowling, and kayaking. We also visited Saratoga, where I saw horse races. My friends and I bet 12 dollars on a horse, but we unfortunately lost. Lastly, we went to a waterpark, which is a beautiful place to enjoy a happy weekend with your family. Here, you shouldn’t be afraid of heights, and the games are really fun.
Finally, we visited Geneseo University, where Mr. Wes Kennison explained to us a bit of the culture and history of Geneseo. We also saw different places around the university and town. I was very excited to see my friends who live there.
We then visited one of the 7 wonders of the world—Niagara Falls. This place is fantastic, and we were able to board a boat to see the falls more closely.
I also went to the home of the Lupisella family. It was very nice to have a DJ at the party. The Lupisellas have built two schools around El Sauce, in the community of Ocotal. That is admirable because, thanks to them, many children can go to school without having to travel long distances. We visited Rochester and Buffalo, and had a meeting with people who have helped working with the 4 Walls Project.
For me, I enjoyed myself everywhere, but especially New York City. This was because I was in one of the cities most visited by tourists, and I was one of them. I was in "the empire.” The hardest part, however, was not being able to understand what everyone was saying. I had to adjust to the weather and living conditions too. But these experiences helped me to improve in my English and I learned how to adjust.
The trip was an unforgettable experience, and I learned that in all the world there are very good people. Traveling can help to improve your personal life, too. I learned that you have to lose fear, like I did when I was nervous about speaking and when I was afraid of heights.
I would like to thank everyone for making this experience possible: Wes Kennison, Jessica Kroenert (who helped my apply for my visa), the Towsley family, the Morgan family, the Lupisella’s, Kris Dreessen, Enlace Project, and everyone else who had helped in any way.