The Office of International Services and the TCU Campus Catholic Community teamed up in March of 2008 to begin an ongoing project with the community of Tepeyac, located about 10 kilometers outside of Granada, Nicaragua.  A second group of students traveled to Nicaragua during the 2009 spring break.   For the 2010 spring break El Salvador will be added to the Questa Terra experience, giving students the opportunity to travel to Tepeyac to continue with the work in progress or start a new project and relationship with a community in El Salvador.

The overall goals were to expose our students to the culture of Nicaragua, and in particular to the community of Tepeyac, and to help them reflect on their experience. This project was designed to strengthen the values of students of ALL faiths and was not an opportunity for evangelical work.  Respect and curiosity for the community of Tepeyac - and participation on their terms in events of a cultural component - were fundamental aspects of this service-learning project. The project included collecting money and support for community needs in the short-term, and it included a long-term objective of evaluating the schools and water systems of the local community.  Students on the initial trip—by design—spent over 40% of the time learning about the community of Tepeyac, 30% working on local jobs at the convent, and another 30% travelling locally within Nicaragua.

Tepeyac Group                                                  

On our first morning in Tepeyac, community leaders took us on a walking tour. We learned a brief history of Tepeyac. We visited a family on the route of our walking tour; and students experienced firsthand the living conditions of a typical family. That afternoon – at the end of the school day – the principal, students, teachers and parents treated us to a meal and program. Through food, storytelling, poetry & dance, they shared with us who they were – both as a local community and as a country. The program concluded with a dance. Our students were struck by the contrast of their educational environment and that of the children in the local school – a building with two classrooms, desks and nothing more.

Students interested in joining either group in 2010

Please click here to download a QUESTA TERRA trip application



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