Mar 09, 2012
By Susan Varghese
Standard Associate Editor
Three local high school students used their winter break to improve education in Central America. Amanda Greene, a Hewlett High School sophomore, Georgina Hudja, a Lawrence High School sophomore, and Julie Troyetsky, also a sophomore at Hewlett High School, were among 40 tri-state students who volunteered with Builders Beyond Borders.
Builders Beyond Borders is an organization that organizes projects in Latin American countries to better the lives of the villages and the children. This year, the volunteers ventured to a village called Pablo Antonio Cuadra in Nicaragua to help build classrooms at the Pablo Antonio Cuadra High School.
In this particular Nicaraguan area, students have the resources to complete the first three years of high school, but don’t have sufficient classrooms to finish the rest of high school. Upon the completion of the rooms, every student in Pablo Antonio Cuadra would have the ability to graduate from high school for the first time in over 40 years.
For Greene and Troyetsky, this is their second trip with Builders Beyond Borders. They volunteered during their breaks last year in Ecuador and for them, it was a humbling experience.
“It’s such a reality check,” Greene said. “The homes that people have don’t have roofs. There are just tin walls and no windows…compared to what we have, it makes me appreciate everything so much more. I love seeing every kid and parent smiling. They have nothing and they’re smiling. Everyone here, we have everything and we’re always complaining.”
The girls spent a week there and had a set schedule, Greene explained. “We woke up at 6:30 a.m. and got ready. We left at 7:30 a.m. We worked from around 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. We had a snack and worked some more. Then we’d have lunch at 12:30 p.m. We would leave and go home around 2:30 p.m. [Afterwards] we would change and go on some type of excursion. My favorite one was zip lining. We also went to an active volcano and into a bat cave. We really saw what this little town had to offer.”
Troyetsky added, simply, “I just liked helping people [and knowing] that I would leave a lasting impact on the community. I just like to help people and give back. I know that I get a lot and people don’t always get as much. It’s a good feeling. “
For more information, log on to BuildersBeyondBorders.org.
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