This unique program provides students the opportunity to apply their spirit of volunteerism and their education in an economically disadvantaged community in Nicaragua. Program participants are guided and supervised by Geneseo's on-site program director as they live and work alongside residents of El Sauce.
Several service learning opportunities are available during the intersession, including: computer education, economic development, ecotourism development, English classes for beginners or advanced adults, English classes for children, health services, marketing, small business development, youth education, and youth recreation.
The program includes one weekend field trip to another part of Nicaragua. The trip is designed to enrich participants' experience by highlighting different aspects of Nicaragua, including its natural biodiversity, colonial past, pre-Columbian heritage, religious tradition, and political history. Students will witness the beautiful landscapes that range from the Pacific Ocean beaches to the chains of volcanoes and mountains that run through the country. Past excursions have included volcano boarding, zip-line tours, trips to the Colonial cities of León and Granada, visits to coffee plantations, and swimming in rivers and lagoons.
This course will provide an introduction to Nicaragua and examine the historical, political, and socioeconomic forces at work in this region. Weekly sessions in the spring semester will focus on various aspects of Nicaragua's history, culture, and environment, as well as other topics including the effects of socioeconomic status on development. Any students wisheng to travel to El Sauce, Nicaragua in the summer are required to complete these sessions in the spring semester.
During the summer the course will culminate the service learning component in El Sauce, Nicaragua. There are a number of different service sites available for placement including: schools, health care clinics, teaching English and computer classes, economic and ecotourism development, and marketing and small business development. The service work will educate Geneseo students using 'real world' experience to foster civic responsibility and complement their education. In addition, this service work is meant to be reciprocal in nature by providing basic needs to El Sauce residents to hopefully make a real difference in their lives.