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Volunteer Testimonials: Miranda Luft

Miranda Kingston is a graduating Senior at the Avon Central School District in the state of New York. After a series of fundraisers and promotional events, her group of students, parents, teachers, and community members, reached their goal of raising enough money to build a school in Nicaragua. Together, as Avon for Nicaragua, the group arrived in Nicaragua in February 2014 to spend a week working with the local masons on the school's construction. In reflecting, she wrote the following:

"I will never forget the wondrous feeling of the plane landing in Managua; we actually did it. After 3 ½ years of tedious and strenuous work we were in Nicaragua and we were actually going to build the school. Together with 20 other individuals we were going to be building a school in the community of Buena Vista.

The whole process started my freshman year in high school, and now as a graduating high school senior i have traveled to Nicaragua, met incredible people, experienced hands-on what its like living in a developing country, changed people’s lives, and most of all challenged myself. Getting to Nicaragua was a very difficult process at some points, but the work was well worth it ten times over because now I can officially say Avon for Nicaragua has completely funded and built a school by students for students.

It was a privilege to have the opportunity to become part of the El Sauce community for the 12 days I was there. The people of El Sauce were very welcoming and demonstrated immense hospitality. They welcomed us into their homes and into their lives. My host mother was Sonia Corrales and she was very gracious and welcoming. My host mother did not speak English and my roommates and I barely spoke any Spanish between the four of us, but that was not a problem. The people of El sauce were so friendly no matter where you were. At the end of our week, we were not saying goodbye to a host family, we were saying goodbye to our new family.

Enlace Project organized an exceptional week for us from start to finish. Juan & Sean were impressive guides throughout the trip and provided us with a very authentic experience. The trip was very well-balanced between volunteerism, cultural experiences, and fun excursions. I look forward to returning to El Sauce sometime in the near future to repeat this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The trip most unquestionably changed my life because I am not the same person I was when I left."

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