Alumni Spotlight: Learning the Meaning of Solidarity

Vanessa in Nicaragua.jpg

By: Vanessa Mugoa
Year travelled to Nicaragua: 2013 & 2014
School: St. Roch Catholic Secondary School (Brampton)

I think my trips to Nicaragua, especially the first one, made me want to be a more conscious person about the world. Those experiences have impacted the choices I make on a daily basis.


My most memorable experience from my trip to Nicaragua was during the second time I went there. One afternoon, we all went on a hike with our host families. Less than half way through the trek, I seriously thought of turning back because it was not only very strenuous, but I had also got cut by some barbed wire. I didn’t think I would be able to make it to the top of the mountain. However, I managed to continue on with the support of everyone else. Eventually, we reached the top of the mountain just when the sun was about to set. I remember, as we all stood around eating oranges, feeling so accomplished to have conquered that long hike. I was also very grateful to have shared that moment with my peers and the community.

It made me think and want to know more about things such as the meaning of solidarity, being a part of a community, the environment, the idea of happiness, and my view of materialistic commodities in life.


After returning from my first trip to Nicaragua, I decided to go back the following year with my high school. Two of my friends, who had also gone on the first trip, went a second time as well. We had an amazing experience during both trips, so why not go back a third time?