The following two went to Costa Rica & Nicaragua in the autumn of 2011:
Born in 1989, Sarah went on the 10 week Costa Rica and Nicaragua expedition in the autumn of 2011. She has remained in Manchester since completing her studies there although her parents live in Cardiff where her mother is a retired librarian and father works at a leisure centre in maintenance.
Sarah’s first phase was the adventure trek where she walked 300 kilometres in 17 days. She trekked through tropical rainstorms, jungles, went past volcanoes and finished on a beautiful beach at the sea. She said she learnt a lot of organisational skills, map and compass reading and, most of all, teamwork.
On her second phase she lived in the rainforest of a national park in Costa Rica. Trenches were dug and water pipes laid so that those in wheelchairs can go to the park. This will be the second national park in Costa Rica to have this and means more visitors can go. When she was there, Sarah learnt how to set up a jungle camp and a lot about environmental and global issues.
Her last phase was spent living with a family in Nicaragua. She worked on a new water project for the villages and helped build new wells, as well as making some of the ones that were there better. Pipes were laid and taps put in to make sure the village had clean and safe drinking water. Sarah felt living with the family was an amazing experience. She made excellent friends with them, learnt a lot of Spanish, taught the children English and learnt so much about a different culture and lifestyle. It was incredible to see how generous the family and the other families in the village are, when they have so little.
During her 10 week expedition, Chelsie worked on a community water project in San Nicolas, Achuapa, Nicaragua, where she dug trenches and laid piping to carry fresh water to the local houses from the well. She said working with the community in San Nicolas, Achuapa was a real eye-opening experience, seeing how people from other cultures live. This project is especially important because in Nicaragua only 27% of the rural population has access to clean piped water.
She also worked with a turtle conservation organisation, where she released turtles back into the wild safely after they have hatched. She said the huge amount of turtles being released gave her a great feeling knowing that she had given them a good chance of living. This project is important because six out of the seven species of marine turtles are endangered and conservation projects like this one is vital in the survival of these species.
Chelsie says that following Raleigh she intends to carry on studying to become a teacher and to pursue a career working with young people in sport.