E. Smith

E. Smith

Emily Smith, News Writer

Pack your bags and travel to a place unlike any other with Coach Slaughter and Mrs. Taylor. This spring break, April 1st -5th, Coach Slaughter, Mrs. Taylor, and other students/parents will be traveling to Nicaragua to experience a truly magical opportunity. 

Asked about the effects of our school’s involvement in Nicaragua, Mr. Slaughter explained, “Since the Katie Beth Carter Memorial High School opened we have gained 55 students, mainly 7th and 8th graders. It is a safe place to receive an amazing education. Even though they had a place of learning, it wasn’t as safe and wasn’t as great as most are. That would be the immediate change we have caused, and hopefully they will be able to have that capability to dream for their future. They will have that freedom, which is huge because they had to focus on surviving for so long.” On the same subject, Mrs. Taylor said, “Since the school has gone up the community seems to be more vibrant. Even when the school was being built, it wasn’t a very popular thing because the community had their doubts, due to the experience with others, watching them come and go without finishing a project or not even making a difference. So, by seeing us actually come back and finish what we started and to continue to help out the community has established a lot of stability and hope in us to truly make a difference.”

However, it is not just all about the school. Mrs. Taylor stated that “we go into the community and even if you do not speak Spanish, there will always be an interpreter with each group so you can connect with the people there.” A student going on the trip, Austin Riddell, described his excitement about going to Nicaragua for the first time. “I am looking forward to getting to go on this trip and to meet the people there! It will be cool to see the school and the people that we have been hearing about for the past few years,” he said. When asked what he plans on doing there, he stated, “I plan on getting to know the students and other people that live in the community, and there are some projects that we are going to be helping out with while we are there.”

Nicaragua isn’t just some field trip for fun. It is a place of learning and a place of experience. Austin noted, “I hope that I will learn lots of new things while I am there but mainly I want to bring back some new knowledge about the people that I will meet and other things, like the culture there.”

Coach Slaughter and Mrs. Taylor were faced with a challenging question, “What do you hope people/students to gain from traveling to Nicaragua?” Coach Slaughter answered that “the number one thing I want them to achieve is a new perspective—an appreciation of different cultures and where they were born—but I also want them to learn the power of relationships, the potential that teenagers have, problem-solving skills, and that living a life for others is where true joy comes from.” Mrs. Taylor had a different perspective in the sense that she believes “everyone gets their own message. Most of the time, it is a self acknowledgment, like gradual growth within an individual; other times it is one’s story. It’s kind of like a domino effect: by someone explaining their story and changing their view on certain things, that story can then be spread and change others. For example, Jay Grant took Spanish 1 and 2 and went on the trip, all he thought was that he would just take those classes and do more, but the opposite happened: he fell in love with the children there and wanted to continue taking Spanish to understand them more.’”

This is an amazing opportunity that 24 people will get to experience. Mr. Slaughter explained that “12 students, 3 football coaches, Mrs. Taylor, and many parents will be going on the upcoming trip. Mr. Slaughter made it clear that if you wish to go on a Nicaragua trip in the future, you should go to him or Mrs. Taylor. “There are a couple available during the summer, however the next trip that is with us will be Thanksgiving Break and one during December. You can always look at the wall just outside the leadership room,” he said. If you are wanting and willing to make a change, the Nicaragua trip is the trip for you.