In addition to providing monthly financial support to four local non-for-profits that help at-risk kids in Leon, Nicaragua, Quetzaltrekkers also runs its own scholarship program. Recipients of the scholarship are required to maintain high grades and take great pride in submitting their report cards every semester. In return, Quetzaltrekkers pledges to pay the kids’ school fees through university and also pays for some kids to take English classes at the Casa de Cultura. This past weekend, Quetzaltrekkers welcomed these brilliant students for a special lunch at our office. It was a happy, crazy day, filled with games, burritos and proud parents.
Quetzaltrekkers volunteers spent the morning chopping vegetables. During most of our hikes, we serve the ‘world famous Quetzaltrekkers veggie burrito.’ Its very simple (raw veggies, bean paste and smashed up nacho chips are key ingredients) but so tasty after a long day of hiking. We wanted the kids to eat something we make everyday on our hikes. Our volunteers hike four or five a days a week and never stop smiling and joking. It was great for them to see the amazing, positive impact their hard work has on the community.
The kids arrived and everyone dug into the burritos. Each scholarship winner was allowed to bring one family member, and it was really heartwarming to see the proud mamas and papas. After lunch, we played a short game with the kids that was designed by the volunteers. The kids were split into two teams. One member of the team was given an English word and then had to use pantomime or English to describe it to their team. The members of the winning team were given notebooks as prizes.
Teams in the English competition.
After lunch, we presented the kids with their school fees in envelopes. We finished the day with some s’mores. Some of the teenagers sat talking with Quetzaltrekkers volunteers for a while in a mix of English and Spanish. These kids are some seriously smart cookies and eagerly talked about their favorite subjects in school. We were so happy to celebrate their academic achievements!
All the photos in this post were taken by Elizabeth Meravi.